International

Bolton says Iran silence on US talks offer ‘deafening’

Bolton says Iran silence  on US talks offer ‘deafening’
John Bolton (File)
Jerusalem, Jun 25 (AFP) | Publish Date: 6/25/2019 12:22:33 PM IST

US National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday described as “deafening” Iran’s apparent silence on an offer to negotiate with Washington. “The president has held the door open to real negotiations,” Bolton told journalists in Jerusalem.

“In response, Iran’s silence has been deafening,” he added.

Bolton is in Jerusalem for what Israel described as unprecedented talks with his Russian and Israeli counterparts, along with meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Speaking alongside the US advisor, Netanyahu said there was “a wider basis for cooperation between the three of us than many believe.”

 Bolton’s comments come a day after the United States imposed sanctions on top officials of Israel’s archfoe Iran.

The measures against supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and others have led to a “permanent closure of the path to diplomacy” according to Iran’s foreign ministry.

Tensions are running high after Iran shot down a US spy drone last week and Trump considered, then cancelled, a retaliatory strike. Bolton said Tehran has carried out “attacks upon American personnel and assets in the Middle East” and accused the Islamic republic of seeking nuclear weapons.

Tehran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons and says its programme is for civilian use only.

But more than a year after Washington pulled out of a landmark deal between Tehran and world powers, which sought to limit Iran’s nuclear activities, Bolton said the US remains open to negotiations. 

“All that Iran needs to do is to walk though that open door,” he said.

Iran’s president said Washington’s decision to impose sanctions on its top diplomat and other senior officials proved the US was “lying” about talks.

“At the same time as you call for negotiations you seek to sanction the foreign minister? It’s obvious that you’re lying,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a meeting with ministers broadcast live on TV. 

Iran’s Rouhani says US ‘lying’ about talks offer

Tehran, Jun 25 (AFP) Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that new US sanctions against senior Iranian officials including top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif showed Washington is “lying” about an offer to negotiate. “At the same time as you call for negotiations you seek to sanction the foreign minister? It’s obvious that you’re lying,” Rouhani said in a meeting with ministers broadcast live on TV. His comments came after US National Security Advisor John Bolton said Washington had “held the door open to real negotiations” but that “in response, Iran’s silence has been deafening”.

Rouhani also questioned the logic of blacklisting supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and said it showed that Washington is “confused.” “The leader’s assets are a Hosseiniye (Shiite place of worship) and a simple house. Our leaders are not like other countries’ leaders who have billions in an account abroad so you can sanction it, seize it or block it,” Rouhani said. “To sanction him for what? Not to travel to America? That’s cute.” Trump imposed new sanctions Monday against Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top military chiefs, further raising the stakes in an escalating regional standoff.

The US Treasury said it would also blacklist Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif and eight top commanders from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Iran and the US broke off diplomatic relations in 1980 over the hostage crisis at the US embassy in Tehran following Iran’s Islamic revolution.

The latest tensions come a year after Trump unilaterally withdrew from a multilateral pact with Iran over its nuclear programme.

Rouhani noted that there had been chances for talks with the US.

Zarif met several times former US secretary of state Rex Tillerson before Washington unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Zarif, a political moderate, was a key architect of the deal under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

But both he and Rouhani have accused Washington of waging an “economic war” on Iran since pulling out of the accord.

Tehran has threatened to scale down some of its commitments under the deal unless the remaining international parties -- the Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany -- help it circumvent US sanctions, particularly through vital oil exports.

“This White House is mentally disabled and doesn’t know what to do,” Rouhani said.  


-Tags:#Bolton

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

Desk:+91-3862-248 489, e-mail: npdesk@gmail.com Fax: +91-3862-248 500
Advt.:+91-3862-2482 267, e-mail:npostadvt@gmail.com

QUICK LINKS

SUNDAY POST

Join us on

© Nagaland Post 2018. All Rights are Reserved
Designed by : 4C Plus