Antonio Guterres UN SG - De-escalation of tensions in Persian Gulf ‘absolutely essential’: UN chief

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 13 (APP/DailyLife.PK):UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that “the world cannot live with a major confrontation in the Gulf,” referring to the escalating crisis between the US and Iran following the collapse of the landmark nuclear deal signed between Tehran and major world powers in 2015.

“It is absolutely essential to avoid any escalation of the situation,” he told reporters in response to a question at UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday.

Guterres said he has “no particular insight” into the possibility of a meeting between President Trump and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly session.

But he said any effort to avoid a confrontation “will always be welcome”.

Trump has repeatedly indicated he is ready to meet with Rouhani, but Tehran has given no indication of his plans.

On Wednesday, Rouhani denounced the Trump administration, which has put pressure on Iran, saying “the Americans must understand that bellicosity and warmongering don’t work in their favour. Both… must be abandoned.”

Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal and began reimposing punitive measures.

Iran responded by scaling back its commitments to the accord, which gave it the promise of sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

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