Iran envoy to UN: Reports about US Mideast deployment plan mere 'psychological warfare'
Iran Press TV
Tue May 14, 2019 02:34PM
Tehran's envoy to the United Nations dismisses as mere "psychological warfare" a reported US military plan aimed at Iran, under which Washington could deploy tens of thousands of troops to the Middle East.
Majid Takht-e Ravanchi made the remarks to CNN on Tuesday in reaction to a report by The New York Times, which said the plan for the deployment of 120,000 troops to the Middle East had been recently discussed at a meeting of hawkish US administration officials.
The report said the plan, which had been prepared by Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan upon the orders of National Security Advisor John Bolton, envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East "should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons."
Iran's UN ambassador said, "These are all psychological warfare in our opinion."
Iran is not inclined either towards triggering a regional conflict or pursuing nuclear weapons, he asserted.
"We are not in the business of trying to create a conflict in our neighborhood because nobody is going to have benefit from such a conflict in our region, except for a few, as I explained earlier, some people in Washington and some countries in our neighborhood," he added.
Who's endangering who?
He added that questions about posing security threats to others' interests had to be instead "directed to those people, who have come to our neighborhood from thousands of miles [away]."
"Iran is in the Persian Gulf area. We are not in Gulf of Mexico," the official said.
Takht-e Ravanchi further stipulated that seeking nuclear arms "is against our religion."
He cited a religious decree issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei that prohibits such pursuit, adding, "Besides, nuclear weapons are not within the defense structure of Iran."
Under US President Donald Trump, Washington has been eagerly leading a policy of "maximum pressure" against Tehran. The policy has Bolton as the person trying most to escalate it into military conflict.
Employing the approach, the US left a multi-lateral nuclear deal with Iran, which has the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany as its other signatories, last year.
It then reinstated the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord. The moves came while the deal had been ratified in the form of a United Nations Security Council resolution, making Washington culpable for violating international law.
Washington has also been trying to reduce Iran's oil exports to "zero," and sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.
US on war footing based on fake intel.
Pointing to what is claimed to be Iran's intention to target American interests in the region, Takht-e Ravanchi said the US had used no more than just "fake intelligence" to try to justify the recent military build-up.
"These are all fake intelligence based on certain narrow-minded agenda, as I said, pursued by certain people in Washington as well as in our region," he stated.
The official, meanwhile, addressed Trump's recent proposal of "talks" with Iran.
The so-called offer and the policy of pressure cannot coexist, he said, noting that Iran's submitting to such negotiation would be its bowing to coercion and intimidation.
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