Published On: Thu, Aug 29th, 2019

World War 3: Iran-US relations continue as Middle East crisis goes on | World | News

The two countries have seen relations deteriorated rapidly over the last few months. Although Iran has faced intense pressure from the US, Tehran secured a huge development in relations in the region following the release of the tanker formerly named Grace 1.

The Royal Marines seized the tanker after it violated EU sanctions on shipments to Syria.

In a major climbdown, however, the tanker was released from Gibraltar while the UK-flagged ship, the Stena Impero remained under Iranian control.

In what is another major boost for Tehran, Defence Secretary Mark Esper has insisted that the US is not seeking a conflict with the Islamic Republic.

Ms Esper said: “We are not seeking a conflict with Iran, we want to engage with Iran.”

Speaking at the Department of Defence’s first press briefing since May, Mr Esper championed the coalition-led Operation Sentinel while also insisting that the US was looking for peace.

The operation, as Mr Esper said was “to resolve this diplomatically” while insisting the “purpose of Operation Sentinel is to avoid a situation that would get off of that track and onto a different one”.

He added: “To the degree that it’s been successful, that’s good.

“I’m not sure I’m ready to call the crisis over yet, but so far so good, we hope the trend lines continue that way, we hope the parties, the Iranians agree to meet and talks and resolve these issues.

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Despite, Trump’s admission, Rouhani fired back on Tuesday as he warned that there is no chance of any negotiations until the US lifts its sanctions.

Speaking on Tuesday, the Iranian president said: “We will not witness any positive development unless the United States abandons its sanctions and corrects the wrong path it has chosen.”

Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javid Zarif also called any potential peace talks as “unimaginable”.

In similar fashion to Trump, French President, Emmanuel Macron indicated that he would be open to acting as a mediator between the two states.

In response to that, Mr Zarif said: “What American and French officials say concerns themselves.

“But I told them in Biarritz that no meeting will be held.”

Coupled with his remarks, Iran has also confirmed that two warships were sent to the Gulf of Arden in order to protect its shipping interests.

Admiral Habibollah Sayyari revealed that a destroyer had been deployed to “provide security for Islamic Republic vessels in international waters”.

After initially being under pressure from the US and its allies in the region, Tehran has begun to gain foothold following the release of its tanker, now renamed as Adrian Darya.

The breakdown in relations between the two countries started when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal last year.

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