1.5分彩计划_Gulf tensions ratchet up further at UN

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1.5分彩计划a co1.5分彩计划mbina1.5分彩计划tion o1.5分彩计划f the Iranian nationa1.5分彩计划l flag (left) and the US national flag (right). [Photo/IC]

Teheran says detained British-flagged tanker, Stena Impero, has been released

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged the United States to "cease this policy of maximum pressure" on his nation while the US announced plans to deploy more troops to the Persian Gulf region, indicating that the battle between the two countries will be a long one, said a Chinese expert.

Rouhani said that US sanctions must be lifted before he would talk with US President Donald Trump, although he did not explicitly rule out the possibility of meeting, according to The Associated Press.

At a wide-ranging news conference a day after addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Rouhani said Washington is still using "more pressure aimed at reaching discussions, which is the same thing that is taking them farther and farther away from discussions and negotiations".

"Cease this policy of maximum pressure and pursue a policy of dialogue and logic and reason," Rouhani said. Moving in that direction, he said, "would be a different set of circumstances and a different atmosphere".

Iran has been accused by the US, the United Kingdom, France and Germany of carrying out drone and missile strikes against key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia on Sept 14 that temporarily knocked out nearly 6 percent of daily global crude production and rattled oil markets. Iran denied the accusation.

Meanwhile, the Stena Impero, a British-flagged oil tanker held by Iran since July, has left Iranian territorial waters, Iran's marine and port authority said on Friday morning.

Iran seized the tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20 percent of all oil passes, but released seven of its 16 crew members earlier this month.

Its seizure came after authorities in Gibraltar on July 4 seized an Iranian oil tanker carrying nearly $150 million in crude oil on suspicion of it breaking European Union sanctions on Syria. Gibraltar later released the tanker, then called the Grace 1, after it said Iran promised the ship wouldn't go to Syria.

Tensions in the Persian Gulf as well as between Iran and the US escalated since Trump unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal. The deal with world powers aimed to lift sanctions in exchange for a commitment from Teheran that it would cease trying to develop nuclear weapons.

'Long' stalemate

Niu Song, a researcher at the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, said the US-Iranian relationship is currently in a stalemate likely to last for a long time.

"The US is trying to force Iran to surrender by means of extreme pressure, such as removing exemptions from certain countries for importing Iranian oil, and promoting military escort alliance in Gulf," he said. "But so far, these measures have limited accomplishments."

But it was worth noting that the US may still leave some space for talks with Iran as Rouhani and the Iranian foreign minister obtained US visas to participate in the UN General Assembly, Niu said.

"Military strikes will not be a priority for the US to deal with Iran for now," Niu added.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense announced on Thursday that it was sending 50 troops with Patriot missiles to bolster Saudi Arabia's defenses.

Niu said the US new deployment to the region is connected to the Sept 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia, but that air defense is "an obvious shortcoming of Saudi Arabia" and the US has to rectify that problem as the Gulf region is an outpost of the US military in the Middle East.