Fresh twists and confusion once again shroud US-Iran tensions; this time, the tension is rooted in misinterpretation. "For the first time, the Iranians have said they're prepared to negotiate on their missile program," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a Cabinet meeting July 16, expressing hope that a deal could be struck with Tehran to keep it away from a nuclear weapon.
If true, Pompeo's claim would have demonstrated a significant policy shift by the Islamic Republic, which has time and again declared its missile program as a nonnegotiable red line. To reaffirm that Iran is still digging in its heels, the country's mission in the United Nations was quick to react. "Iran's missiles … are absolutely and under no condition negotiable with anyone or any country, period," tweeted the mission's media bureau chief, Alireza Miryousefi, in New York.