The Supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran condemned British “piracy” in the wake of Britain’s seizure of a Russian super-tanker, carrying Iranian crude oil, off the Spanish coast of Gibraltar. He asserted that “Evil Britain commits piracy and steals our ship ... and gives it a legal appearance. Iran, and those who believe in our system, will not leave such evil deeds unanswered”.
An Iranian vice president warned that any US sanction targeting the foreign minister of Iran would block the road to diplomacy and further lay bare the falsehood of Washington’s calls for negotiations with Tehran.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Iran next week in hopes of engineering a diplomatic breakthrough that will thaw the icy US-Iran relationship. Having maintained cordial relations with Iran, Abe hopes to meet Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and the country’s Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, during his stay in Tehran. Those meetings are likely to materialize, but a meeting of the minds is not: Both sides are too entrenched and the changes demanded are too great. The prime minister’s effort is to be encouraged, nonetheless.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as a major diplomatic achievement, expressing hope that the international document could be saved following the US’s withdrawal.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says US President Donald Trump is not seeking "serious diplomacy" on North Korea after he failed to reach an agreement with the North Korean leader during their summit in Vietnam.
Since ancient times, political leaders have rarely if ever relied on chance to advance their peoples’ interests or push back against those of their adversaries. When the fate of human beings is at stake — as often is in global diplomacy (often the alternative to war) — careful planning and calculation are the tools of trade. For the administration that has ruled the United States since January 2017, though, chance may be all it has.