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May 17, 2019 10:32 am

US Urging Talks While ‘Holding Gun’ at Tehran, Iranian Military Official Says

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits the Strait of Gibraltar, entering the Mediterranean Sea as it continues operations in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility in this April 13, 2019 photo supplied by the US Navy. Photo: US Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clint Davis / Handout via Reuters.

A senior Iranian military official has accused US President Donald Trump of dishonesty, saying Washington is calling for talks while “holding a gun” at Tehran, the semi-official news agency Mehr reported on Friday.

Trump has said publicly he wants to pursue a diplomatic route with Iran after withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, moving to cut off all Iranian oil exports this month while beefing up the US Navy and Air Force presence in the Gulf.

Iran has dismissed the US military build up as “psychological warfare” designed to intimidate it, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said this week that Tehran would not negotiate with the United States on another nuclear deal and such talks would be “poison.”

“The actions of American leaders in exerting pressure and launching sanctions … while speaking of talks, is like holding a gun at someone and asking for friendship and negotiations,” Mehr quoted Rasoul Sanai-Rad, a political deputy of the armed forces command, as saying.

“The behavior of American leaders is a political game which consists of threats and pressure while showing a willingness to negotiate in order to present a peaceful image of themselves and fool public opinion,” Sanai-Rad said.

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