Iran rejects US offer of talks to de-escalate tensions

Iran rejects US offer of talks to de-escalate tensions

Iran has rejected a US offer of talks “without preconditions” to de-escalate tensions between the two nations.

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, dismissed the offer of talks as “unbelievable” and ruled out any co-operation or talks; while US President Donald Trump maintains sanctions on Iran.

The US, on Wednesday, January 8, appeared to have extended an olive branch, offering negotiations to Iran; despite insisting that Qassem Soleimani posed an “imminent threat”.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Kelly Craft said the United States was “ready to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran; with the goal of preventing further endangerment of international peace and security or escalation by the Iranian regime.”

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However, in an acerbic rebuttal, Ravanchi said Washington had “initiated a new series of escalation and animosity with Iran”; by killing Soleimani on January 3.

Overnight on Wednesday, three Katyusha rockets fell into Baghdad’s Green Zone. No one was reported injured.

The rocket attack followed a calibrated blitz of 22 ballistic missile launches on bases in Iraq; hosting American and other foreign troops in the early hours of Wednesday.

Ravanchi said Iran was exercising its right to self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter; the same clause the US cited in its initial strike against Soleimani.

“The operation was precise and targeted military objectives; thus leaving no collateral damage to civilians assets in the area,” Ravanchi said.

Iran warned Iraq about the raids shortly before they happened and in their immediate aftermath; Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran had concluded its “proportionate” retaliation.

US President Donald Trump, too, said Iran “appears to be standing down”. He even suggested Tehran and Washington could work towards a nuclear deal; while co-operating against terrorists.

“All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. Our great American forces are prepared for anything,” he said in an address from the White House.

Trump also announced the US would be imposing “additional punishing sanctions” on Iran.


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