LATEST: “US Assures Israel: No Easing of Pressure on Tehran”

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Tehran’s effort at an “engagement” putting it at the conference table on Syria continued on Saturday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian juxtaposed an Iranian desire for reconciliation and reforms, with its presence at a proposed international meeting in Geneva, with the supply of weapons by the “West” to insurgents.

Abdollahian did not refer to Iran’s own intervention, with military and financial support for the Assad regime. Instead, Iranian media such as Fars News used USA Today to back up the claim of CIA shipments of arms to opposition fighters.

Washington, which joined Russia this spring in proposing the “Geneva II conference”, has rejected any place for Iran. Moscow has insisted that the Islamic Republic must be involved.

Abdollahian’s message for a halt to fighting in Syria was reinforced on Friday by Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, who joined his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in a call for a Ramadan cease-fire. President-elect Hassan Rouhani added, in a Saturday phone discussion with Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, ““We are against war and bloodshed among Muslims in any place in the world, [be it] in the holy month of Ramadan or any other month.”

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“US Assures Israel: No Easing of Pressure on Tehran”

“US diplomatic sources” have assured Israeli officials that Washington will not ease pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear programme following the election of President Hassan Rouhani.

The sources said the US assurances were conveyed during a series of consultations between American officials and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aides in Jerusalem. The Americans said pressure will continue unless Iran takes steps to demonstrate a “change in attitude”.

One of the US diplomats said, “It’s legitimate to be concerned, but we have told the Israelis we intend to judge the Iranians according to their actions and not according to their words.”

The article in the Israeli daily Haaretz follows a conference call by a “senior US administration official” to journalists, saying that Washington welcomes a resumption of talks with Tehran in the autumn but expected a “concrete response” from the Islamic Republic to US and European proposals on uranium enrichment.

Revolutionary Guards: No Release of Mousavi and Karroubi

Yadollah Javani, the head of the Political Bureau of the Revolutionary Guards, has poured cold water on the idea of the release of detained opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi from strict house arrest.

Javani, responding to speculation after the election of President Hassan Rouhani, said that the release of the two 2009 Presidential candidates was “not compatible with slogans of moderation and lawfulness”.