U.S. ready to engage in serious taks with Iran

U.S. ready to engage in serious taks with Iran

The United States is ready to engage in serious negotiations with Iran, Deutsche Welle writes, citing the letter sent by U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft to the UN Security Council.

According to the letter, the U.S. is "ready to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran, with the goal of preventing further endangerment of international peace and security or escalation by the Iranian regime."

Craft also noted that Washington acted out of self-defense when it killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. She cited Article 51 of the UN Charter, which outlines "the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations."

The U.S. was acting "in response to an escalating series of armed attacks in recent months by Iran and Iran-supported militias on U.S. forces and interests in the Middle East," U.S. Ambassador to the UN said.

According to Deutsche Welle, Iran's UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi also sent a letter to the UN Security Council, invoking Iran's right to self-defense.

Tensions around Iran flared up after the US launched a strike on Baghdad’s airport on January 3 killing General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force. On January 8, Iran retaliated by launching missile strikes on two military facilities in Iraq used by the United States. According to the Pentagon’s spokesperson, Al-Asad Air Base and the airport of Erbil were targeted.

According to the senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, major conflicts in the Middle East are not profitable for American business, therefore, Washington is ready to start negotiations with Tehran. In addition, the expert noted that this decision was also influenced by the approaching presidential elections scheduled for early November 2020.

"Apparently, they took it too far towards (Iranian general Qassem - VK) Suleimani. At the moment, the United States understands that further escalation in this direction will create many political, economic and international difficulties," the expert noted.

Olenchenko drew attention to the fact that in this situation Washington will seek options to calm Iran down, as the United States has other important unresolved issues now. "In addition to the problems already mentioned, the agreement on mutual trade has not yet been reached with China. Therefore, the U.S. is not interested in disturbing the Middle East," the expert concluded.

Senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sazhin, in turn, recalled that U.S. President Donald Trump has always stated his readiness for negotiations with Iran, primarily on the nuclear program.

"The Iranian side has always stated that such negotiations are possible only after the lifting of American sanctions ... The Iranians attacked two American bases in Iraq, but, thank God, there were no casualties. Therefore, Trump in his statement yesterday did not talk about retaliatory attacks against Iran, only about tougher sanctions," he said.

It seems that after a missile attack and the killing of General Soleimani by Americans, Iran had to respond. But if American servicemen died in a retaliatory strike, then a very serious escalation would begin,” the expert continued.

According to him, the further resolution of the situation depends, first of all, on Tehran’s steps, since on January 6 Iran has begun the fifth step in reducing its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. This stage will last 60 days, followed by Iran's official withdrawal from the JCPOA. "Trump offers negotiations without any preconditions, but Iran has a precondition - the termination of U.S. sanctions," Sazhin concluded.