RNA - “If they have credible evidence and information, why don’t they declassify them and make it known to the American people and to the people of the world?” Iranian Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi said.
He made the remarks in a Thursday interview with CBS Newschannel in reaction to the US claim that “Iranian proxies” in the region are posing threat to US interests.
“As long as they cannot share this so-called intelligence, which we call fake intelligence, there is no utility in saying that these information are credible,” he added.
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 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, President Trump told reporters he hoped the two countries don't go to war.
Takht-e 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 war is not an option for Iran. I think it will be detrimental to the security of the whole region if God forbid we will have a conflict in our neighborhood … That would be disaster,” the Iranian envoy said.
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-e 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?”
American lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are growing more concerned about heightened tensions between Iran and the United States, raising doubts about the Trump administration’s claims of increased Iranian threat in the Middle East.
US lawmakers question skewed assessments against Iran
The chairmen of three congressional committees on national security on Thursday pressed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to explain whether the Trump administration's arms control report was politicized and slanted assessments about Iran.
The chairmen of Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Intelligence committees in the US House of Representatives asked Pompeo in a letter to provide a State Department briefing and documents no later than May 23.
The letter cited a Reuters story from April 17 that reported how the administration’s annual report to Congress assessing compliance with arms control agreements provoked a dispute with US intelligence agencies and some State Department officials.
The dissenting officials, sources said, were concerned that the document politicized and skewed assessments against Iran.
“Our nation knows all too well the perils of ignoring and ‘cherry-picking’ intelligence in foreign policy and national security decisions,” the chairmen said in their letter. They referred to the selective use of intelligence “to justify the march to war” in Iraq in 2003.
Tensions mounted on the first anniversary of Washington's exit from a nuclear deal with Iran after the US sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a squadron of B-52 bombers, and a battery of patriot missiles, to the Middle East.