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Iran rejects Pompeo's proposal to negotiate a missile program



WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that Iran was apparently ready to negotiate "for the first time" on its missile program, which he and President Trump presented as proof that sanctions and military pressure were effective, less than one One month after the president stopped a planned military strike against Iran.

However, a few hours after the statement to the reporters, which had been delivered before a Cabinet meeting in the White House, the idea of ​​Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was downcast in New York for a meeting at the United Nations. His spokesman said the two men misinterpreted Mr Zarif's public statements, repeating earlier calls for the United States to "no longer sell weapons, including missiles, to regional states if they want to talk about missiles." ,

It was a clear indication of US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran's other Arab opponents.

The strange exchange and obvious misinterpretation of Zarif's remarks seemed to underscore the White House's readiness. The weeks-long confrontation with Iran becomes a kind of negotiating opportunity – and a reminder of how difficult it will be to achieve it. Iranian officials have repeatedly said that they will not contact Mr. Trump until after rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal he withdrew last year.

Trump seemed to ignore this demand, confirming his top diplomat's assessment that the American restrictions on Iran's oil exports had "tried to find out what they would do with their economies."

and we'll see what happens, "Trump said.

But the Iranians say their position is unchanged.

"I think the government is desperately looking for signs that this will work and Iran is ready to speak," said Philip Gordon, an official with the Obama administration in the Middle East, who was involved in the negotiations on the agreement 2015 participated.

But Gordon, who is now on the Foreign Relations Council, added: "There is no sign that Iran is ready to accept the government's announced business.

Exchanges between civil servants of both countries followed a series of private messages and efforts for outsiders A visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a month ago in Iran with Iran's supreme leader went bad as he intended to deescalate a series of clashes, Many feared that they might accidentally or deliberately lead a war, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who stated that he would never speak with Mr. Trump and did not intend to "bitterly" experience negotiating a fiercely negotiated agreement with the United States just to see a new president refrain from doing so.

But over the weekend France sent an envoy to Tehran to reach a modest short-term agreement to calm the tensions. And Mr. Pompeo approved a visa for Mr. Zarif at the last moment, although the State Department dictated that he be admitted to the United States "only for the purpose of attending UN meetings" and "should limit his activities to the UN business only", According to a New York Times letter.

After Mr. Zarif had given an interview with NBC's Lester Holt on Sunday, the government seemed intent on finding a job, and rockets provided the basis.

But Mr. Zarif's spokesman said Tuesday that the Iranian missiles are "absolutely and under no circumstances negotiable with anyone or any country."

That was "no new position for the Iranians," said Ali Vaez, the Iranian non-profit Crisis project leader Group. "They have been saying that for many, many years."

For years Iran ignored a United Nations resolution that effectively prevented missile launches and developed a sophisticated arsenal that could reach the fringes of Europe. The 2015 nuclear deal did not include rockets, but then-Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated with Mr. Zarif a language that watered down the restriction.

The United Nations Resolution was adopted together with the adoption of the Atomic Energy Agreement "Iran is required not to engage in activities related to ballistic missiles intended for the delivery of nuclear weapons, including the launching of such ballistic missile technology. " and that none of his missiles was designed for nuclear use.

The rejection of Trump and Pompeo took place one day after the meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels, when they agreed that Iran had recently violated carefully its obligations from 2015. Nuclear agreements were not serious enough to Justify "snapback" sanctions. From a European point of view, Mr Trump is primarily responsible for the current stalemate.

Nonetheless, Iran has begun to transcend the agreement's nuclear material stockpiling limits and uranium uranium to a slightly higher purity than US agreement.

However, most experts agree that the Iranian actions have not yet brought the country above the decisive metric: it will remain for at least a year until there is enough uranium to produce a single nuclear weapon. Mr. Zarif said Monday that if Iran wanted nuclear weapons, he would have made them.

In a televised Sunday speech, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran declared that his country would hold talks with the United States if Washington lifted the economy sanctions and returned to the nuclear agreement. But on Tuesday, in a speech on Iranian state television, Mr. Khamenei struck a more hostile tone and railed against the United States and Europe. On his Twitter account in English, he said Iran will "continue the process of cutting its # JCPOA commitments," a reference to the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Common Comprehensive Action Plan.

Mr. Khamenei was particularly annoyed at the seizure of an Iranian tanker by British forces suspected of carrying oil to Syria despite European sanctions.

Vaez said the French government has been trying to foster dialogue by proposing to the US that it should not impose new sanctions on Iran and possibly lift sanctions on Iran importing Iranian states. In return, Iran returned to its obligations under the nuclear deal, stopped further attacks on oil tankers and possibly released even imprisoned American citizens in the country.

President Emmanuel Macron from France told reporters on Monday that he hopes to speak with them Mr Rouhani and Mr Trump and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin are looking for an escalation of tensions. But Mr. Vaez believes that Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo are involved in some form of wishful thinking for the time being.

"For the government to step in, as a sign of 'maximum pressure' softening the Iranian position, opening the door for negotiations on the missile program is at best a sign of desperation and, in the worst case, a complete misinterpretation dynamics in Iran, "said Vaez.


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