All tagged diplomacy

Trump Says ‘Always a Chance’ of War With Iran But Prefers Talks

◢ President Donald Trump said there’s “always a chance” of the U.S. taking military action in Iran, though he’d prefer to engage verbally with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “There’s always a chance. Do I want to? No, I’d rather not, but there’s always a chance,” Trump said when asked about the prospect of conflict in an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “I’d much rather talk.”

Japan PM to Meet Iran's Khamenei to Mediate With US

◢ Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later this month with Tokyo hoping to mediate between Washington and Tehran, a report said Sunday. As tensions intensify between Iran and Japan's key ally the United States, Abe has reportedly proposed serving as a go-between and is said to be weighing up a state visit to Iran.

Iran Starts Regional Shuttle Diplomacy Amid U.S. Tensions

◢ Iran’s top diplomats are touring neighboring countries, including three Arab Gulf monarchies, to try to shore up support after the U.S. announced plans to increase troop deployments in the region and sell weapons to some of the Islamic Republic’s top rivals. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, late Saturday for meetings about the frictions, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported.

Iran, France to Swap Ambassadors After Strained Ties

◢ Iran and France are set to exchange ambassadors, officials said on Wednesday, after months of tensions including over an alleged Iranian plot to bomb an opposition rally near Paris.  Bahram Ghasemi, a former envoy to Spain and Italy and current spokesman of the foreign ministry, has been appointed as Iran's new ambassador to France, an official source in Tehran told AFP.

Dutch Recall Envoy From Iran in Murder Plot Row: Minister

◢ The Netherlands has recalled its ambassador from Tehran in a dispute over an alleged Iranian plot to 
assassinate regime opponents on Dutch soil, the Dutch foreign minister said Monday. Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the envoy was called back "for consultations" after Iran expelled two Dutch diplomats in February in a row over the murders of two Iranian dissidents in 2015 and 2017.

Iran Foreign Minister Zarif Announces Resignation on Instagram

◢ Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was the lead negotiator in the 2015 nuclear deal, announced his resignation on Instagram on Monday, which can only take effect once President Hassan Rouhani accepts it. "I apologize for my inability to continue serving and for all the shortcomings during my term in office," Zarif said in a message posted on his verified Instagram account.

German President Under Fire Over Iran Telegram

◢ German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier came under fire for a congratulatory telegram sent to Iran for the Islamic revolution's 40th anniversary, with a Jewish leader on Monday joining a chorus of criticism. At the government's weekly briefing, foreign ministry spokesman Rainer Breul said there had been a "misunderstanding.”

Rouhani Says Iran Ready to Accept Friendly US Ties if it 'Repents'

◢ Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday his country would be ready to establish "friendly relations" with the United States if it apologized for past wrongs. "Our slogan is friendly relations with the whole world," he said. That would even include "America, if it repents... and apologizes for its previous interferences in Iran, and is prepared to accept the greatness and dignity of the nation of Iran and the great Islamic Revolution.”

Albania Expels Iranian Diplomats for 'Harming Security'

◢ Albania has expelled two Iranian diplomats, including the ambassador according to a US official, who are suspected of "involvement in activities that harm the country's security," the Balkan state said Wednesday. "The decision to declare them 'persona non grata' was taken after consultations with countries allied to Albania," Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Edlira Prendi told reporters. 

Iran Official Calls For 'Lobbying Anti-Trump Movements'

◢ One of Iran's top foreign policy officials has called for negotiations with "anti-Trump movements" in the US to dampen the impact of sanctions, local media reported Saturday. "America is not Trump," said Heshmatollah Falahat-Pisheh, a conservative lawmaker who heads parliament's influential national security and foreign policy commission, according to reformist newspaper Arman.

Iranian Diplomat Held in Belgium Over 'Bomb Plot'

◢ An Iranian diplomat was taken into custody in Belgium on Wednesday on suspicion of involvement in an alleged plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally in France. An investigating magistrate earlier questioned the Iranian, normally based in Vienna, in the northern Belgian city of Antwerp, the Federal Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

Iran Wants France Talks to Clear 'Misunderstanding' Over Alleged Bomb Plot

◢ Tehran called on Tuesday for talks with Paris to clear "misunderstanding" over an alleged bomb plot targeting an exiled opposition group near the French capital. "If there is a misunderstanding... about a thing that does not exist, be it a conspiracy by others or a mistake, we can sit down and talk about it," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told AFP in an interview.

Trump: 'No Plans' to Meet Iran's Rouhani 'Despite Requests'

◢ President Donald Trump said Tuesday he had no plans to meet with Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations "despite requests" to do so. "Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man!" Trump tweeted just hours before both leaders were set to speak at the UN General Assembly, and four months after the US president ditched the Iran nuclear deal.

Macron to Meet Trump, Iran's Rouhani at UN in New York: French Presidency

◢ President Emmanuel Macron will separately meet his US and Iranian counterparts, Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani, during the UN General Assembly in New York next week, the French presidency said Wednesday. Macron will meet Trump on Monday afternoon before having dinner with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. On Tuesday, the French President will address the assembly and hold talks with Rouhani, an Elysee Palace official said.

Trump Lashes Ex-Secretary of State Kerry for Iran Meetings

◢ President Donald Trump lashed out at former secretary of state John Kerry for his meetings with Iran's foreign minister after the Obama-appointee had left office. "John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people," Trump said on Twitter late Thursday.

Iran's Khamenei: 'No War, No Negotiations With the US'

◢ Iran's supreme leader said Monday there would be neither war nor negotiations with the United States, and that the country's problems were the result of government mismanagement more than renewed sanctions. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments add to the pressure on President Hassan Rouhani following a collapse in the currency and widespread protests over high prices and corruption.

Iran Gives Most Explicit Rejection Yet of US Talks

◢ Iran gave its most explicit rejection yet of talks with the United States on Saturday, and accused Washington of an "addiction to sanctions" over its latest spat with Turkey. The US reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran on Tuesday following its May withdrawal from a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, dealing a heavy blow to the already troubled economy. US President Donald Trump has offered talks on a "more comprehensive deal" but Iran has baulked at negotiating under the pressure of sanctions and has instead leant on its increasingly close ties with fellow US sanctions targets Turkey and Russia.

Iran Says Talks With Trump Would be 'Humiliation'

◢ Skepticism was rife in Iran on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump offered talks, with one lawmaker saying negotiations would be a "humiliation." The country's top leaders did not give an immediate response to Trump's statement a day earlier that he would meet them "any time" without preconditions. But several public figures said it was impossible to imagine negotiations with Washington after it tore up the 2015 nuclear deal in May. 

Iran Advisor Says US Talks Must Include Return to Nuclear Deal

◢ An advisor to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that any talks with the United States had to start with reducing hostility and a return to the nuclear deal. "Respect for the great nation of Iran, reduction in hostilities, US returning to the nuclear deal... That will open the rocky path of the moment," wrote Hamid Aboutalebi on Twitter.

Trump Says Willing to Meet With Iranian Leaders 'Any Time'

◢ US President Donald Trump said Monday he was willing to meet with Iran's leaders with "no preconditions" and "any time they want"—one week after tensions soared between Washington and Tehran. "I would meet with Iran if they wanted to meet. I don't know if they are ready yet," Trump told a White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at his side.