Iran closes the door on Donald Trump's offer of dialogue

Trump, Us President, Usa, Policy

Iran clearly closed the door on Thursday to US President Donald Trump's offer of dialogue to end the escalation of tensions for which both countries blame each other.

In the last two days, the Republican billionaire's administration, in a hurry to substantiate the truth of the Iranian threat brandished for more than ten days to justify military deployments in the Middle East and the recall of American diplomats stationed in Iraq, has allowed new and more precise elements to filter through.

In particular, an American official told the AFP on Thursday that missiles loaded on traditional boats in the Gulf by the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, were "a source of concern" for "the military and intelligence services".

The day before, other officials had reported an "imminent threat" in "direct link with Iran", implicating pro-Iranian armed groups in Iraq, which in turn accused Washington of launching a "psychological warfare" to "cause turmoil".

Cheapest Airline Tickets Online

United Kingdom diplomacy chief Jeremy Hunt came to support the American position after a British general in the international anti-Jihadist coalition, who had denied any "increase in the threat posed by pro-Iranian forces". "We share the same assessment of the heightened threat posed by Iran" as the United States, the British minister tweeted on Thursday.

In this explosive context, which multiplies the risks of military confrontation between the two enemies, the American president often blows hot and cold. Thus, despite the martial tone, he made several foot calls to the Iranian leaders.

"I am sure Iran will soon want to discuss," he said on Wednesday. "I would like them to call me," he had already tried last week.

The Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, refused to receive him.

"I don't know why President Trump is confident, because that's totally false," he replied Thursday from Tokyo, ruling out "any possibility" of negotiations with the United States. 

On the contrary, he accused Washington of provoking an "unacceptable" escalation.

And to the "maximum pressure" implemented by the United States through economic sanctions since its withdrawal from the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement a year ago, the diplomat praised the "maximum restraint" in Tehran's reaction.

Despite the suspension of certain restrictions on its nuclear programme, and the ultimatum given to the Europeans, signatories to the agreement, to help Iran bypass US sanctions, the Iranian minister thus assured that his country was maintaining its "commitment" to the international community within the framework of this text supposed to prevent it from manufacturing the atomic bomb. Mohammad Javad Zarif is due to visit China on Friday, another signatory that has remained faithful to the agreement.

So far, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has assured that there will be "no war with the United States", while Washington has hammered not to want conflict with Iran.

But the Trump administration is suspected of fuelling the escalation by exaggerating the level of the threat. Faced with pressure from democratic parliamentarians, some of whom accuse it of wanting to provoke a conflict, it has thus resolved to share information from its intelligence services with a handful of elected officials, behind closed doors.

"I appreciate what I hear from the president, the fact that he doesn't want this," said Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, noting that some of Donald Trump's "supporters" were, however, "going to war.

Cheapest Airline Tickets Online

The American media indeed echo divisions within the American government, and a Donald Trump increasingly annoyed by falcons, starting with his own national security adviser John Bolton. According to the New York Times, he warned his defense minister Patrick Shanahan that he did not want a war with Iran.
For many observers, John Bolton is now even in the spotlight.

"A war with Iran is possible, which is worrying, but I think it is more likely that Trump will dismiss Bolton," said Tom Wright of the Brookings Institution think tank.