Friday, April 19, 2024

Iranian foreign minister calls out CNN’s “propaganda” on Iran

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has slammed CNN’s "misinformation on Iran", including the news network’s reports on the recent unrest and deadly riots in the country, calling them “false and biased."

Amirabdollahian made the remarks in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour aired on Wednesday night.

When the anchor referred to CNN’s report that claims some Iranian women were tortured and raped under arrest, the foreign minister said that “there have been so many such baseless claims made in social media and the media”.

“We have seen some of CNN’s reports that are biased and false,” the top Iranian diplomat continued, calling out CNN’s fake news campaign against Iran.

He also noted that “no one was arrested in peaceful demonstrations,” adding, “however, in those protests that had turned violent, some individuals who had come from outside the country and were using firearms and killing the police were arrested.”

All those arrested during the protests, excluding the people committing murder, were later released from custody following a decree by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei to grant them amnesty, the Iranian foreign minister stressed.

Amirabdollahian has also cautioned the United States that the window of opportunity for an agreement on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal will not remain open forever, urging Washington to adopt a constructive approach to salvage the accord.

He said Iran has informed the US through mediators that the parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action are “on the path to reach an accord,” but warned that this might change if the US side hangs back.

“Our relationship with the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency) is on its correct, natural path, and we have said this to the US side through mediators that we are on the path to reach an accord but if the Iranian Parliament adopts a new law, then we’ll have to abide by the parliamentary act,” the minister added.

“So the window for an accord is still open but this window will not remain open forever,” the senior diplomat continued.

Amirabdollahian also made clear that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been and is the most committed of all the parties involved in the diplomatic endeavors to restore the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), which was abandoned by the United States in 2018.

“The party that left the JCPOA was [former US president Donald] Trump and the United States,” he said, adding, “The United States should not adopt a deceptive behavior and instead should return to the JCPOA and adopt a constructive approach.”

“The US party has been sending us positive messages through diplomatic channels but in its media remarks, they made very deceptive remarks that are totally different, and really, as the Iranian foreign minister, sometimes I have serious doubts,” the foreign minister continued.

He noted that even though the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi sees some flaws and shortcomings in the JCPOA, it has decided to continue with the dialogue in order to restore the multilateral accord, provided that all the parties come back to the negotiating table and do their utmost to reach an agreement.

Iran showed to the world the peaceful nature of its nuclear program by signing the JCPOA with six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China. But, Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in May 2018 and its subsequent re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran left the future of the deal in limbo.

Elsewhere in his interview with Amanpour, Amirabdollahian criticized the United States for playing the blame game and accusing Iran of not having the “necessary resolve.”

“I will tell you expressively that in the past few years, we saw that the US officials were unable to make a decision because of their own internal problems and the pressures they are under. They are still unable to make a courageous decision to return to the JCPOA,” he said.

The Iranian minister added that the country has shown its initiative on many occasions and “the fact is that we are still on the path of dialogue and we still want to reach an accord.”

Amirabdollahian, however, emphasized that the Iranian government has faced a lot of pressure internally since the United States and three European parties to the JCPOA – Britain, France and Germany—interfered in Iran’s internal affairs when protests erupted in the country back in September.

“I was in Parliament last week and they said ‘who do you want to make an agreement with? With the United States and three European countries that have been trying to change the system during the riots in the fall? Why are you negotiating with them? How can you trust them?’” he stressed.

Negotiations between the parties to the nuclear deal kicked off in Vienna in April 2021, with the intention of bringing the US back into the agreement and putting an end to its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

The discussions, however, have been at a standstill since August 2022 due to Washington’s insistence on not lifting all of the anti-Iran sanctions and offering the necessary guarantees that it will not exit the agreement again.

Elsewhere in the interview, Amirabdollahian stated Iran has a roadmap with the IAEA regarding bilateral cooperation, adding that Massimo Aparo, the agency’s deputy director general and the head of the Department of Safeguards, visited Iran in the past two weeks on two occasions.

He noted that Aparo held “constructive and productive” negotiations with Iranian officials while Iran also invited the IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi to come to Tehran soon.

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