Published: Wed, July 17, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

USA is always welcome for negotiations: Iranian FM Zarif

USA is always welcome for negotiations: Iranian FM Zarif

While that keeps Europe out of range, it means the Iranian missiles can hit much of the Middle East, including Israel and American military bases in the region.

In its statement on Monday, the foreign ministry in Tehran said the expectations of the Europeans were "unrealistic".

The United Nations has voiced concerns to the United States over restrictions placed on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during his current trip to New York, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said on Monday.

Iran has said it needs improved economic ties with Europe since the United States has re-imposed harsh sanctions on Tehran's oil exports, exacerbating an economic crisis that has sent its currency plummeting.

Mr Zaif's comments come after the country's Revolutionary Guard confirmed last Friday that they had conducted attacks against anti-Iran insurgents operating in Kurdistan, on the Iraqi border.

"France calls on the Iranian authorities to shed full light on Mrs Adelkhah's situation and repeats its demands, particularly with regard to an immediate authorisation for consular access", the ministry said in a statement. If talks with Trump are to proceed, USA sanctions will have to be put in abeyance during their duration.

The disappearance was first reported by CNN's Barbara Starr, who said US intelligence increasingly believed the tanker had been forced into Iranian waters by the Revolutionary Guard but that some Gulf sources suggested the ship simply broke down and was towed by Iran.

"Since 2003, our three countries, later joined by the United States, Russia and China, have been engaged in a long-standing and determined policy vis à vis Iran with the clear objective that this country, a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, respects its obligations in good faith and never develops or acquires a nuclear weapon". The US fears Iran could use its missile technology and space program to build nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles, something Tehran denies it wants to do.

On the eve of an European Union meeting in Brussels, the United Kingdom foreign secretary will underscore the importance of the deal, ditched unilaterally by US President Donald Trump in May 2018. Zarif will then go to Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia to shore up a new bloc of 25 countries opposed to US unilateral sanctions.

The Foreign Office added: "This was about the enforcement of EU Syria sanctions: action was taken because of where the oil was going-a sanctioned Syrian entity-not because it was from Iran".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for those and previous attacks on oil tankers in the region. "But I believe that people are around him who wouldn't mind", he said.

The long-term nuclear deal involves Iran limiting its nuclear activities in return for the easing of economic sanctions, which have badly hurt its economy.

In follow-up to that deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67% as the Europeans missed the 60-day deadline to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the US sanctions. We are extremely concerned by Iran's decision to stockpile and enrich uranium in excess of authorised limits.

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