BAGHDAD US State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagos said on Wednesday that Washington had not received a private message about the Iranians’ intention to negotiate a nuclear program.
“There is no choice but for the Iranians to negotiate, otherwise they will remain under the sanctions that have been imposed,” Ortagos said in an interview.
In May 2018, Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal and re-imposed tough sanctions on Tehran until it sat back at the negotiating table and discussing a new deal.
Tensions have been rising in the Middle East recently, as Tehran sought to disrupt shipping in response to a US ban on Iranian oil imports, but Ortagos stressed that Washington would not tolerate Iranian threats in the Strait of Hormuz.
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said on Sunday his country was ready to negotiate with Washington, but on condition that the United States lifted sanctions and returned to the nuclear deal.
“We can keep the freedom of navigation on our own but we want our partners and allies to be with us in these efforts,” she said.
On the Lebanese issue, Ortagos said that those against whom sanctions were imposed in the Arab country are working to undermine the Lebanese government.
“The recent sanctions against Lebanese targeted supporters of a terrorist-designated organization and are helping Iran in its misguided behavior, which we will not tolerate,” she said.
She stressed that Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo has an interest in maintaining Lebanon’s stability and security.
Source: National Iraqi News Agency