Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs said all options should be laid out on the table when it comes to punishing Tehran’s actions after the Iran-aligned rebel Houthi movement launched drones at two Saudi facilities last week. Adel al-Jubeir told the BBC: “Everybody’s trying to avoid war and everybody’s trying to avoid escalation. So we will look at all the options that are available to us. We will make a decision at the right time. “Appeasement has not worked with Iran in the past, appeasement will not work with Iran in the future.”
This comes as sanctions were re-imposed against Iran by the US after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear treaty with Tehran.
The Republican’s aim was to attempt to force other nations to stop buying Iranian oil and cripple the country financially.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday the US wanted “a peaceful resolution with the Islamic Republic of Iran”.
He said: “In the end, it’ll be up to the Iranians to make that decision, or whether they’ll choose violence and hate.”
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani refused to meet President Trump while sanctions are in place.
Referring to Mr Pompeo’s comments that the US had imposed the strongest sanctions on Tehran, Mr Rouhani said: “How can someone believe them when the silent killing of a great nation, and pressure on the lives of 83 million Iranians, especially women and children, are welcomed by American government officials?
“The Iranian nation will never, ever forget and forgive these crimes and these criminals.”
He then dismissed the idea of a photo with President Trump, and instead had pictures taken with North Korea despot Kim Jong-un.
But the move would undermine Mr Trump’s hardline approach, having called for “maximum pressure” on Tehran.
The New York Times reported a senior Iranian delegation arrived in Paris on Monday to work out the details of the financial package that would allow Iran to receive hard currency at a time when most of the cash it makes from selling oil is frozen in banks around the world.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said talks on the credit arrangement, which would be guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues, were continuing, but US approval would be crucial.
Mr Le Drian said the idea is “to exchange a credit line guaranteed by oil in return for, one, a return to the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal)…and two, security in the Gulf and the opening of negotiations on regional security and a post-2025 nuclear program”.
He added: “All this (pre)supposes that President Trump issues waivers.”
The bailout is unlikely to be approved by President Trump, with national security adviser John R Bolton already making clear that he opposes such an agreement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also opposes the move, and said: “This is precisely the wrong timing to hold talks with Iran.”