The Islamic Republic of Iran has warned the United States against violating its borders, vowing ‘such a move would lead to a “stronger” reaction’ than the previous claim of violation a week ago, when the Revolutionary Guards downed an American Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Vehicle.
The Iranian threat was made by Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani, who declared in an interview with his country’s semi-official Tasnim news agency, that the downing of the American drone was “a good experience for (the Americans) to avoid any aggression,” while further underscoring that Tehran’s “reaction will be stronger if they repeat their mistake of violating (Iran’s) borders.”
Meanwhile, the United States is making headway in tightening the noose around Tehran’s neck, as efforts to assure global compliance with the American imposed sanctions regime, as well as efforts to form an international coalition against the Islamic Republic, appear to bear fruit.
Among others, the United States has managed to convince the Islamic Republic’s second largest oil importer after China, India to comply with Washington’s energy-related sanctions against Tehran. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who concluded an official visit to New Delhi today, hailed the Indian government for making “hard choices,” as part of the multilateral efforts ‘to force the Ayatollah regime to behave like a normal country.’
Following a meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the two top diplomats underscored “a better shared understanding” with regard to their ‘respective interests and concerns’. According to the Indian Foreign Minister- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar: “I mean we have a certain perspective on Iran obviously from where we are based and the secretary (of State Mike Pompeo) shared with me the American concerns on Iran. I would say, frankly, I guess both of us certainly came out much better informed of each other’s concerns in that regard. In terms of common ground, though I use it for trade, we have common ground on energy as well. For us it is important that any global energy supplier remain predictable, that they remain affordable, and I think that’s a concern to which Secretary Pompeo was certainly very, very receptive. I think he understands that this (India) is today the world’s fifth largest economy which imports 85% of its energy, large part of it from the gulf. So, I think he certainly gets — I’m speaking for him, but looking at his face — he certainly gets what our interests are.”
Secretary Pompeo, for his part, underlined a common understanding on assuring freedom and security for maritime navigation in the area of the Strait of Hormuz, while indicating that there is a shared perception regarding the threat that Iran poses to the entire world. The U.S. Secretary of State said: “We all know that we need to keep that waterway open (Strait of Hormuz) for the reasons that were just described. We also know that Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror and we know the Indian people, they have suffered from terror around the world. I think there is a shared understanding of threat and a common purpose to ensure that we can keep energy at the right prices and deter this threat. Not only the threat in the narrow confines of the Middle East but the threat that this terror regime poses to the entire world.”
Secretary Pompeo further insisted that the United States will guarantee support for India’s ever-growing energy demand, as well as implement a joint effort to improve trade ties in the midst of unresolved differences. It is important to note that India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer, bought about 184,000 oil-barrels per day from the United States between November 2018 and May 2019, compared with about 40,000 in the same period the preceding year.
Now to the Japanese capital, Tokyo, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a meeting with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron, ahead of the G20 summit, which is scheduled to start tomorrow in the city of Osaka – for the first time in history.
In a joint press conference that followed their meeting, Prime Minister Abe stressed that his country will work closely with France to alleviate tensions in the Middle East, amid a brewing confrontation between Iran and the United States. As part of these efforts, both leaders underlined the importance of working to secure safety for marine navigation. According to Abe “Securing safety for marine navigation (at Strait of Hormuz) is important not only for Japan and France, but also for the international community. It is beneficial for the world’s peace and prosperity. At today’s meeting, we shared our concerns over the rising tensions in the Middle East. We decided to work closely to ease the tension and stabilize the situation in the region.”
It is important to note that one of the two oil tankers targeted in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month was a Japanese-owned vessel. While the United States attributed full responsibility for the attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Ayatollah regime continues to dismiss any involvement.
Meanwhile in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow will try to persuade Washington and Tehran to resolve their differences by means of a “civilized” dialogue, despite the latter’s continued refusal to consider any form of negotiations with the United States in particular, and the West in general. Lavrov said: “There are no no-return point – although some would want to create such points. But we will persuade our Iranian and U.S. colleagues to step away from this dangerous line, to start solving the contradictions through a civilized dialogue and of course it means stepping away from policy of ultimatums, sanctions and blackmail.”
Despite the calls made by Moscow’s top diplomat, the Ayatollah regime continues to insist that it is the victim of the entire ordeal. At a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York, Tehran’s ambassador to the world body emphasized that “True trust is the main prerequisite and the minimum requirement of entering into a meaningful dialogue. This can only be represented in deeds, not deceptive and sugar-coated words. As long as illegal sanctions are in place, one cannot be expected to trust the offer for an honest and genuine dialogue.”
The Iranian diplomat also took the opportunity to announce that his country will no longer accept the burden of preserving the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement; saying: “In practical terms, the JCPOA has become an agreement which is being respected only by one party. A multilateral agreement cannot be implemented unilaterally. Iran has done a lot, and much more than its fair share, to preserve the nuclear deal. Iran alone cannot, shall not and will not take all of the burdens anymore to preserve the JCPOA.”
While the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is the technical term for the nuclear agreement, is evidently on the verge of collapse; Ambassador Ravanchi insisted that it was time for the agreement’s European parties to make their final decision.”Now the remaining JCPOA participants, particularly the E-3, must either prove their goodwill by taking timely, adequate, serious and practical steps to preserve the JCPOA, which is now in critical condition, or, along with the U.S., accept the full responsibility for any possible consequences,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump insisted that time remained for Iran to make the right choice of returning to the negotiating table. The American leader, who underlined Washington’s hope for dialogue, emphasized that the decisions, which the Ayatollah regime will make, will implicate its true nature toward their own peoples. The U.S. President declared: “Iran can do whatever they want. It’s just fine. I have plenty of time, but they have a country that’s in economic distress. It’s an economic disaster right now. They could solve it quickly or they can solve it in 10 years from now, whatever they want is fine with me. Whatever they want. I have all the time in the world. I’m sitting — I have all the time in the world. In the meantime they have very strong sanctions. They have to live with those sanctions. But Iran should do the right thing for their people. The problem is, I don’t believe their leader. I’m not sure that their leaders care for their people. If they do they’ll make a deal. If they don’t they’re just thinking about themselves and they’re selfish and they’re stupid. If that’s what they’re doing.”