A senior commander of Iran's elite revolutionary Guards repeated the country's official stance by saying that Tehran "is not seeking war" with the United States but warned that it will respond "decisively" to any aggression.
Abe apparently hopes to mediate between the United States and Iran, and encourage dialogue between them in a bid to ease tensions. However, Iran's pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani has signaled Iran's willingness to hold talks if the USA showed its respect and returned to the nuclear accord.
FILE - An Iranian clergyman looks at domestically built surface-to-surface missiles displayed by the Revolutionary Guard in a military show marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, at Imam Khomeini Grand Mosque in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 3, 2019.
The US has also blamed Iran, without providing evidence, for "attacks" that damaged four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last month.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Tehran next week to mediate between the United States and Iran, taking center stage in one of the most vexing global issues today threatening worldwide peace and security. "We need to open a new negotiation", he added.More news: Laver picks Nole for French Open
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been in Bellinzona, Switzerland, which represents us interests in Iran, reportedly to enlist his hosts for a "limited dialogue" with Iran.
Trump said on Thursday that Iran was failing as a nation, under the pressure of his sanctions, and repeated his call for talks with the leadership in Tehran.
The comments came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has a warm personal relationship with Trump, plans to travel to Iran next week as Tokyo aims to play mediation role. At the same time, both Rouhani and Zarif have mentioned U.S. "respect" for Iran as one of the principal preconditions for U.S. -Iran talks, thus leaving the door for diplomacy ajar. "They were a terrorist nation-No".
"(Then) reduce ballistic activity and contain Iran regionally and we have a fourth objective which is peace in the region. The president claims that the "harshest ever" sanctions will inevitably force Tehran to start negotiating a new deal with the US.
"I think he's a terrific guy".