US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on June 23 that when the United Nations Arms Embargo on Iran expire in October, Tehran will be able to buy new fighter aircraft like Russia’s SU-30 and China’s J-10. “With these highly lethal aircraft, Europe and Asia could be in Iran’s crosshairs. The US will never let this happen,” wrote in a tweet.
A few days earlier, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) increased its pressure on Tehran to grant its inspectors access to certain locations and to clarify possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities in Iran.
The confrontation between US and Iran has worsened since 2018, when US President Donald J. Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – with major powers and reimposed sanctions that have devastated Iran’s economy. IAEA access to Iranian nuclear facilities was an important part of the JCPOA.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on June 24 that Tehran would be open to talks with Washington if the US apologises for exiting a 2015 nuclear deal and compensates Tehran.
“We have no problem with talks with the US, but only if Washington fulfils its obligations under the nuclear deal, apologies and compensates Tehran for its withdrawal from the 2015 deal,” Rouhani said in a televised speech, Reuters reported. “But we know these calls for talks with Tehran are just words and lies,” he claimed.
On June 21, Iran’s parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf reportedly ruled out the likelihood of any talks with the US, calling them “strictly forbidden and detrimental” during a parliament session.