Thursday, 23 January, 2020

United States policy of ‘maximum pressure’ will fail, Iran’s Supreme Leader vows

Khamenei Trump’s offer to sit with Iran is trickery Gen. Keane: US 'holding all the cards,' Iran 'back on their heels' like they've never been before
Robin Buchanan | 18 September, 2019, 09:33

Iranian state TV quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who's been personally sanctioned by the Trump administration, as saying the US wants to prove its "maximum pressure policy" against Iran is successful. We're dealing with Saudi Arabia.

"I'm not looking at options right now".

USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo also said "emerging information indicates that responsibility lies with Iran".

The remarks by Leader comes as some media outlets and U.S. officials have said U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to hold talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the annual United Nations conference in NY in the current month.

But a day after warning that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond to the incident, Trump dialed down his rhetoric, saying on Monday there was "no rush" to do so and that Washington was coordinating with Gulf Arab and European states. "We'll see what happens", he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump had said on Monday he could meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and that he had no problem with such an encounter. But he also noted that Trump said he doesn't want war with Iran or anyone else.

Bronk, however, pointed to Trump's stated unwillingness to go to war, his recent decision to sack his hawkish, anti-Iran national security advisor, John Bolton, and the president's bid to win re-election in 2020 from voters who are still tired from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, Iran has denied a role in specific attacks, including bombings of tankers in the Gulf and previous strikes claimed by the Houthis.

Iran has rejected possible talks with the United States as tensions between the two countries continue to mount following weekend drone attacks on major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Iran's alleged involvement in a recent series of provocations in the Gulf coincides with key moments in the unraveling of the country's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, from which Trump unilaterally withdrew the May of past year.

Saturday's attacks were the latest in a series of escalatory moves witnessed since the USA unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal with Iran and other world powers in May 2018 and slapped sanctions on Iran's oil and banking sectors in a "maximum pressure" campaign against it.

The assault halved Saudi Arabia's oil output and damaged the world's biggest crude oil processing plant, triggering the largest jump in oil prices in decades. The U.S. benchmark West Texas crude was up 9%. Because, this policy will become the default basis of every other oppressive policy of the USA, and after that every time they make a new outrageous demand to the Islamic Republic, we would either have to accept and be done with it or say no and be subjected to maximum pressure anew.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said about the state-owned Saudi Aramco, which was the target of the attacks.

The United States has accused Iran of carrying out attacks on Saudi oil facilities, with Trump even hinting that he is considering a retaliatory military strike.

Saudi state television said the Saudi Defense Ministry will hold a media conference on Wednesday that will show evidence of Iran's involvement in the Aramco attacks, including the use of Iranian weapons. The U.S. believes the attack meets that threshold, but the administration first needs to "gather the releasable" information and intelligence it has collected about the strike, according to the official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the attacks and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Iran rejected US accusations that it was responsible."These allegations are condemned as unacceptable and entirely baseless", Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in remarks carried by state TV. "Neither in NY nor anywhere" else. But U.S. officials are blaming Iran.