Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Iranian president says talks possible only if Washington shows 'respect'

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani at a government meeting Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani at a government meeting More
Patty Aguilar | 03 June, 2019, 08:57

Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran's nuclear program in return for lifting worldwide sanctions. Some U.S. officials have spoken of the possibility of new talks.

Rahim Safavi added that "U.S. officials are aware that their military personnel and the US and other foreign fleets in the Persian Gulf are within the range of IRGC's shore to sea missiles".

"The first firing [of rockets] in the Persian Gulf will hike up the oil price to more than $100".

"Last year, the enemies imposed new sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, sanctions that, as they say, are the maximum pressure on Iran throughout the history", said Rouhani.

At least five American citizens, including four dual nationals of the United States and Iran, are detained in Iran as well as at least two permanent USA residents.

The United States, Europe and Arab countries have always criticized Iran for its ballistic missile program.

Washington has since May beefed up its military presence in the Middle East due to alleged Iranian "threats".

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US Prepared to Engage With Iran Without Pre-Conditions: Pompeo
He said the USA was merely "looking for no nuclear weapons", adding that "I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal". He said Switzerland would be pleased to serve as an intermediary, but not a "mediator", between the United States and Iran.

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According to the USAF, the drills, which took place Saturday, "simulated strike operations", and involved carrier-based F/A-18 Super Hornets, MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters and E-2D Growlers, with the aircraft simulating missions with the B-52, which is a nuclear-capable long-range bomber.

Trump said last week he was hopeful Iran would come to negotiating table to reach a new deal.

Iran is locked in a tense standoff with the USA after Washington withdrew from the deal past year and reimposed sanctions.

Pompeo, in an apparent softening of his previous stance, said when asked about Rouhani's remarks: "We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no pre-conditions".

The US is just blustering around politically and military-wise, he said, noting that American troops have started retreating from the region since two weeks ago.

US President Donald Trump said last week he remained open to talks with Tehran during his state visit to Tokyo, appearing to have given the green light to Abe's plan.

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