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Iran has announced it will stop complying with parts of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and resume high-level enrichment of uranium in 60 days if other signatories of the deal do not take action to shield Iran's oil and banking sectors from U.S. sanctions. The U.S. has attempted to cut Iran off from the global economy, even though Iran has remained in compliance with the nuclear deal. We speak with Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a Middle East Security and Nuclear Policy Specialist at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He served as spokesperson for Iran in its nuclear negotiations with the European Union from 2003 to 2005.Transcript
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AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And I'm Juan Gonza'lez. Welcome to all of our viewers and listeners across the country and around the world. The Pentagon has reportedly drawn up a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if President Trump decides to take military action against Iran. The New York Times reports the Pentagon presented the proposal on Thursday after National Security Adviser John Bolton requested a revision to an earlier plan. Bolton has long advocated for attacking Iran. According to the Pentagon, far more than 120,000 troops would be needed if a ground invasion was ordered.
This comes as tension continues to escalate between the United States and Iran. The United States recently deployed the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the region claiming there was a credible threat by Iranian regime forces. Meanwhile, Iran has announced it will stop complying with parts of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and resume high-level enrichment of uranium within 60 days if other signatories of the deal do not take action to shield Iran's oil and banking sectors from U.S. sanctions. The U.S. has attempted to cut Iran off from the global economy even though Iran has remained in compliance with the nuclear deal.
AMY GOODMAN: In another development from the region, four oil tankers, including two Saudi tankers, were damaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. Saudi Arabia described it as a sabotage attack. Unnamed U.S. officials have been quoted in the media blaming Iran but no evidence has been presented. Iran has described the incident as a conspiracy orchestrated by ill-wishers. On Monday, President Trump was asked about what happened.
REPORTER: Mr. President, are you concerned about the attacks on oil tankers in the Middle East?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We'll see what happens. It's going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens; I can tell you that. They're not going to be happy. They are not going to be happy people.
REPORTER: What do you mean by that?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You can figure it out yourself. They know what I mean by it.- Advertisement -
AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is claiming drones carried out attacks on two Saudi oil pumping stations earlier today. A Houthi-run TV station in Yemen had earlier reportedly said the Houthis had carried out an attack inside Saudi Arabia. On Monday, the European Union urged the Trump administration to show maximum restraint following a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and European union diplomats in Brussels. Today, Pompeo is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Iran and other issues. Meanwhile, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is in India today. Up until recently, India was the second largest importer of Iran's oil behind China, but India cut off sales after the Trump administration withdrew waivers allowing them to import Iranian oil.
We are joined now by a former Iranian ambassador, Seyed Hossein Mousavian. He is a Middle East security and nuclear policy specialist at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. From 2003 to 2005, he served as spokesperson for Iran in its nuclear negotiations with the European Union. He is the author of The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir and most recently, Iran and the United States: An Insider's view on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace. Welcome back to Democracy Now!, Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian. It is great to have you with us. Very serious times, as The New York Times reports that the U.S. is preparing to send 120,000 troops to the region, to the area around Iran. Is reportedly drawing up plans. Can you talk about the significance of this?