Iran says U.S. hasty claims about strikes on Aramco harmful to all

September 16, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Monday that the United States’ claims about Iran’s role in the drone strikes on the Saudi Aramco oil installations were “hasty” and will be harmful to all countries in the region.

“We should see who benefit from such actions. This action is natural reflection of repeated suppression of a society,” Rabiei said during a press conference.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the Yemeni drone attacks on oil installations in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

“Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia” and that “there is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” Pompeo tweeted. 

Pompeo added, “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”

In response, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that the United States’ failed policy of maximum pressure on Iran has turned into “maximum deceit”.

“Having failed at ‘maximum pressure’, Secretary Pompeo is turning to ‘maximum deceit’,” Zarif tweeted.

He said blaming Iran for the dangers ensuing the Saudi-led war on Yemen “won’t end the disaster”.

‘No talks under sanctions’

Rabiei also said that Tehran will not hold talks with Washington under sanctions.

“If [U.S. President Donald] Trump takes the necessary actions and rebuild the trust, the talks can be continued within the framework of 5+1 group,” he said.

He noted that removal of all sanctions is the prerequisite to start of “constructive diplomacy”.

“This issue is not pre-condition. I believe it is the most natural right of ours. In order to prove its determination and honesty, the United States should respect the Iranian people apart from lifting sanctions. Currently, we do not see the situation (is not ripe) to hold bilateral talks,” he said.

President Hassan Rouhani hold a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, during which he said that it makes no sense to hold talks with the U.S. when sanctions against Iran are in place.

In a speech aired live on state television in August, Rouhani said, “If someone just seeks to take photo with Hassan Rouhani, it is not possible unless they remove all the cruel sanctions and respect the Iranian people’s rights.”

He said that there will be no change in Iran-U.S. relations without removal of all sanctions and change of the wrong path that Washington have taken.

He added, “Our path is clear. We will return if they return to their commitments. We seek to settle issues and solve problems through logical ways.”

“Change of our behavior towards those who have imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran and launched economic terrorism will start when they repent. They should return to their commitments and change the wrong path they have taken. They should serve the interests of the world and the international security. They must recognize the Iranians’ rights and respect the revolution and the Islamic system,” Rouhani pointed out.

NA/PA

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