Trump leaves telephone number for Iran to call

May 11, 2019

TEHRAN – Hoping that Tehran will contact U.S. President Donald Trump, the White House has contacted Swiss authorities to share a telephone number with Iran.

The White House contacted the Swiss on Thursday, the same day Trump publicly appealed to Iran to call him amid heightened tensions, CNN cited a source as saying.

The source, however, said Iran was “highly unlikely” to demand the number from Swiss authorities.
 
The Swiss embassy represents U.S. interests in Tehran, where Washington has had no mission since 1980.

While Trump called for talks on Thursday, he did not rule out military action against Iran.

On Friday, Yadollah Javani, the IRGC deputy head for political affairs, said the U.S. thinks it can intimidate Iran into negotiations with a combination of military threats and sanctions, but to no avail. 

Washington withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) last year and reimposed unilateral sanctions that had been lifted under the landmark 2015 agreement.
Iran on Wednesday informed the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany -- the remaining five signatories to the deal -- that it was suspending some of its commitments under the deal.

Tehran also gave the three European signatories 60 days to meet their commitments, especially in the banking and oil sectors, and guarantee Iran’s interests in the face of U.S. sanctions.

On Friday, Germany’s leading news weekly Der Spiegel published an article highlighting how Washington’s bid to pressure Iran had endangered Washington’s European allies, specifically Germany.

“Trump’s confrontational Middle Eastern policy has exacerbated the tensions between the U.S. and its European allies, because, unlike the situation in Venezuela, Europe would be directly affected. The continent’s very security is at stake,” read the article.

“Washington is exacerbating regional tensions with its policy of applying maximum pressure on Iran,” Niels Annen, a high-ranking official at the German Foreign Ministry, told the publication.

Jürgen Tritten, a member of the German parliament with the Green Party who sits the Foreign Affairs Committee, said, “The U.S. appears to be looking for a pretext to escalate the conflict with Iran.”

The paper also said the Europeans are in disarray in the face of Washington’s bid to pressurize Iran, with German foreign policy agreeing more with Tehran than its ally in Washington.

Deputy parliamentary group leader for the German SPD party, Rolf Mützenich, urged the German government to push for a UN Security Council resolution “requiring strict compliance with international law in the Middle East”.

The move, Mützenich said, will seek to counter U.S. policies in the Middle East which disregard international law, notably in the case of Trump’s recent dealings over Palestine and Iran’s nuclear deal.

SP/PA
 

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