Iran foreign minister: No meeting planned with US counterpart

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said there was no meeting planned with US officials including his counterpart Mike Pompeo at the United Nations General Assembly. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 11 August 2018
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Iran foreign minister: No meeting planned with US counterpart

  • Zarif said: “No, no such meeting is planned. We have repeatedly announced our position”
  • Earlier this week, the United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran in line with President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a 2015 agreement over Iran’s nuclear program

DUBAI: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said there was no meeting planned with US officials including his counterpart Mike Pompeo at the United Nations General Assembly, the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported on Saturday.
Asked about the likelihood of a meeting with US officials, including Pompeo, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Zarif said: "No, no such meeting is planned. We have repeatedly announced our position," Tasnim reported.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed a US call for talks without preconditions last Monday, hours before Washington moved to impose new sanctions in line with President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a 2015 agreement over Iran's nuclear programme.
"About the recent offer by Trump, our official position has been announced both by the president (Rouhani) and myself. The Americans lack honesty," Zarif was quoted as saying by Tasnim.
Asked whether a message from the United States was to be delivered to Iran by Omani officials, Zarif said: "There is no such message," Tasnim reported.
Zarif said earlier this week that Oman and Switzerland had acted as mediators in talks with America in the past but that there were currently no direct or indirect talks being held with the United States. 


Iran lawmakers authorize firm action against US ‘terrorist’ acts

Updated 34 min 53 sec ago
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Iran lawmakers authorize firm action against US ‘terrorist’ acts

  • President Donald Trump on April 8 designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps a foreign terrorist group
  • Tehran reacted to the designation by naming the US Central Command a terrorist organization

DUBAI: Iran’s parliament passed a bill on Tuesday requiring the government take firm steps to respond to “terrorist actions” by US forces, state TV reported, retaliating against Washington’s blacklisting of the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards.
President Donald Trump on April 8 designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist group, in an unprecedented step that drew Iranian condemnation and raised concerns about retaliatory attacks on US forces.
Tehran reacted to the designation, which took effect on April 15, by naming the US Central Command (CENTCOM) a terrorist organization and the US government a sponsor of terrorism.
“The bill authorizes the government to take firm and retaliatory measures against terrorist activities of American forces that endangers Iran’s interests,” TV reported.
“The government should use legal, political and diplomatic measures in response to the American actions.”
Highly loyal to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the IRGC is a powerful force which controls much of the Iranian economy and wields political influence in the country’s faction-ridden clerical establishment.
The semi-official Tasnim news agency said some 168 lawmakers out of 210 present at the parliament voted for the bill.
Tensions have been on the rise between Tehran and Washington since last year, when Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers and reimposed sanctions on the country.
In recent years, there have been periodic confrontations between the IRGC and US military in the Gulf.
The new chief commander of the IRGC Hossein Salami, appointed after the US blacklisting, has warned in the past that Iran could use its cruise and ballistic missiles and drones, mines, speedboats, and missile launchers in the Gulf area to confront the United States.
The Trump administration, which has taken a hard line on Iran, said in a statement on Monday that the president has decided not to reissue waivers in May allowing importers to buy Iranian oil without facing US sanctions.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the heightening economic pressure on Iran showed that Washington was in panic.
“Escalating #EconomicTERRORISM against Iranians exposes panic & desperation of US regime — and chronic failures of its client co-conspirators,” Zarif Tweeted on Tuesday.
A commander of Iran’s IRGC said on Monday that Tehran would block all exports through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if Tehran is barred from using the waterway, where a fifth of global oil consumption passes on its way from Middle East producers to major markets.