Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Seyyed Abbas Mousavi has downplayed recent concerns raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency over Iran’s refusal to permit its experts to access two nuclear “sites”, saying the IAEA has recklessly misused the phrase.
“This is a technical and legal issue. Unlike what they claim it has not been a [nuclear] “site”. The word has its particular definition,” said Mousavi addressing a video press conference on Wednesday morning.
Stressing that “Iran has had the highest level of technical cooperation with the IAEA,” he said “we are not supposed to respond to any baseless claim and question posed by the IAEA.”
“Iran’s framework for collaborations with IAEA is clear. The IAEA needs to consider its image and reputation, and should not base its questions on not every empty claim made by every regime and individual.”
“We do not consider the basis for IAEA’s stand to be right … IAEA should not make claims based on political games played by some regimes,” Mousavi added.
About the statement issued by European Union last night about Iran’s nuclear activities, he said “we consider it to be in line with their previous statements, and to be a kind of “statement-therapy” … they need to act according to their commitments under the JCPOA so that Iran’s economic interests under the international agreement are met.”
“There is still a place for the hope that some measures will be taken which will return both parties to their commitments. If the efforts don’t pay off, Iran will announce its major step in due course,” he added.
In relation to UK Secretary of State Dominic Raab’s recent remarks that London will not allow Iran to access nuclear weapons and that Iran has caused instability in the region with its measures in Syria, Iraq and Hormuz Strait, Mousavi said “these remarks are not appropriate and constructive. He is not in a position to determine guidelines for Iran.”
“Unlike Mr. Raab we think that what causes insecurity, instability and turmoil in every corner of the world including our region is the inappropriate and meddlesome presence and remarks made by … countries [located] thousands of miles away from the region,” the official added.
As regards US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement in which he voiced concern about the health situation of prisoners in Iran given the outbreak of coronavirus, and his call for Iran to release US prisoners for humanitarian purposes, Mousavi said “it is an appropriate and right concern, and it is also our concern, given the shambolic situation of prisons in the US … This is not propaganda, but based on reports published by US official media.”
“Everybody is concerned about the current situation in the US and its different states as well as about their public health and millions of the poor and hungry, the rough-sleepers in every corner of the US and the American prisoners.”
“We are also concerned about the Iranian prisoners taken hostage by the US, and hope that the US government provides for their health … We are ready to return home these hostages who are there for no reason,” Mousavi added.
Asked whether the coronavirus is a naturally infectious disease with a particular origin or a case of biological warfare, the Iranian official said “we do not know and cannot make any comments until the results of investigations are known.”
Regarding the issue of Idlib, he said “We believe that the Astana peace process can continue to serve as the best, most successful and accessible settlement … We emphasize that the established and legal Syrian government has a right to exercise its national sovereignty all over its territory. Some parties also have their own concerns, and we see these concerns. We concur with [the need to put] an end to bloodshed throughout Syria.”
“We hope that Astana summit will be held as soon as possible when all the technical, political and hygienic conditions grow favourable,” he added.
Asked about simultaneous inauguration of Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani as the presidents of Afghanistan, Mousavi said “for a long time we have tried our utmost at different levels to forge convergence and camaraderie among Afghan people, groups and political figures, and have stated to them that the only way to create prosperity, welfare, stability and security in Afghanistan is through formation of an inclusive government and unity among different personalities, groups, parties and officials in the country.”