Iran's Rouhani seeks more powers to confront USA 'economic war'

Clay Curtis
May 22, 2019

"Right after threatening Iran, they were forced to say they do not seek a war", Rouhani said in televised remarks on Tuesday.

Iran's economy has suffered since the U.S. past year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear treaty which Iran reached with major world powers and re-imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran.

Critics have accused Trump of sending mixed signals.

The USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task group was recently deployed to the Middle East early "in response to indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against us forces and our interests", according to the Pentagon statement about the deployment.

"Then he declared the Iran guard as a terrorist organization, then he increased the sanctions on that country and then they leaked to the press they have a plan to form an invasionary force of 120,000 American military".

Russia, France, and Germany, along with Britain and China are part of the 2015 accord.

In this Monday, May 20, 2019 photo, released by U.S. Navy, an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the "Jolly Rogers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103 launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) on Arabian Sea.

"I can tell you this senator and many like me are going to resist any effort to engage the United States in another war in the Middle East", Durbin said.

Since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, Tehran has worked to leverage relationships with the Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and others to counter what it perceives as the threat from the US's vast military presence across the Mideast.

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The riposte by Iran's top diplomat followed an ominous warning by Trump, who on Sunday suggested the Islamic republic would be destroyed if it attacked United States interests. They accuse the United States of waging "economic warfare" with the reimposition of sanctions, as well as its move to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero.

It came days after mysterious sabotage attacks on several tankers in highly sensitive Gulf waters and drone strikes on a Saudi crude pipeline by Yemen rebels, who Riyadh claimed were acting on Iranian orders.

On Sunday a rocket was sacked into the Green Zone of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, which houses government offices and embassies including the U.S. mission.

Zarif told Pleitgen that even while Trump has continued to call for negotiations, Iran is "not willing to talk to people who have broken their promises". At least one USA military official who spoke to Newsweek and a US -led NATO Western military alliance official cited by Medium cast similar doubts about Washington's narrative. A number of lawmakers, various officials and experts have raised doubts about the administration's narrative on intelligence regarding alleged Iranian threats.

"Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation".

"We have deterred attacks based on reposturing of assets, deterred attacks against American forces", Mr Shanahan said.

As tensions between the United States and Iran are soaring, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is set to reach Pakistan on a two-day long visit on Thursday (tomorrow).

"Iran never negotiates with coercion", Zarif told the cable news network.

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