Resumption of ties with US not on Iran agenda: Shamkhani

Ali-Shamkhani

Shamkhani rejected assumptions that regular meetings between Iranian and US diplomats during nuclear talks could lead to rapprochement between the two nations.

A senior Iranian official says Tehran does not seek to resume diplomatic ties with Washington even if a comprehensive nuclear deal is reached between the Islamic Republic and P5+1.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said Iran and the US “can behave in a way that they do not use their energy against each other [in the region]. A nuclear agreement can be very crucial in this regard.”

“Everything will depend on the honesty of the Americans in the nuclear talks,” he added.

He rejected assumptions that regular meetings between Iranian and American diplomats during the Iran-P5+1 nuclear talks could lead to rapprochement between the two countries.

Iran and the US severed diplomatic ties in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution in the country in 1979.

“Negotiations are only for the nuclear issue,” the SNSC secretary said.

He emphasized that Iran would not buckle under international sanctions and would not retreat from its rights based on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“We will not die if there is no agreement and we will not go to heaven if we reach an agreement,” Shamkhani said.

Iran and the P5+1 countries – the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – wrapped up their latest round of talks on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva on December 17. Iranian and American diplomats have also held a few rounds of talks over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Shamkhani further said the US-led airstrikes against the Takfiri ISIL terrorists in Iraq have been ineffective.

He said Iran only cooperates with the Iraqi government in the fight against terrorists.

The ISIL terrorists control some parts of Syria and Iraq. They are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.

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