Iran threatens international navigation in the Gulf: US defense secretary

Updated 24 October 2019

Iran threatens international navigation in the Gulf: US defense secretary

  • He said the US “does not seek war with Iran, but we are prepared to do so if necessary”
  • Esper was in Iraq Wednesday to discuss the withdrawal and the Daesh threat with Iraqi leaders and his military commanders

DUBAI: Iran targeted the Saudi facilities in Aramco in September, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Thursday, reiterating calls to deter the country’s threats.
Esper, who was speaking at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, referred to the drone attacks at several Aramco sites on Sept. 14, saying “Iran threatens international navigation in the Gulf.”
He added the US “does not seek war with Iran, but we are prepared to do so if necessary.”
Meanwhile, the Pentagon chief also lashed out at Turkey for its military assault on Syrian Kurdish fighters across the border into Syria, days after the US withdrew its troops from the war-torn country.
Esper says Turkey’s unwarranted invasion into Syria jeopardizes security gains made in recent years as the US-led coalition and allied Syrian Kurdish forces battled the Daesh group.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the US is lifting sanctions on Turkey after the NATO ally agreed to permanently stop fighting Kurdish forces in Syria. Esper was in Iraq Wednesday to discuss the withdrawal and the Daesh threat with Iraqi leaders and his military commanders.

(With Reuters)

 


Rouhani: Iran will bypass US sanctions or overcome them through talks

Updated 21 min 1 sec ago

Rouhani: Iran will bypass US sanctions or overcome them through talks

  • Tensions have soared between Tehran and Washington since last year
  • The Islamic Republic has rejected negotiating a new deal with the Trump administration

DUBAI: Iran will overcome US sanctions by either bypassing them or through negotiations, and it will not cross its red lines in any talks with arch-adversary Washington, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.
Tensions have soared between Tehran and Washington since last year, when President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that have crippled its oil-based economy.
The Islamic Republic has rejected negotiating a new deal with the Trump administration, saying talks are only possible if Washington returns to the nuclear pact and lifts sanctions.
“The government is determined to defeat (the enemy) by bypassing America’s sanctions...or through various means including talks, but we will not cross our red lines,” the semi-official Iranian news agency ISNA quoted Rouhani as saying. In a rare act of cooperation between Tehran and Washington, the United States and Iran each freed a prisoner on Saturday.
Washington said it was hopeful that the prisoner swap would lead to the release of other Americans held in Iran and that it was a sign Tehran was willing to discuss other issues.
Iran released Xiyue Wang, a US citizen who had been held for three years on spying charges, while the United States freed Iranian Massoud Soleimani, who had faced charges of violating US sanctions against Tehran.
Iran said on Monday there were about 20 Iranians jailed in the United States in cases linked to sanctions violations.