US Defense Secretary Mark Esper
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper

US not looking for war but ready to finish one: Esper calls Iran for dialogue

ANI | Updated: Jan 08, 2020 01:24 IST

Washington [US], Jan 08 (ANI): The United States on Tuesday called Iran for a discussion to de-escalate the situation which has dramatically worsened following the killing of Iranian Quds Force chief Qaseem Soleimani.
The remarks were made by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and could be the most conciliatory since Soleimani's killing which has brought two nations to the edge of war.
The war of words between leaders of both countries have started since the United States on Friday carried out a fatal strike against Soleimani in Baghdad. Iran has vowed to take the "harshest revenge" against Washington. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has threatened that his country will hit 52 Iranian sites if Tehran dares to take any action against the "preemptive" strike.
Esper said that his country is not looking to start a war but is prepared to finish if Iran starts it.
"We are not looking to start a war with Iran but we are prepared to finish one," CNN quoted Esper as saying.
"...What we would like to see is the situation de-escalated and for Tehran to sit down with us and begin a discussion about a better way ahead," he added.
Leaders around the world have urged Iran and the United States to not let the situation further escalate.
The tensions between the two nations have persisted since 2018 when Trump unilaterally announced that the US is not a part of 2015 nuclear deal which was brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama. Following the withdrawal from the deal, the United States has imposed a number of sanctions against Iran to force the country to renegotiate the deal. The sanctions have crippled the Iranian economy, however, the country refused to bog down to US pressure and started to do away with the terms of the deal. (ANI)