ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A senior Iranian military commander said on Friday that Tehran would not hold talks with Washington in response to hints by US President Donald Trump a day before that renewed negotiations were possible between the two countries.
”What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me,” Trump told reporters on Thursday.
The comment came just a day after the US announced new rounds of sanctions on Iran’s metal exports and, on Sunday, the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East.
The repositioning of the carrier came after the US said it intercepted communications that officials saw an indicator that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), along with its proxies in Iraq, were preparing to attack American troops, as reported by The New York Times.
On Wednesday, the anniversary of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Tehran would partially withdraw from the landmark deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but would not completely withdraw from it.
On Friday, thousands of Iranians took part in multiple state-sponsored marches across the country, voicing support for the decision.
Yadollah Javani, political deputy of the IRGC, said, “Negotiations with Americans will not take place, and the Americans will not dare to take military action against us,” as quoted by the IRGC–affiliated Tasnim outlet.
He claimed further that Iran ”sees America as unreliable,” adding, “Trump thought due to American sanctions and pressures… Iran would be in internal turmoil and be willing to negotiate with the United States to avoid a collapse.”
“But, in practice, this did not happen.”
The US has placed ever-increasing economic and political pressure on Iran since then. Oil sanctions, imposed last November, have caused Iranian oil exports to drop by over 1.5 million barrels per day and have cost the regime some $10 billion in oil revenue, according to State Department figures.
Last week, Washington tightened those sanctions as it ended the previous waivers it had granted to eight countries, including Turkey, that are still importing Iranian oil. Last month, the US designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization.
Editing by John J. Catherine