Saturday, March 2, 2024

FM Amirabdollahian: Iran won’t leave negotiating table, not helping Russia in Ukraine war

The Iranian foreign minister has stressed once again that Iran will continue efforts to reach a lasting agreement with major world powers to save a landmark nuclear accord, adding the ball is in the US court to show it has the courage to make the final decision.

In an interview with IRNA news agency on Friday, Hossein Amirabdollahian confirmed earlier remarks by Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein that US officials have conveyed messages in recent months to the Iranian side through several diplomatic channels, including the Iraqi foreign minister and French President Emmanuel Macron, regarding the developments on the negotiations, without giving further details.

He pointed out, “We are now at a point that the American side is talking about goodwill and claims that they have the necessary will to reach an agreement, but it is important for us that the goodwill is translated (into reality) on the ground.”

He stated that Iran seeks to finalize a text for the agreement that is not open to interpretation and “at least, the majority of readers of the text will feel that they have a single understanding of it.”

However, the Iranian foreign minister, stressed implementation of the agreements is more important than the texts.

The foreign minister clarified that ultimate goal of negotiations for Iran is to get the sanctions removed and rip the economic benefits of a restored nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

No deal without firm guarantees

He reiterated Iran’s stance that Washington should provide assurances that that the agreement will not be bound to a specific administration in the US, stressing, “If an agreement was supposed to be implemented and valid until the end of the administration that signed the agreement, international law would be meaningless.”

Meanwhile, the Iranian foreign minister highlighted that prisoner swap deals with the US is considered a humanitarian issue for Iran and are independent of the Vienna talks to salvage the JCPOA, despite insistence by Washington to discuss both issues in tandem.

Amirabdollahian also slammed Washington’s double standards for claiming support for the deal and regional stability and at the same time interfering in Iran’s internal affairs and supporting the recent deadly unrest over the death of an Iranian woman in police custody.

Tehran-Riyadh rapprochement

Touching on talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic relations after several years of rift, Amirabdollahian said the Islamic Republic welcomes reconciliatory moves and continues Iraqi-mediated talks to iron out differences.

He also noted that Iran’s diplomatic relations with Arab states, which had been adversely affected by the standoff between Tehran and Riyadh, have improved in recent months.

Iran is not helping Russia in war against Ukraine

As for the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Amirabdollahian said Iran has sought to help establish ceasefire between the two sides, blaming the West for stoking the raging flames by sending military hardware to Ukraine.

He noted that Iran has defense cooperation with Russia, but rejected reports that the Islamic Republic has helped Moscow in the war.

The foreign minister said Iran pursues a non-ambiguous stance on conflicts, emphasizing, “As we condemn the war and displacement in Afghanistan and Yemen, in the same way, we strongly oppose the war in Ukraine.”

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