Iran’s “We do not seek war” fails to appease US

World Today

Iran said it will not wage war against any country.

Its president spoke amid growing fears of a military confrontation with the United States.

But with more U.S. troops ordered to the Middle East, those words didn’t appear to appease the Trump administration.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough has the latest.

They were words the international community needed from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“We do not seek war with any nation,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on Iranian TV.

A potential conflict with the United States is suddenly looming since Washington blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz—one of the world’s most important shipping lanes for crude.

Iran has denied involvement, but also warned it’s close to breaching uranium enrichment limits set under an international agreement not to develop nuclear weapons.

But the U.S., having abandoned the agreement partly because it thinks Iran is destabilizing the Middle East, was unmoved by Rouhani’s remarks.

Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State, told reporters, “This is not just a few years, this is 40 years of Iran’s activity that has led us to this point.”

The European Union believes Iran is honoring the deal but is struggling to preserve it without the U.S. on board.

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, told a news conference, “It is a serious situation, we know that, but we are going to do everything we can to influence all sides. But we also want to make it clear to Iran that this situation must not get worse.”

Russia warned the U.S. against deploying more troops to an already volatile Middle East, while China urged Iran to honor its commitments to the nuclear deal.

Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor, said, “We understand that relevant parties may have different concerns, but first of all the comprehensive nuclear deal should be properly implemented. It is only under this pre-condition that other matters may attain appropriate resolution.”

But the nuclear deal is now at risk of unraveling, and quickly.

With Iran once again subject to punitive U.S. economic sanctions, Tehran is demanding by July 7 better terms abiding by the nuclear deal or threatening to enrich uranium beyond the agreed-upon limits.