As the heated confrontation between the US and Iran intensifies, the country’s president Hassan Rouhani has urged Iranian factions to show unity in the face of the unprecedented US sanctions, which he said may be “harder than those during the 1980s war with Iraq.”
And US President Donald Trump has urged Iran's leaders on Tuesday May 14th to talk with him about giving up their nuclear programme, and said he could not rule out a military confrontation.
Rouhani told activists from various factions in Iran that: "the pressures by enemies is a war unprecedented in the history of our Islamic revolution... but I do not despair and believe that we can move past these difficult conditions provided that we are united," said Rouhani.
The offer over talks was made by Trump while he has increased the economic and military pressure on Iran, moving to cut off all Iranian oil exports this month, while beefing up the US navy and air force presence in the Gulf. Washington also approved a new deployment of Patriot missiles to the Middle East, according to a US official.
The “US administration seems to be with a clearly articulated policy of maximum pressure on Iran, as it withdrew from the nuclear agreement a year ago,” said Adam Ereli, former US ambassador to Bahrain told 7Dnews, in an exclusive interview.
According to Ereli, Tehran has a long history of being involved in using proxies from terrorist groups in the Middle East, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, armed groups in Syria, Houthi group in Yemen and “all of the trouble makers in the region.”
Defying the Iranian approach to such groups has been one of the major objectives within “the US maximum pressure campaign” against Iran, Ereli noted. “That is why we needed to focus on starving the Iranian regime of money in order to stop them from backing their proxies and clients.”
The former US diplomat mentioned the main objectives of the U S anti-Iran campaign, by saying: “there are basically eleven conditions. We are open to talk with Iranians anytime as long they are willing to fulfill our conditions, which Iran will never fill, I mean it includes stopping terrorism, stop destabilising the region, stop what they are doing in Yemen, stop support for Hezbollah, that is never going to happen.”
John Bolton, US national security adviser with a hawkish perspectives against Iran, and supportive of conditions for revolution in Iran, has repeatedly proposed, and called for “regime change” in Tehran.
“Bolton would like nothing more than to see the Mullah out of power, but US is not going to take action directly to do that. we learnt our lesson in Iraq. The American people don’t have the appetite for military intervention, but if the Iranian people want to do it, we will support them. Trump, Bolton and Pompeo have announced support to the Iranian people. Meaning if they take action, we will be with them,” Ereli said.
Iranians are not expected to go along with US negotiations, neither can they overthrow the regime, according to Ereli. “Iranians may not accept losing legitimacy if the regime becomes out of power. Also, Tehran’s regime is capable enough of suppressing people.”
Asked if Trump may concede eleven conditions of negotiations with Iranians, Ereli replied: “I hope not but again if I were a leader in the Middle East I would be worried, can we trust Donald Trump to stick to his word? Just 18 months ago he was about to go to war with North Korea, and suddenly it turned around as he started negotiation with Kim, calling him a great leader despite being the same guy he was demonizing in the past.”
“Trump doesn’t want to get into war with Iran. Trump shows himself as the centre of attention and if he thinks he can make himself look good by changing the game I think he will do. Fortunately, Trump has got Pompeo and Bolton, who are much tougher on Iran than him.”
Ereli proposed that the US may respond with “overwhelming force,” in the case of Iranian proxies like Lebanon’s Hezbollah, or Iraq’s Ansar Al-haq, or any other affiliated group elsewhere, which may attack Americans. Iran has designated US military as ‘foreign terrorists’ in April.