Russia to facilitate US-Iran rendez vous to ease growing tensions - 'Meeting this month'

Express

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02.08.2019 14:20

Relations between Iran and the United States have been spiralling over the past few months after Washington reinstated sanctions against Tehran. Skirmishes in the Strait of Hormuz against international vessels have prompted President Donald Trump to launch plans for a global coalition to fend off Iranian aggression but the two parties have so far refused to meet. Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof however told RT UK Russia may soon intervene and facilitate a behind-the-scenes meeting between Washington and Tehran later this month.

Mr Maloof said: "What I'm hearing on the grapevine is that the Russians are intending to hold a meeting late in August on Afghanistan."But there will be an Iranian rep, a US rep along with Chinese and Russian reps."We're going to see if the Ayatollah allows for the Iranian rep to talk with the US rep behind the scenes at that meeting – principally on this issue of Iran."Iran and the United States have long been at odds but tensions have increased since President Trump pulled his support from the Iran Nuclear Deal shortly following his election.JUST IN: EU in major snub to Trump: Brussels to work with ‘reckless’ Iranian ‘propaganda chief’

The agreement, aimed at controlling Iran's nuclear weapons programme, was branded "the worst deal" possible by the Trump Administration despite repeated attempts from other key players such as Britain and the European Union attempting to salvage it.Mr Trump last month confirmed retaliatory airstrikes on Iran had been called off shortly before the attacks, further aggravating an already tense situation.Earlier this week the US also imposed new sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif for implementing the "reckless agenda" of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement: "Javad Zarif implements the reckless agenda of Iran's Supreme Leader, and is the regime's primary spokesperson around the world.READ MORE: Iran news: Which countries could back US and South Korea naval force in Strait of Hormuz?

"The United States is sending a clear message to the Iranian regime that its recent behaviour is completely unacceptable."At the same time the Iranian regime denies Iranian citizens' access to social media, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spreads the regime's propaganda and disinformation around the world through these mediums."The announcement came shortly after Israel confirmed they had conducted a joint mid-range missile launch with the US military in Alaska in an attempt to test defence capabilities.Speaking following the launch at the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, Missile Defence Agency director Vice-Admiral Jon Hill said: "These successful tests mark a major milestone in the development of the Arrow Weapon System.DON'T MISS:Iran news: Will Boris Johnson take harder stance on Iran? Strait of Hormuz stance REVEALEDTrump fury at Merkel: Germany warned of ‘global responsibilities’ as Iran plea REJECTEDIran rage as US announces tough sanctions against Foreign Minister - 'Peak of stupidity!'

"This unique success in Alaska provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing threats in the region."We are committed to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability to defend the State of Israel from emerging threats.”Moshe Patel, the director of the Israel Missile Defense Organisation, insisted the success of the tests in Alaska demonstrated the Arrow 3 defence system could help both Israel and the US face "any threat."Mr Patel said: "Ten challenging years of development have culminated in this moment - the Arrow 3 weapon system completed a test campaign, during which an Arrow 3 interceptor completed full interception of the target."In addition, the fact that the tests were conducted in Alaska, tens of thousands of kilometers away from Israel, is another significant achievement that demonstrates the operational capabilities of the Arrow 3 system to successfully face any threat."

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