News ID: 252940
Published: 0911 GMT May 17, 2019

Iran’s UN envoy: US using ‘fake intelligence’

Iran’s UN envoy: US using ‘fake intelligence’

As tensions rising between Iran and the US, Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi accused Washington of using “fake intelligence.”

He made the remarks in a Thursday interview with CBS News channel in reaction to the US claim that “Iranian proxies” in the region are posing threat to US interests.

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 analysts say are containers for short-range ballistic missiles being loaded on boats, CBS News reported.

"We do not fire missiles out of small boats," Takht-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."

The ambassador said reports that “Iranian proxies” are posing a threat to the US forces in the Middle East “are part of the same propaganda tools that Americans are employing."

"These are the same fake intelligence that is being used to provoke,” he added.

The Iranian ambassador also said he believes President Donald Trump does not want a war, “but that does not mean that people who are close to him share his opinion.”

“I do not want to involve myself in the American politics, but the fact of the matter is that those hardliners in the administration have been trying to provoke, to agitate, to create the necessary grounds for a war, for a conflict with Iran,” he said.

A few hours before the interview, Trump told reporters he hoped the two countries don't go to war.

Takht-Ravanchi said, “So as far as the president is concerned, the thing that he said today, is not something new for us, because that was our belief; as Iran is not interested in a war.”

The Iranian envoy said the war is not an option for Iran, stressing that it will be detrimental to the security of the whole region.

The Iranian diplomat, however, warned about the use of “fake intelligence,” similar to those which resulted in the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, to push Washington toward a war with Tehran.

He referred to the “fake intelligence which says Iran is culprit for the problems in the region”, describing it as the “root cause of all these events” which should be tackled and taken care of.

Pointing to Trump’s hawkish national security advisor, John Bolton, and his role in the Iraqi invasion, Takht-Ravanchi said, “Those who were responsible for the Iraqi invasion back in 2003 are the same people who are trying to create a conflict in our region.”

“Nobody knows what’s going to happen as long as there are armada in our region, there are fleets in our region, there are bombers in our region, and the question that should be asked is why these armada are in the region?”

Takht-Ravanchi said the US military buildup in the region was one reason his country has dismissed President 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?" he asked.

Tensions mounted between Tehran and Washington in May 2018, when Trump pulled his country out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran – also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – and reimposed harsh bans against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticisms.

Those tensions saw a sharp rise on the first anniversary of Washington's exit from the deal as the US moved to ratchet up the pressure on Iran by tightening its oil sanctions and sending military reinforcements, including an aircraft carrier strike group, a squadron of B-52 bombers, and a battery of Patriot missiles, to the Middle East.




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