The Defense Department announced last week that it was monitoring a major Iranian naval exercise that began August 2 in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz, timed to coincide with the US reimposition of stringent economic sanctions on Iran restricting trade, export of certain products, and the ability to purchase USA currency. Rouhani, for example, called the renewed sanctions by Trump "psychological warfare".
Photos posted to the Office of the President's website show Ri and Hassan Rouhani joined by four others from the North Korean delegation sitting across from Iranian counterparts.
European governments - who signed the Iran nuclear deal along with Washington - are infuriated by Trump's strategy that has prompted many of their large firms to leave Iran for fear of USA penalties. That's about 7 percent of China's oil imports.
On May 8, Trump withdrew unilaterally the US from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and ordered restoration of sanctions against Iran.
Moreover, Votel said there were no unsafe or unprofessional interactions between the Iranians and American warships during the exercise, continuing a roughly year-long pattern of professional interactions between the two sides.
In several videos posted to social media over the past week, crowds of dissidents are heard chanting, "Death to the dictator" as the United States prepared to reinstate sanctions on the country following President Donald Trump's exit from the worldwide nuclear deal in May.
This comes as the Ayatollah regime is trying to rally global support for its regional policies.
"Isolating Iran could boost radical and fundamentalist forces", he said, adding that "chaos in Iran, as we have experienced in Iraq or Libya, would further destabilise an already troubled region".
"We are in solidarity with the European Union position, obviously we are closely monitoring this and we are doing everything possible on the diplomatic level to stimulate a direct dialogue between the United States and Iran, and we think that dialogue should always prevail", he said.
Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Moavero Milanesi said that "agreements have to be respected".
North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho on Wednesday met with the Iranian President in Tehran on the second day of an ongoing trip to the country, Iranian state news outlets reported, with Rouhani stressing the DPRK should not place excessive trust in American commitments. "Our crews that are on board our ships are well rehearsed, well prepared by the U.S. Navy when they come into our area", Votel said.