The U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, has said Tehran can either start negotiating with the United States or continue to watch its economy collapse.
Hook made the remark during an interview with NHK in New York on Wednesday.
He said there is no doubt that Iran was involved in the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities earlier this month.
He noted that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claims that Houthi insurgents in Yemen conducted the attacks.
But Hook said satellite imagery of the facilities shows that all of the strikes came from the north and did not come from the south from Yemen. He argues that the imagery alone proves that Rouhani has lied.
He said the attack was an act of war and that Iran is becoming increasingly isolated among the international community.
He admitted that he did not either try to contact Iranian officials nor have any kind of conversation with them in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
On Wednesday, Rouhani said in his UN speech that Iran will not negotiate until the US sanctions are lifted.
But Hook noted that the sanctions will remain in place until Iran comes to the negotiating table and a new agreement is reached.
He also criticized Rouhani for his proposal at the UN to form a “Coalition for Hope” — Iran’s own initiative to ensure the safety of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf in cooperation with other countries.
He said that the idea “would be like inviting the arsonist to the fire.”
Hook expressed hope that Japan will join an international coalition the U.S. is proposing to ensure security in the Strait of Hormuz.
He also calls on more countries to stand up to Iran.