Iran ‘favours’ talks despite Trump snub

Tehran, August 6 

President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Iran favours talks with the US if it lifts sanctions against the Islamic republic, despite his top diplomat turning down a meeting with US President Donald Trump.

Rouhani said “peace with Iran is the mother of all peace” and “war with Iran is the mother of all wars” as he defended a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. “Iran favours talks and negotiations and, if the US really wants to talk, before anything else it should lift all sanctions,” Rouhani said in remarks aired live on state television.

Tensions between Iran and the US have been rising since Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the nuclear deal in May 2018 and began imposing sanctions on it as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.

Rouhani, speaking after meeting with his top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said Iran was ready for talks regardless of whether or not the US was party to the deal. “Whether they want to come into the JCPOA or not, it’s up to them,” said Rouhani, referring to the accord known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“All sanctions should be lifted so that there will be no criminals facing us,” he said, accusing the US of committing acts of “economic terrorism” for blocking food and medicine imports.

In response, the US ambassador on disarmament Robert Wood said: “Iran simply needs to make up its mind to decide what it wants to do”.

“My President has said he is willing to sit down and have a discussion with Iran. We are not sure Iran wants to have that discussion,” he said in answer to a question from AFP on the sidelines of a conference in Geneva. — AFP


Iran unveils three precision-guided missiles   

  • Iran unveiled three precision-guided missiles on Tuesday, with the defence minister saying they show the country is ready to defend itself in the face of US “viciousness and conspiracies”
  • The new line-up of air-to-air missiles dubbed the “Yasin”, “Balaban” and a new series of the “Ghaem” were developed jointly by the ministry and Sa Iran
  • The Yasin was a smart, guided missile with folding wings that can be fired from a range of 50 km of its target from manned or unmanned aircraft, Fars reported
  • The Balaban was guided by GPS and sensors, equipped with folding wings and could be mounted under aircraft, while the Ghaem was a heat-seeking missile that could hit within 50 cm of a target