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US-Iran crisis: Washington ready to negotiate with Iran ‘without preconditions’: US Ambassador

The Ambassador of United States to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said on Thursday that Washington was now “ready to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran”.

The statement came after the President of United States, Donald Trump showed restraint following missile attacks from Tehran on two US bases in Iraq, deciding not to launch into yet another armed conflict in the Middle East.

In a letter to the Security Councilof United Nations, Kelly Craft said the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani last week was ‘self-defense’ and he further vowed to take additional action “as necessary” in the Middle East in order to protect the personnel of US and interests.

She added that the US stood “ready to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran, with the goal of preventing further endangerment of international peace and security or escalation by the Iranian regime.”

The killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday was justified under Article 51 of the UN Charter, wrote Kelly Craft in the letter, seen by Reuters. She added that, “the United States is prepared to take additional actions in the region as necessary to continue to protect US personnel and interests.”

Kelly Craft added the death of Soleimani and US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on December 29 against an Iran-backed militia group were “in response to an escalating series of armed attacks in recent months by the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iran-supported militias on US forces and interests in the Middle East.”

Kelly Craft said the aim was to deter Iran from conducting or supporting attacks and degrade its ability to conduct attacks.

Iran had retaliated on Wednesday for the death of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani by firing missiles at military facilities housing US troops in Iraq. President of United Stated Donald Trump said no Americans were hurt, soothing fears that Soleimani’s death and the Iranian response could spark a wider conflict in the Middle East.

Iran’s UN envoy dismisses any cooperation with Trump

The UN ambassador of Iran Majid Takht Ravanchi dismissed the call of President Trump for cooperation as “unbelievable” and said Tehran “does not seek escalation or war” after exercising its right to self-defense by taking a “measured and proportionate military response targeting an American air base in Iraq.”

Ravanchi wrote in his letter to UN “The operation was precise and targeted military objectives, thus leaving no collateral damage to civilians and civilian assets in the area”.

“Seriously warning about any further military adventurism against it, Iran declares that it is determined to continue to, vigorously and in accordance with applicable international law, defend its people, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity against any aggression,” he said.

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