Bolton: U.S. willing to talk to Iranian leaders

June 17, 2019

TEHRAN – U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has said his country is willing to talk to Iranian leaders to ease tensions but also is set for retaliatory action against what he called Iranian military provocations.

In an interview with the Washington Free Beacon published on Monday, Bolton claimed that intelligence reports over the past month warned of covert attacks in the Middle East and South Asia by Iranian proxies, including the Quds Force, Iranian intelligence operatives, and other Tehran surrogates.

“It’s a very precarious situation,” Bolton said during a meeting in the White House West Wing when asked about the standoff with Iran.

Bolton’s call for talks come less than a week after Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump as a person not worthy of exchanging messages, stressing that negotiations with Washington cannot help solve any problem, citing the international 2015 nuclear deal as an example which the United States quit and ordered the harshest ever sanctions against Iran.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that Washington does not want to go to war with Tehran, while repeating his baseless accusations that Iran was to blame for the oil tanker attacks in the Sea of Oman last Thursday.

“President Trump has done everything he can to avoid war. We don’t want war,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated again after the U.S. accused Iran of being responsible for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

In an interview on Fox News on Friday, Trump blamed Iran for the attack without providing any solid evidence, as did Pompeo, a day before.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday that the United States may have carried out acts of sabotage against the oil tankers to blame them on Iran.

Larijani also said, “The satirical part of the story lies within Pompeo’s remarks in which he advised Iran to use diplomacy in response to diplomatic moves,” adding, “Such comment, coming out of Mr. Pompeo’s mouth, is really cute.”

MH/PA

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