TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations dismissed the US intelligence warnings which have alleged that an Iranian commander ordered fighters in Iraq to prepare to attack Americans.
In an interview with “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan of CBS on Thursday, Majid Takht Ravanchi flatly denied US intelligence warnings that an Iranian commander ordered militias in Iraq to prepare to attack Americans there, and questioned whether the US really has satellite photos showing what is claimed to be containers for short-range ballistic missiles being loaded on boats.
“US intelligence says they have evidence of that. Do you deny that?” Brennan asked.
“We do not fire missiles out of small boats,” Ravanchi said, adding, “As long as they cannot share those information with the general public, I think there is no utility in saying that these information are credible.”
Ravanchi noted that the US military buildup in the region was one reason Iran has dismissed US President Donald Trump’s offer of direct talks.
“They want to have the stick in their hands, try to intimidate Iran and at the same time calling for a dialogue. What type of dialogue is this?” the Iranian ambassador said.
Takht Ravanchi also noted that he believed Trump’s comments about avoiding war were genuine. “I believe that President Trump does not want war,” the envoy said.
On Thursday, a reporter asked Trump, “Mr. President, are we going to war with Iran?”
“Hope not,” the US president responded.
Takht Ravanchi further lashed out at the US for using flawed intelligence, and pointed to one key adviser’s past support of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, which was precipitated by incorrect claims that Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction.”
“You’re talking about Ambassador (John) Bolton?” Brennan asked.
“I don’t want to name any names, but he has been definitely one of the persons,” the UN ambassador noted.
In a message on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had already predicted “accidents” in the region by referring to the fact that a so-called B-Team is brazenly following US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s script.
“After all, half of B-Team were co-conspirators in disastrous Iraq war,” Zarif had announced.
The B-Team in Zarif’s comments refers to a group of four anti-Iran hawks, including John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, and crown prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Zarif has also attached the pictures of two old reports to his message, which show Netanyahu supporting the idea of attacking Iraq at a speech in the US Congress in 2002 and another one showing Bolton’s satisfaction with the US occupation of Iraq in an article dating back to May 2015.