US Defense Secretary Mark Esper: Iran is inching toward negotiation
The US Defense Secretary, Mark Esper says that it seems Iran is inching toward a point that negotiations can be held.
On Friday, September 6, in Royal United Services Institute think-tank in London, Esper said: “It seems in some ways that Iran is inching toward that place where we could have talks and hopefully it’ll play out that way.”
The Islamic Republic has gradually ceased all compliance with its commitments to the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
After the G7 summit, President Trump announced that he is willing to talk with the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.
Initially, Rouhani stated that he would be willing to sit down with anyone if “it would benefit the nation”, but after a backlash from the leader’s supporters in parliament and other officials in Iran, he stated that he would not meet with President Trump in a “bilateral meeting” and US can return to the nuclear deal after it lifts all sanctions against Iran.
The United States has repeatedly rejected lifting sanctions for negotiation and has emphasized the policy of maximum pressure by regularly adding Islamic Republic collaborators (companies and individuals) on the list of sanctions.
In recent months, France has continuously tried to de-escalate tensions between the Islamic Republic and the United States. In its most recent effort, France suggested a $15 billion credit line to Iran if the country agrees to comply with its commitments to the JCPOA, contingent on US approval.
The United States responded that it will not provide any sanctions waivers for the credit line and emphasized once again on the maximum pressure campaign.
France has also refused to join the US-led coalition to protect shipping in the Persian Gulf against the threats of the Islamic Republic but has tried to form a European naval force to protect the region.