US and Iranian officials have stepped up their verbal tirades against one another in the wake of last week’s downed drone incident, with President Trump accusing Iranian leaders of being “not smart” and Iran’s president calling the US’s ‘hostile’ behaviour signs of the White House’s ‘mental retardation.’
France has asked the US not to drag the NATO alliance into any possible military operation in the Persian Gulf, diplomats familiar with the discussions have said, according to Reuters.
According to the diplomats, French officials made the remarks during their closed-door meeting with US Acting Secretary of Defence Mark Esper on Thursday. German representatives joined the French in calling for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to be upheld, and not ‘jeopardised’.
Esper, it was said, told NATO allies that the US did not seek a conflict with Tehran, but would ‘not tolerate’ any further incidents following last week’s shootdown of a $130 million drone by an Iranian missile.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that the US ‘clearly conveyed’ to its allies that it did not want to see war break out with Iran.