Donald Trump said on Sunday that the United States will “make a deal” with Tehran, but Iranian officials appear unwilling to sit down at the negotiating table, given that the US is amassing its forces in the vicinity of the embattled Islamic Republic.
A senior official in Iran’s elite military force ruled out peace talks with the United States, referring to Washington as the “Great Satan”.
“Negotiating with the devil, the Quran says, bears no fruit,” said Admiral Ali Fadavi, a deputy coordinator of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to Fars News.
The Pentagon has deployed an aircraft carrier and a fleet of B-52 bombers to the Middle East, as well as Patriot missiles, and F-15 fighters, amid a recent spike in tensions.
Undeterred by this show of power, Ali Fadavi described the US military presence in the region is at its “weakest in history”.
After a major oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia was struck by armed drones, war with Iran now seems possible.
Washington said the rationale behind its Mideast military build-up is intelligence data indicating that Iran and its proxies were plotting an attack on its regional interests.
“We have information that you don’t want to know about,” said US President Donald Trump. “They were very threatening and we have to have great security for this country and many other places.”
Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s Ambassador to the UN, in response shrugged the claims off as “fake intelligence”.
On Friday, US acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the military was sending an additional 1,500 troops along with fighter jets, drones, and anti-aircraft missile systems to the Middle East.
US-Iran ties have been falling apart ever since Donald Trump took office. Tensions began to escalate last year after he withdrew the US from the hard-fought 2015 nuclear deal, citing its failure to stop Iran’s nuclear activities.
The Trump administration went on to slap crippling economic sanctions on the oil-rich country, targeting its banking and shipping sectors and aiming to choke off its crucial oil exports.
Iran and the remaining signatories of the deal (Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) have repeatedly critiqued the sanctions and reaffirmed their commitment to the deal.
Earlier in May, Tehran partially discontinued its commitments under the agreement and gave world powers a 60-day ultimatum to reach a new nuclear deal before it resumes higher-level uranium enrichment.
Cardinal Raymond Burke recently commented about those Muslim immigrants that are “opportunists” looking to replace western culture with their own.