Iranian President Hassan Rouhani challenged the US and others Thursday to provide evidence to back up their accusations that Tehran carried out this month’s attack on a Saudi oil facility.
“Those who make the allegations must provide the needed proof. What is your evidence?” he told reporters in New York, a day after addressing the UN General Assembly.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have both, to varying degrees, blamed Iran for the strikes on the kingdom’s Abqaiq plant and the Khurais oil field which knocked out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.
France, Germany and Britain, which all remain committed to a nuclear deal with Iran that the US withdrew from last year, also pinned the blame on Iran this week.
Tehran has blasted the allegations as “ridiculous.” It denies responsibility, and the attacks have been claimed by Yemen’s Iranian-back Huthi rebels.
“If you do have any evidence or documentation please do make them available to me,” Rouhani said, adding that the US, France, Britain and Germany “should stop” supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia.
The Iranian leader also said he would “of course” hold talks with the United States if President Donald Trump lifted sanctions and ended his policy of maximum pressure on Tehran.
Speculation was abuzz that the leaders of the arch-foes would meet on the sidelines of the General Assembly this week but Trump returned to Washington without a rendezvous taking place.
Rouhani has made the easing of economic pressure a pre-condition for any talks.
“If we reach a time when these preconditions are taken off the table, of course the possibility exists to talk with America,” he said at Thursday’s press conference.
French President Emmanuel Macron had shuttled between his US and Iranian counterparts over two days at the UN, trying to arrange an encounter that he hoped could help de-escalate tensions in the Middle East.
“I don’t want to say that such plans will never be realized,” Rouhani said of Macron’s attempts at setting up a historic bilateral meeting.
© 2019 AFP
Lev Parnas calls on Bill Barr to recuse himself from investigation due to ‘conflict of interest’
Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow last Wednesday, Lev Parnas said that President Trump “knew exactly what was going on” regarding the effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
“He was aware of all my movements,” Parnas told Maddow. “I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the president. I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials.”
In that same interview, Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman and former associate of Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, went on to implicate multiple people in Trump's administration of having direct knowledge of his dealings in Ukraine, including Attorney General William Barr.
Sorry, GOP, the whole ‘my witness for your witness’ thing isn’t the law — it only casts doubt on you: Ex-prosecutor
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance explained that the idea of "witness reciprocity" that Republicans seem to think exists, isn't actually a thing.
"Witness 'reciprocity' isn't a thing. So no, there can't be a Biden for every Bolton. Only testimony that bolsters or casts doubt on facts necessary to deciding on the articles of impeachment is relevant at trial," she wrote.
Her comment comes after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) decided that because Democrats want a first-hand witness to testify at the impeachment trial in the Senate. Cruz, wants someone that has nothing to do with President Donald Trump's obstruction of justice or his abuse of power, and instead is part of one of the president's conspiracy theories.
Legal experts compare Trump lawyers’ impeachment brief to the ‘scream of a wounded animal’
Two legal briefs were submitted over the weekend in connection with President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial: one from Democratic House impeachment managers, the other from the president’s legal team. Legal experts Benjamin Wittes and Quinta Jurecic, in an article for The Atlantic, assert that there is an enormous difference between the two: while the House brief is professionally organized, the one from Team Trump is a rambling mess that reads like “the scream of a wounded animal.”