The United States and Iran exchanged the condition of “change of conduct” to enter into negotiations to contain the current escalation and the potential for confrontation between them, while US warships conducted maneuvers in the Arabian Sea.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was ready to hold unconditional talks with Iran, while Tehran said it was interested in Americans ‘actions rather than their politicians’ statements. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said in a press conference in Switzerland after talks with the Swiss foreign minister, “we are ready to enter Talks with them without preconditions to negotiate; we are ready to sit with them”. He stressed that Washington’s goal was to completely eliminate what he called “the malignant activity of this Islamic Republic and its revolutionary forces.” The United States has been exerting enormous economic pressure on Iran for more than a year in the form of re-imposed sanctions after Washington withdrew unilaterally from the nuclear deal reached between Tehran and international powers in Vienna in 2015. This is the first time that the administration of President Donald Trump so clearly announced its readiness to start dialogue without preconditions with the Islamic Republic.
In the first comment from Tehran on the talk of Pompeo, the Iranian Foreign Ministry described the remarks as “playing with words and with secret targets.” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to his channel on the application of “Telegram” that “the criterion for the Islamic Republic is a change in behavior and the general orientation of the United States towards the Iranian people, “adding that” playing with words and pursuing secret goals through new words is not a standard of action. ”
The Iranian spokesman stressed that “the assertion of Mr. Pompeo to continue the policy of extreme pressure against Iran proves the continuation of previous wrong policies,” calling for “the need to reform these policies.” In the context of the response to Pompeo also, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said . it is Washington that has left the negotiating table “and a normal state must return.”
“The other party that left the negotiating table and violated a treaty has to return to a normal state,” Rowhani was quoted as saying by the official website of the Iranian government. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif said in an interview with ABC News on Sunday that “negotiations between America and Iran are not very likely because the talks will be a continuation of the pressure path.”
The Iranian minister added that Trump “has experience in the real estate market, but these tests do not work in dealing with Iran,” saying that continued US pressure “may have effects on the real estate market, but it will not affect Iran’s policies.” Zarif described US sanctions on Iran as “economic terrorism targeting citizens,” explaining, “If the goal of the US president is to put pressure on the Iranian people, he has reached it, but he will not reach political objectives by pressure on the Iranians.” At the same time, the Iranian foreign minister warned that “the continuation of economic pressure on the Iranian people will have Repercussions “, saying that” there is no difference between the economic war and military war.” “No one is winning a war, everyone is losing, but some will lose more than others.” Given the consequences of pressure on Iran, Zarif said his country was defending itself against “the economic war that President Trump said he launched against Iran “.
The Iranian president said on Saturday that Iran could hold talks if the United States showed respect and followed international laws, noting that US forces “stopped 400 miles” from Tehran. Fars News Agency quotes Rouhani as saying “We support logic and talks if the other party sit with respect at negotiating table and abide by international rules and not issuing orders for negotiation Rouhani added according to the site of the Iranian presidency , “the enemy, which until last year announced that its goal was to eliminate the Islamic Republic of Iran, today explicitly confirms that it does not want to change the (Iranian) regime. ”
Rohani’s statements appeared to be directed at internal parties who refused to allow him to run negotiations. “The enemies who claimed until a month ago that they have the largest military power in the world and can defeat our armed forces if they want to declare today that they do not want a war with Iran,” Rowhani said. He pointed out that the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln did not enter “to the Gulf waters, despite its arrival in the Arabian Sea a month ago. “Their ships were free to sail with almost no restrictions, swimming in the Gulf, but today there is no news about these ships,” he said. “They are anchored 300 or 400 kilometers from the Gulf.”
Iran’s conditions for negotiations by Iranian President Hassan Rowhani were met with prompt responses from senior military commanders. “The United States must leave the region,” said Iran’s military adviser Rahim Safavi. “US military ships in the Gulf are in the range of Iranian missiles, pointing out that «the launch of the first shot will lead to high oil prices to $ 100». The general coordinator of the Iranian army, Habibullah Sayyari, refused to negotiate the missile program.
Adviser of supreme leader for military affairs Rahim Safavi said in a statement to Fars News Agency, a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guard, ” The first bullet in the Gulf will push oil prices above $ 100 ,this price is beyond the capacity of Washington’s European allies, Japan and South Korea.
The US Navy said yesterday that it carried out a simulation exercise in the Arabian Sea. The aircraft carrier, Abraham Lincoln, led the exercises with the participation of a squadron of fighter jets, joined by B-52 bombers, which landed last month at Qatar’s base. It is the second time that the US Central Command has announced offensive training exercises after sending the Abraham Lincoln Group to deter potential threats from Iran.
The exercise, which took place the day before yesterday, saw the participation of Hornet fighter helicopters, M-60s, multi-purpose combat operations and AWACS aircraft, the Pentagon said in a statement.
In the same context, the US Air Force said the B-52 bomber also simulated “strikes” in the exercise last Saturday.
In a related context to the US-Iranian crisis, the announcement by US forces of conducting military exercises in the Arabian Sea was a highly practical warning to Iran at the height of escalation in the war of data and statements between Washington and Tehran, which is accused of involvement in threatening maritime navigation and oil export lines by sabotaging ships near UAE territorial waters , or by the Houthi group, which was targeted by a booby-trapped plane, a pipeline to pump oil towards the western coast of Saudi Arabia.
The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and the US Air Force announced on Sunday that the air group attached to the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier carried out a joint exercise in the Arabian Sea on Saturday with the US Air Force’s P-52 fighters. On the other hand, despite the unequal balance of power in any military conflict that may arise due to the enormous technical and human divergence between US forces and Iranian forces, Tehran continues to threaten the United States, which is widely believed to be destined for domestic consumption as part of a passionate , tactical rhetoric in Iran since 1979, Yahya Rahim Safavi, assistant and adviser to the Iranian leader Ali Khamenei in comments quoted by the Iranian Fars news agency, on Sunday, that US forces in the region in the range of fire by Iranian forces.
The exercises, which were held close to the Iranian and Yemeni coasts, were aimed at “improving operational tactics in many war zones, including air-to-air training and flight in mock-ups and operations to carry out shelling in defense of its national forces ,” according to a US Navy statement. The exercise provided a rare opportunity as it combined multiple tactical aircraft, usually not operating in the same airspace, the statement said.
According to the Associated Press, the exercises saw the exit of the F-18 Super Hornet, the H-60C Hawk and the A2D Graols from the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier which was sent to the Gulf region last May on the back of heightened tensions With Iran.
The B52H is a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the US Air Force since 1955 and can carry equipments up to 70,000 pounds of weapons and has a combat range of more than 8,800 miles. It also has anti-ship and mine capabilities, making it a highly effective weapon to assist the Navy in ocean surveillance.
As the Arab proverb says , ” One man’ neat is another man’s poison” , the researcher Nathan Levin said in a recent report published by American center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that the real winner behind any Iranian-American confrontation is China , and that if the US fought a war with Iran , it would be a starting for a Chinese century .
Levin pointed out that ,the USA is mired in a worsening confrontation with China , relations between them are continuing to deteriorate and any war in the middle east will be a bad idea because it will disastrously weaken the geopolitical situation of American in the face of China in the worst possible time , which drains and weakens the American military and economic power at a time when America needs every part of power to balance with China, which is rapidly rising , it will give it the opportunity to realize its ambitions to surpass the US economically , to ensure military dominance in the Pacific and achieve a leading role in the evolution of the global system . Finally, the US, Iran and the illusions of war are “Much Ado about nothing “. .
International Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies