Jump to content
BANGKOK 19 August 2019 13:17
webfact

U.S., Iran send conflicting signals on their disputes

Recommended Posts

U.S., Iran send conflicting signals on their disputes

By Jeff Mason and Parisa Hafezi

 

2019-07-16T223614Z_1_LYNXNPEF6F1PN_RTROPTP_4_MIDEAST-IRAN-USA-THREAT.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Iran's national flags are seen on a square in Tehran February 10, 2012, a day before the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/File Photo

 

WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran and the United States sent mixed signals on Tuesday about resolving their disputes as Iran's supreme leader threatened to further breach the 2015 nuclear deal while the U.S. president cited "a lot of progress."

 

Tensions have risen since U.S. President Donald Trump last year abandoned the major powers' nuclear deal with Iran under which Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of global sanctions crippling its economy.

 

Washington has since reimposed draconian sanctions to throttle Iran's oil trade in a "maximum pressure" policy to force Tehran to agree stricter limits on its nuclear capacity, curb its ballistic missile programme and end support for proxy forces in a regional power struggle with U.S.-backed Gulf Arabs.

 

Fears of direct U.S.-Iranian conflict have risen since May with several attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, Iran's downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, and a plan for U.S. air strikes on Iran last month that Trump called off at the last minute.

 

Iran's supreme leader on Tuesday said Tehran would keep removing restraints on its nuclear activity in the deal - struck with Britain, China, France, Germany Russia and the United States - and retaliate for the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker.

 

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ultimate authority, accused Britain, Germany and France of failing to uphold obligations under the deal to restore Iranian access to global trade, especially for Tehran's oil exports blocked by U.S. sanctions.

 

"According to our foreign minister, Europe made 11 commitments, none of which they abided by. We abided by our commitments and even beyond them. Now that we've begun to reduce our commitments, they oppose it. How insolent! You didn't abide by your commitments!" Khamenei said, according to his website.

 

"We have started to reduce our commitments and this trend shall continue," Khamenei said in remarks carried by state television.

 

United Nations nuclear inspectors last week confirmed Iran is now enriching uranium to 4.5% fissile purity, above the 3.67% limit set by its deal, the second breach in as many weeks after Tehran exceeded limits on its stock of low-enriched uranium.

 

The level at which Iran is now refining uranium is still well below the 20% purity of enrichment Iran reached before the deal, and the 90% needed to yield bomb-grade nuclear fuel. Low-enriched uranium provides fuel for civilian power plants.

 

IMPASSE

Khamenei has previously upbraided European powers for not standing up to Trump and circumventing his sanctions noose.

 

But it was the first time Khamenei explicitly pledged to press ahead with breaches of the nuclear deal, spurning European appeals to Iran to restore limits on enrichment aimed at obviating any dash to development of atomic bombs.

 

"So far, efforts to win gestures from Iran to de-escalate the crisis are not succeeding (as) Tehran is demanding the lifting of sanctions on its oil and banking sectors first," a European diplomatic source told Reuters. 

 

Iran denies any intent to acquire nuclear weapons, and has said all its breaches could be reversed if Washington returned to the deal and its economic dividends were realised. Tehran has accused Washington of waging "economic war."

 

"Western governments' major vice is their arrogance," Khamenei said. "If the country opposing them is a weak one, their arrogance works. But if it's a country that knows and stands up against them, they will be defeated."

 

Separately, Iran denied it was willing to negotiate over its ballistic missile programme, contradicting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and appearing to undercut Trump's statement that Washington had made progress on its disputes with Tehran.

 

The chief U.S. diplomat said Iran had signalled it was ready to negotiate about its ballistic missiles during a White House Cabinet meeting at which Trump said: "We'll see what happens. But a lot of progress has been made."

 

Pompeo appeared to be reacting to a comment by Iran's foreign minister that Tehran would discuss its missile programme after Washington stopped arming allies the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, something the United States is unlikely to do.

 

His assessment drew a quick denial from the spokesman for Iran's mission to the U.N., who posted on Twitter: "Iran's missiles ... are absolutely and under no condition negotiable with anyone or any country, period."

 

Speaking during the U.S. Cabinet meeting, Trump struck a conciliatory note, saying Washington wanted to help Tehran.

 

"We'll be good to them, we'll work with them. We'll help them in any way we can, but they can't have a nuclear weapon. We're not looking, by the way, for regime change," Trump said. "They (also) can't be testing ballistic missiles."

 

BRITAIN'S 'PIRACY'

Pompeo told the meeting Iran had "for the first time" signalled it was prepared to negotiate about its ballistic missiles, suggesting this was the result of U.S. economic pressure.

 

He appeared to be referring to comments by Iran's foreign minister on Monday in which he said Shi'ite Iran would discuss its missile programme only after the United States ceased arming its regional Sunni rivals Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told NBC's "Nightly News with Lester Holt" programme that once the Trump administration removed sanctions it has restored since leaving the nuclear deal the "room for negotiation is wide open."

 

Asked if that could include its ballistic missile programme, Zarif replied: "If they want to talk about our missiles, they need, first, to stop selling all these weapons, including missiles, to our region."

 

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly ruled out negotiating under sanctions duress from Washington. It has long said its ballistic missile programme is defensive and non-negotiable.

