Published: Wed, May 22, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump on possibility of talks with Iran

Trump on possibility of talks with Iran

His comments came as two USA government sources said the United States strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to, and possibly encouragement from, Iran fired a rocket on Sunday into Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

Iran and tensions in the Persian Gulf as well as President Donald Trump's tough talk are the subject of competing meetings in the House and Senate, both closed to the public and the press.

Trump campaigned on pulling the USA from the deal, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. "#EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won't "end Iran", he tweeted. He said he hopes Iran starts to "pull back from the destabilizing activities" it conducts in the region.

Last week, the United States evacuated all non-emergency diplomatic staff from their Baghdad embassy and the Erbil consulate, and also put its troops in Iran and Syria on high alert.

Earlier Monday, Iran's Ambassador to the U.N. Takht Ravanchi sent an appeal letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council, urging the launching of "regional diplomatic dialogue" to ease the current "alarming security situation" in the Gulf region and he implored the global body to not "remain indifferent".

Leading Iraqi Shia figures with close ties to Iran warned on Monday against attempts to pull their country into a war between the USA and Tehran.

The Muslim-majority country also said it has quadrupled its uranium enrichment capacities, but its officials noted the material will not be enriched pass the 3.67% limit imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal.

At the outset of an investigation into those apparent attacks, which damaged vessels of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Norway but caused no injuries, US officials had said they appeared to be carried out by Iran.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said he wants answers on "what the administration's strategy is - if they have one - to keep us out of war".

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Meanwhile, Oman's minister of state for foreign affairs made a previously unannounced visit Monday to Tehran, seeing Zarif, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who was joined at the briefing by the USA military chief, Gen. Joseph Dunford, said the U.S. response had made an impact. Enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear power.

Iran denies it supports insurgent activity, including in Yemen, and has said its nuclear program is strictly for civilian energy purposes.

Trump's tweet immediately followed news that a rocket had landed in Baghdad's Green Zone, not too far from the US embassy.

"The Fake News put out a typically false statement, without any knowledge that the United States was trying to set up a negotiation with Iran".

"I'm not somebody that wants to go into war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly - by far most importantly", he said.

The amount of low-grade uranium Iran can produce was capped at 300 kilograms under the deal to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

"We want the situation to de-escalate because this is a part of the world where things can get triggered accidentally", Hunt said. Many religious pilgrims are now in the city amid the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. And it should not be forgotten that the USA already backs Saudi Arabia in the devastating war in Yemen that the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe.

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