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Iran could consider talks with US only if sanctions lifted, Khamenei permits: minister

Iran may be willing to negotiate with the United States, but only if the US ends its sanctions on Iran and Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approves of the talks, Iran’s intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi said on Wednesday. The remarks contrast the Iranian regime’s recent insistence that by imposing new sanction, the US was “closing (the) channel of diplomacy forever.”

However, Alavi also argued that US President Trump’s recent decision to cancel strikes on Iran was because the US was “scared of Iran’s military power.” While Trump cancelled strikes on Iranian targets two weeks ago, the US did launch cyberattacks on Iranian military systems in retaliation for the downing of a US drone and for recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

US-Iran relations have been deteriorating ever since the United States pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year. The situation further escalated in recent weeks, fueling global worries about a military conflict between the two countries. Earlier this week, Iran violated the Iran deal by exceeding the amount of low-enriched uranium it is allowed to store. In addition, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that unless European signatories to the agreement take urgent steps to significantly reduce the impact of US sanction on Iran by the end of this week, the country will begin to enrich uranium at higher levels than allowed under the agreement.

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OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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