Iran’s foreign minister met Rand Paul to feel out possible U.S.-Iran talks

By | July 20, 2019

Laura Rozen reports:

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) in New York July 18 to feel out prospects for possible discussions between Iran and the United States, a non-government expert in contact with the Iranian team told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity.

The Iranian mission to the UN did not respond to Al-Monitor queries on the meeting. Zarif told reporters in New York Thursday that he was holding meetings while in New York this week with some members of Congress, but not with US administration officials or envoys. He would leave it to the US lawmakers he met with to identify themselves if they wish, he told UN reporter Susan Modaress.

The US administration was aware of a possible meeting between a US Senator and Zarif in New York, a US official said Wednesday. Paul was not acting as an official US envoy, Al-Monitor understood. [Continue reading…]

Reuters reports:

The United States is not aiming to set up a military coalition against Iran with its new security initiative in the Gulf, but simply “shining a flashlight” in the region to deter attacks on commercial ships, a top Pentagon official told Reuters.

Kathryn Wheelbarger, who briefed NATO allies this week on the U.S. proposal, said it was less operational and more geared toward increasing surveillance capabilities.

“This is not a coalition against Iran … If you were militarily confronting Iran, this is not the construct that you would use,” said Wheelbarger, one of the most senior policy officials at the Pentagon. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.