US Navy; ‘Iran can’t do a damn thing’

China urges Iran to resume talks

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Posted on: 
23 Jan 2012
US Navy; ‘Iran can’t do a damn thing’

The US Navy sent the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf on Sunday, a day after Iranian officials tried to save face by telling reporters that the presence of the US military in the region was a long established fact and not a threat to all the people living in the region that the Islamic Republic would vigorously resist, as they have repeatedly said in recent months. Warships from Britain and France, as well as the carrier’s usual escorts, accompanied the Lincoln, with no resistance whatsoever from Iranian forces. "US warships and military forces have been in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East region for many years and their decision in relation to the dispatch of a new warship is not a new issue and it should be interpreted as part of their permanent presence," Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander Hossein Salami meekly admitted to the official IRNA news agency on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the White House and several other western governments issued statements reiterating their willingness to engage in negotiations with Iran over its renegade nuclear program, even as French President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters on Friday that Iran is pursuing a "senseless race for a nuclear bomb." Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast retorted that Sarkozy was "looking for a pretext to put pressure on the Iranian nation" and added that any sensible observer could see that his country’s nuclear program is "transparent" and in "cooperation" with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Elsewhere, even China has joined the international chorus urging Iran to resume talks on the nuclear issue to avoid military escalation.

"Let me share two of my convictions with you," Sarkozy told a group of visiting diplomats in Paris. "The first is that a military intervention would not solve the problem but it would unleash war and chaos in the Middle East and maybe, alas, even more than that. All must be done to avoid a military intervention."

Also on Friday, speaking during an appearance at the Brookings Institution in Washington, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle declared that "the European Union will put into place a new and very substantial round of sanctions this coming Monday [January 23]," adding that this would "forcefully make the point that Iran's behavior on the nuclear issue is unacceptable and a danger to world peace."

"We all are seeking clarity about the meaning behind Iran's public statements that they are willing to engage, but we have to see a seriousness and sincerity of purpose coming from them," agreed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Also on Friday, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton issued a statement in Brussels saying that a diplomatic solution remains open to Iran.


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