TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations denied that Tehran had given a green light to its proxy forces to attack US forces in the Middle East, saying that US officials are employing “fake intelligence.”
Speaking to the NBC News on Thursday, Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi rejected statements from the Trump administration that Tehran “posed a heightened danger to US interests in the region”.
“These are all allegations which are being produced by the same people who, in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq, did the same,” Ravanchi said, in an apparent reference to national security adviser John Bolton, who worked in George W. Bush’s administration during the US-led invasion of Iraq.
“So we do not accept such an allegation. And all of these (allegations) are fake intelligence,” the Iranian diplomat said.
NBC News reported earlier Thursday that President Donald Trump’s decision to deploy an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to the Persian Gulf was based in part on intelligence that Iran had informed some of its proxy forces that they can now go after American military personnel and assets in the region, according to three US officials familiar with the intelligence.
The intelligence showed that an Iranian official discussed activating Iranian-backed groups to target Americans, the officials said.
Trump said on Thursday that his administration had information Iran was “threatening” the United States, though he provided no details.
“We have information that you don’t want to know about,” Trump said. But he added that “we don’t want to have to do anything.”
Trump said he was ready to speak with Iranian leaders and come to an understanding that would allow the country to improve its economic prospects. “What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me.”
“I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We’re not looking to hurt Iran,” Trump added.
Asked about Trump’s request for talks, Ravanchi said Trump had derailed diplomacy by pulling the United States out of the nuclear agreement last year. The accord had been negotiated between Iran and six governments, including the United States.
“The first question that he has to answer is why he left the negotiating table, because we were talking to all participants of the nuclear deal, including the United States, within the framework of the joint commission of that deal. So all of a sudden he decided to leave the negotiating table,” Ravanchi said.
“What is the guarantee that he will not renege again on the future talks between Iran and the United States?” the Iranian UN envoy said.