Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2019

Iran-US news: Middle East tensions at breaking point as Tehran hits back at Washington | World | News

The situation between the US and Iran has failed to improve recently following a brief period where conflict looked close to breaking out. Recently, the Financial Times published a report which stated that Donald Trump’s administration had offered money to sailors in exchange for their information on Iran.

Quickly following the release of the report, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif ridiculed the US for the move.

In a devastating statement, Mr Zarif labelled the move as an attempt to blackmail the sailors after already failing at “piracy”.

The statement read: “Having failed at piracy, the US resorts to outright blackmail—deliver us Iran’s oil and receive several million dollars or be sanctioned yourself.

“Sounds very similar to the Oval Office invitation I received a few weeks back.”

Iran-US news: Tehran ridicules US

Iran-US news: Tehran ridicules US (Image: GETTY)

US-Iran news: It is the latest in a series of warnings

US-Iran news: It is the latest in a series of warnings (Image: GETTY)

Mr Zarif’s response was in reference to an email from US envoy to Iran, Brian Hook.

Within the email, Mr Hook allegedly stated that there was “good news” for the captain of the now released Iranian oil tanker, Adrian Darya 1.

Now known as Grace 1, the tanker was offered a large cash sum in exchange for the captain taking the ship to a port where it could be seized.

Mr Hook’s email allegedly said: “With this money you can have any life you wish and be well-off in old age.

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US-Iran: The US has issued a number of sanctions

US-Iran: The US has issued a number of sanctions (Image: GETTY)

“If you choose not to take this easy path, life will be much harder for you.”

In the wake of that apparent offer, the US rolled out sanctions on the tanker.

Washington has also instituted a raft of sanctions on Iran since its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

The nuclear deal was signed by the US, Iran, China, the EU, France, Germany, Russia and the UK.


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US-Iran: Mr Zarif hit back against theUS

US-Iran: Mr Zarif hit back against theUS (Image: GETTY)

US-Iran: US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal

US-Iran: US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal (Image: GETTY)

Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit its proliferation of uranium but with Washington’s withdrawal, Tehran has begun to increase its production of low enriched uranium.

Moreover, Tehran has also warned the world powers that they would face “extraordinary’ consequences if they did not resent the terms of the original 2015 deal.

With Islamic Republic suffering from the US sanctions, the economy has been slashed by 80 percent.

French President Emmanuel Macron, had tried to ease tensions by offering the idea of offering Iran, around $15billion (£12.25million) in credit lines.

Middle East tensions

Middle East tensions (Image: Express)

President Hassan Rouhani, however, has given Europe a two month deadline to find a solution or it will begin to once again its increased levels of uranium.

Rouhani told the country’s state television: “The third step is of an extremely important nature and will considerably accelerate the activities of the country’s nuclear energy organisation.

“This step is the most important one we will take, and its impact will be extraordinary. 

Iran-US news: Iran has also hit out at the UK

Iran-US news: Iran has also hit out at the UK (Image: GETTY)

“Europe has another two-month deadline for negotiations, an agreement and a return to its commitments.”

While France has offered a line of credit to offset the consequences of the US sanctions on Iran, both the Islamic Republic and the UK remain in deadlock over the seizure of the Stena Impero.

The British-flagged supertanker was capture last month and has remained under Iranian control ever since.

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