US will ‘curb malign Iranian behavior’ if it doesn't stop

Kelly Craft, the US ambassador at the United Nations, said the Trump administration also “rejects Iran’s use of nuclear brinkmanship to normalize its destabilizing behavior.” (AFP)

The United States renewed its offer to engage in talks with Iran on Thursday but warned it will do everything in its power “to curb malign Iranian behavior” if Tehran continues to destabilize the Middle East.

The US ambassador at the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said the Trump administration also “rejects Iran’s use of nuclear brinkmanship to normalize its destabilizing behavior.”

She commented at a UN Security Council meeting on implementation of a resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and key world powers.

Iranian Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi called the US offer of unconditional talks “disingenuous.” The US wants to enter dialogue from a position of strength from maintaining sanctions and maximum pressure, “and not based on equal footing,” he said.

“Iran does not negotiate under the threat of a sword,” Ravanchi said.

He said US implementation of the council’s 2015 resolution endorsing the international Iran nuclear deal “will pave the way for a genuine dialogue to start.”

Ravanchi said that in negotiations on the nuclear deal, Iran rejected attempts to include its legitimate defense capabilities and its role in the region. He said that “under no circumstances will Iran compromise on its security.”

The UN political chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the Security Council that tensions in the region “have worryingly escalated” during 2019.

“We witnessed attacks against oil tankers, strikes against a civilian airport, and a highly sophisticated and synchronized attack against oil facilities in Saudi Arabia,” she said. “Combined with acrimonious rhetoric, these developments have dangerously brought the region closer to a serious confrontation.”

DiCarlo warned that “such an eventuality would be devastating and must be prevented at all costs.”

The meeting followed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ recent report saying the United Nations has not been able to independently corroborate that cruise missiles and drones used in attacks earlier this year on an airport and oil facilities in Saudi Arabia “are of Iranian origin” - or were transferred from Iran “in a manner inconsistent” with the 2015 UN resolution.

DiCarlo reiterated that finding, saying the UN is still collecting and analyzing additional information on the drones and cruise missiles.

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Last Update: 06:56 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56
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