Iran’s foreign ministry on Tuesday insisted it did not currently see the need for mediation with the United States, as it played down the chances of a military clash with Washington. Spokesman Abbas Mousavi told a press conference that Tehran “does not feel any tension or (the possibility of) clashes” and said concerns had been “created by others”. He told journalists that the Islamic republic “does not presently believe in” mediation.
Iran is locked in a standoff with the United States which has beefed up its military presence in the Middle East in response to alleged threats from the Islamic republic. Washington has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to the region in a show of force.
Tehran insists that it will not hold direct talks with the US government anytime soon despite Trump saying Washington would “like to talk” if Iran was ready.
The moves are the latest spike since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear programme and reimposed sanctions.
Iran Interested in Action not Rhetoric
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Abbas Mousavi stated that Iran’s past dealings with Washington have proven that negotiating with Americans is a “fool’s errand”, reported Al Jazeera. Mousavi stressed that Iran is must interest in behavior than rhetoric.
Shutting down Trump, Iran’s Foreign Ministry says it sees ‘no prospect’ for talks: Responding to President Donald Trump’s claim that Iran is ready to negotiate, the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters on… https://t.co/KvBWvQM39Y #News #DonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/bQYPdwkvhO
— Marcus Evans 📚 ⚛️ 🔭 ⚖️ 💙 🎼 🏅 (@MarcuswevansSr) May 28, 2019
Iran earlier this month rolled back parts of its commitments under the nuclear deal and gave an ultimatum to the remaining world powers involved if they did not provide sanctions relief. Mousavi warned that if sanctions relief is not offered Tehran “will with severity take the next steps”, meaning it could turn its back on more substantial parts of the accord.
Kayvan Khosravi, the spokesperson for the Supreme National Security Council, also stated that Tehran will, step by step, continue the process of rolling back its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Khosravi announced, as reported by Tehran Times, “As the respected president announced, consecutive and phase-by-phase steps will continue to scale down obligations in accordance with the Supreme National Security Council’s statement until the status of Iran’s oil sales and banking transactions return to the situation before Washington’s withdrawal from BARJAM (Persian acronym for JCPOA)”.
Former British military official, Major General Jonathan Shaw, writing for the Financial Times, observed that the ongoing crisis with Iran is “largely of US making”.
The situation between Iran and the US has led a number of countries in the Middle East and others such as Japan and Switzerland to offer to mediate. Tehran insists that it will not hold direct talks with the US government anytime soon despite Trump saying Washington would “like to talk” if Iran was ready.
Mousavi said Iran was “listening to the views of countries” who have offered to mediate but had not received or given any “special message” during a flurry of diplomatic visits in recent weeks.
Iran’s “Absolute Power”
Reuters reported that the Chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, on Tuesday, said that Iran’s “absolute power” across the region has undermined Washington’s capabilities to launch a war against it.
Major General Hossein Salami was addressing the media, during his trip to Japan, a day after US President Donald Trump explained that the US did not seek a regime change in Iran, hinting that a new deal on Iran’s nuclear proliferation could be in the making.
Major General Salami hinted at Trump’s statement and observed, “We have been able to…empty the enemy’s capacity for war. You see the decline and crash of the enemies’ speech.” He continued, “Today, Iran is an absolute power of the region and because of this it is not afraid of the enemy’s threats. Today, America has been defeated in its political philosophy.”
Analysts observed that Trump’s stance towards Tehran does appear to be softening, and he has cited the heavy economic sanctions imposed by the US as a pretext to make amendments to the nuclear deal.
Former British military official, Major General Jonathan Shaw, writing for the Financial Times, observed that the ongoing crisis with Iran is “largely of US making”. Shaw highlights that Tehran has warned that it will stop complying with certain aspects of the JCPOA, which could include the JCPOA limits on Iran’s exports of heavy water and enriched uranium to Russia and Oman.
Shaw concludes that if this conflict provokes a war, there should be no allusion that “this war is largely of US making. And the UK, along with the rest of the sensible world, should have nothing to do with it.”
AFP with additional input by GVS news desk.