 

On Monday, European parties to the nuclear deal decided not to trigger its dispute mechanism over Iran's breaches in favour of pursuing more troubleshooting diplomacy.

 

In his comments, Khamenei also said Iran would respond to Britain's "piracy" over the seizure in early July of an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar.

 

"Evil Britain commits piracy and steals our ship ... and gives it a legal appearance. The Islamic Republic...will not leave this wickedness unanswered and will respond to it at an appropriate time and place,” Khamenei said.

 

Following his remarks, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said an escalation of tensions between Western states and Iran was in no one's interest.

 

Iran has called on Britain to immediately release its oil tanker, which was detained by British Royal Marines on the suspicion that it was breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Tehran's close ally Syria.

 

(Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris and Arshad Mohammed in Washington; writing by Mark Heinrich and Arshad Mohammed; editing by Mark Heinrich and Marguerita Choy)

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-07-17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Potus is using his position to manipulate oil prices to help his great friends who produce oil in the US. It has nothing to do with uranium inrichment or other pretexts that baby Donald claims.

If he gets elected in 2020 he will probably refuse to swear the oath of office because he hasn't upheld it in the previous 4 years.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A troll post has been removed, if you wish your post to remain up you should use politicians correct names and not some derogatory name you have dreamt up which will get you a warning and a suspension.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The US effectively cancelled the agreement so there was agreement to breach. Move along, nothing to see here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, mikebike said:

How can one breach a deal which was previously tossed aside by a signatory nation?

 

I don't know if that is the definition of fake news or just SOP for an estabishment-biased compliant mainstream media outlet...

 

1 hour ago, Ulic said:

The US effectively cancelled the agreement so there was agreement to breach. Move along, nothing to see here. 

 

The USA was one of the signatories. As opposed to the views above, the remaining signatories did not see the USA's withdrawal as implying the agreement was cancelled. If that was to happen, then the previous international sanctions on Iran will be re-applied. I don't think it's in Iran's best interests to quit the deal, hence it does not. Going on about "fake news", "establishment-biased compliant mainstream media" is nonsense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Morch said:

 

 

The USA was one of the signatories. As opposed to the views above, the remaining signatories did not see the USA's withdrawal as implying the agreement was cancelled. If that was to happen, then the previous international sanctions on Iran will be re-applied. I don't think it's in Iran's best interests to quit the deal, hence it does not. Going on about "fake news", "establishment-biased compliant mainstream media" is nonsense.

International sanctions will only be reapplied if all the signatories are willing to abide by the sanctions agreement. That seems far from being a sure thing.

As for Iran's lack of wisdom in its current policy, as the following article points out, Trump's demands for a deal are beginning to look a lot like the Obama deal. Could this be NAFTA redux?

 

Trump’s better deal with Iran looks a lot like Obama’s
Trump has repeatedly urged Iran to negotiate, saying that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are his chief concern, talking points that experts say echo the 2015 deal.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/17/trump-iran-deal-obama-1417801

 

What some people seem incapable of understanding is that Iran isn't the only country in that's boxed in. Trump doesn't want a war but doesn't want to be seen to retreat either. A war would obviously be harmful politically as would a retreat. So it could well be Trump forced to settle for a face saving deal that differs little from the Obama deal.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They should just keep isolating Iran and let them stew in it. There is already enough to strike them should we wish to. Congress is going to make some type of ban on Trump striking Iran although ironically he didn't strike when he really had no reason not to. So at that point Israel can finish the job should they feel the need. No way Israel will sit back if Iran has a bomb or nears it.

 

The USA has no use of Iran's oil these days but it's a useful chip in the negotiations with China who desperately need it. The regime in Iran would love the USA to get aggressive as they need a great Satan to blame. All the USA should do is keep them isolated and prevent the oil from reaching China in particular and our best buddies in Europe in general.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Cryingdick said:

They should just keep isolating Iran and let them stew in it. There is already enough to strike them should we wish to. Congress is going to make some type of ban on Trump striking Iran although ironically he didn't strike when he really had no reason not to.

Trump had a very good reason not to. It's called the 2020 elections. And as noted above, Trump seems to be retreating towards a negotiating position that bears an astonishing resemblance to the deal Obama struck in 2015. Much like his retreat on NAFTA negotiations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Rand Paul angles to become Trump's emissary to Iran

Over a round of golf this past weekend, Sen. Rand Paul asked President Donald Trump’s blessing for a sensitive diplomatic mission.

Paul proposed sitting down with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to extend a fresh olive branch on the president’s behalf, according to four U.S. officials. The aim: to reduce tensions between the two countries. 

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/17/rand-paul-iran-talks-donald-trump-1418075

 

The following story from Sep 20, 2017

Rand Paul: Don't blow up Iran Deal

 

Sen. Rand Paul, who opposed the nuclear deal with Iran two years ago, wants the United States to stay in the agreement — even as President Donald Trump sends clues that he is preparing to derail it.

In an interview Wednesday, the Kentucky Republican said he believes evidence shows that Iran has been complying with the terms of the deal, cut by former President Barack Obama and aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Instead of withdrawing from the nuclear deal, Paul argued that the administration should instead look at a deal that would target Iran’s continuing ballistic missile program.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/20/rand-paul-iran-deal-242945

Edited by bristolboy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...