US ready for serious negotiations with Iran
January 9, 2020
WASHINGTON (92 News) – The US has said that it is ready for unconditional and serious negotiations with Iran following the countries’ exchange of hostilities. In a letter to the United Nations (UN), the US justified the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani as an act of self-defence. Iran retaliated by firing missiles at airbases housing US forces in Iraq, causing no casualties. It also told the UN it was an act of self-defence. It is pertinent to mention here that Gen Soleimani was widely regarded as Iran’s second most powerful man. As head of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, he was an architect of Iranian policy in the Middle East. In a letter to the UN Security Council (UNSC), US ambassador to UN Kelly Craft said the US was ready to negotiate with the goal of preventing further endangerment of international peace and security or escalation by the Iranian regime. The killing of Soleimani was justified, the letter argued, under Article 51 of the UN Charter, which requires states to immediately report to the Security Council any measures taken in exercising the right of self-defence. The US would take additional action as necessary in the Middle East to protect its personnel and interests, the letter added. But Iran’s UN ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said the US offer of talks was unbelievable while the US continued to enforce harsh economic sanctions against Iran.“No US army troops were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases,” he explained. “Our great US forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world,” Trump said. “The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it,” the US president said. He also urged world powers to quit a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran that Washington withdrew from in 2018 and work for a new deal, an issue that has been at the heart of rising tension between Washington and Tehran. Iran has rejected new talks. During his address, the US president was flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and military officers. On Wednesday morning, Iran had launched a missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq in retaliation for the US drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East. After the Irani strike, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Tehran’s missile attacks on US targets in Iraq were “a slap on the face” for the United States and it should now pull its forces out of the region.
A day earlier, while addressing to the nation, President Donald Trump said that no US troops hurt in Iranian missile strikes on bases in Iraq. The US president maintained that the Iranian missiles had not harmed any US troops stationed there and damage was minimal, an outcome he said showed Tehran wanted to de-escalate a standoff. It is noteworthy that in the early today morning, Iranian forces fired missiles at military bases housing US troops in Iraq saying it was in retaliation for the killing in a US drone strike of powerful Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani on January 3.