US, Iran Send Conflicting Signals on Possible Missile Talks

FM says talks possible, spokesman says no

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed that Iran has signaled a willingness to negotiate on the matter of ballistic missiles. Other US officials aren’t so sure, and Iranian officials are also telling conflicting stories on the matter.

Iran’s missiles are absolutely and under no condition negotiable with anyone or any country,” insisted Alireza Miryousefi, the spokesman for Iran’s UN Mission. That is certainly the position Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has long taken.

Yet Pompeo’s belief that talks are possible didn’t come out of thin air. Rather, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif suggested in the US was willing to cut off arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Iran’s missiles might also be up for negotiation.

That’s probably a non-starter,with President Trump so obsessed with growing arms sales, but does point to a grand bargain potentially being on the table, if both sides want it. The problem is, neither side is being very clear if they want it or not.

Both sides still seem to be feeling one another out, at least somewhat, on the issue of talks, and while each would very much like not to be the one who is at fault for a failed negotiation, it’s still up in the air if they’d both be on board for success.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.