Iran: Ebrahim Raisi criticises US sanctions in UN address
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According to Iranian media, the US Navy attempted to capture a tanker carrying the Islamic Republic’s oil in the Sea of Oman. The elite Guards said in a statement published by Press TV, Iranian state media: “With the timely and authoritative action of the Guards naval forces, the US terrorist Navy’s operation to steal Iranian oil in the Sea of Oman failed.
“The tanker carrying Iran’s oil docked at the port of Bandar Abbas on October 25.”
The statement continued: “Members of the Guards naval forces carried out a heliborne operation on the detained tanker’s deck, gained control of the vessel, and directed it back toward Iran’s territorial waters.”
However, US officials have lashed out at the report, claiming it is not true and Washington had not attempted to capture the tanker.
According to Sky News Arabia, a Pentagon official said: “The Revolutionary Guards’ allegations regarding the Iranian oil tanker are ‘false’ and are just ‘propaganda’ that do not deserve a response.”
Officials went on to say how Iranian forces had seized a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker last month and the US Navy was monitoring the situation.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington reached boiling point last year.
Under the Trump administration, the US imposed crippling sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018.
Washington sought an extension of a United Nations (UN) arms embargo against Tehran.
The nuclear deal had restricted Iran’s nuclear weapons capability in return for sanctions relief.
Analysts feared Washington and Tehran were on the brink of war in January 2020 after US forces killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a missile strike in Iraq.
General Soleimani’s convoy was struck by three US missiles.
Days after the attack, Tehran retaliated and launched a series of ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops.
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US President Joe Biden met Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G20 summit on Saturday to discuss the way forward in talks with Iran over its nuclear programme.
The four leaders urged Iran to “seize the opportunity” of a possible return to the deal in order to prevent a “dangerous escalation”.
In a statement, they said: “This will only be possible if Iran changes direction.
“We urge President Raisi to seize this opportunity and act in good faith so that negotiations can urgently find an outcome.
“It’s the only safe way to prevent a dangerous escalation, that would be in no country’s interest.”
On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said that negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement will fail unless the US can guarantee that it will not abandon the pact again.
Ali Shamkhani tweeted: “The US President, lacking authority, is not ready to give guarantees.
“If the current status quo continues, the result of negotiations is clear.”
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