Iranian chief tells Japan’s Abe Trump ‘unfit’ of a reply to message

LONDON: Iran’s supreme chief instructed Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday that it was pointless to answer to a message he had dropped at Tehran from US President Donald Trump, as a peacemaking go to was overshadowed by assaults on tankers within the Gulf of Oman.

The assaults had been the newest incident in a confrontation between america and Iran after weeks of tightening US sanctions and a confrontation.

One of many tankers was Japanese. Iran’s international minister tweeted that it was “suspicious” that the assaults happened throughout Abe’s go to to Tehran.

Trump mentioned that he appreciated the current go to by Abe to Iran to fulfill Supreme Chief Ali Khamenei, however that he believed it’s “too quickly to even take into consideration” america making a cope with Tehran.

“They aren’t prepared, and neither are we!” Trump mentioned in a tweet.

Japan was one of many predominant patrons of Iranian oil till final month, when Washington ordered all international locations to halt all Iranian oil imports or face sanctions of their very own. Abe, who had mentioned Iran with Trump final month, introduced a message from the US president, however Khamenei rebuffed it.

“I don’t see Trump as worthy of any message trade, and I wouldn’t have any reply for him, now or in future,” Iranian state media quoted Khamenei as telling the Japanese premier.

US allies in Europe and Asia have repeatedly expressed concern that rigidity between america and Iran might escalate into an armed battle. Abe warned on Wednesday of unintended clashes within the Center East, after assembly Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

A 12 months after america deserted an settlement between Iran and world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme in return for lifting sanctions, confrontation between the 2 foes has reached a brand new pitch.

Washington has dispatched further forces to the area in current weeks after accusing Tehran of threatening delivery there. Iran has denied being behind assaults on ships and instructed they may very well be meant as a provocation.

Thursday’s assaults on “Japan-related” tankers had been suspicious, particularly on the day Khamenei and Abe met, Iranian Overseas Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

The Trump administration says the settlement it stop final 12 months, which was negotiated by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, was not agency sufficient and new sanctions are wanted to power Iran to make extra concessions. Iran says it can not negotiate with a rustic that deserted the earlier deal.

US allies in Europe and Asia say they share Washington’s considerations about some Iranian behaviour however imagine exiting the settlement was a mistake, which undermines Iranian pragmatists, strengthens hardliners and makes additional negotiations tougher.


Final authority in Iran is wielded by Khamenei, a hardline cleric in energy since 1989, though the nation is run day-to-day by Rouhani, the pragmatist president who gained two landslide elections on guarantees to open Iran to the world.

Khamenei mentioned a current promise by Trump to not search regime change in Iran was “a lie”.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has no belief in America and can by no means repeat the bitter expertise of earlier negotiations with America within the framework of the JCPOA,” Khamenei mentioned, utilizing the acronym for the nuclear deal. “No smart and proud nation will settle for negotiations beneath strain.”

Abe instructed reporters in Tehran that Khamenei had promised Iran had no intention of pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran has at all times maintained its nuclear programme is peaceable.

On a go to to Japan final month, Trump welcomed Abe’s assist in coping with Iran.

Final month Washington revoked sanctions waivers that had allowed some international locations, together with Japan, to purchase Iranian crude. In its newest transfer, the US Treasury prohibited firms on Friday from doing enterprise with Iran’s largest petrochemical group, citing ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

“The US president, after a gathering with you and discussions on Iran_ imposed sanctions on Iranian petrochemical sector. Is that this a message of honesty? Does that present he seeks sincere negotiations?” Khamenei instructed Abe.

“Japan is a crucial Asian nation and if it needs to broaden ties with Iran, it ought to present a agency stance, as different international locations have achieved,” Khamenei mentioned.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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