No EU request for missile talks: Iran

February 5, 2018

TEHRAN – Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday that Iran had not received any official request from the European Union for negotiation on Tehran’s missile program.

Pointing to Iran’s strong ties with European countries, Qassemi said the two sides exchange their views on various subjects, but what the Western mainstream media say is different from what is taking place in reality. 

“What is certain is that the Americans are dissatisfied with Iran’s ties with regional countries as well as the European Union,” he said, adding that the Americans “are trying to bring them in line with their interests through exerting pressure on them.”

The spokesman further said current relations between the Islamic Republic and the European bloc were strong enough and on a “logical track”.

'Turkey’s actions in Syria to bring back terrorists'

Qassemi called on Turkey to end its major offensive in the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin, saying the operation would bring back terrorists to the war-torn country.

Ankara needs to reconsider its policy in Syria, he said. “The continuation of Turkey’s military operation will facilitate the return of instability and terrorism to Syria.” 

He further called on Turkey to follow up all Syrian-related developments within the framework of the Astana peace process.

‘Sheikhzadeh’s verdict politically motivated’

Elsewhere in his remarks, Qassemi pointed to the case of Ahmad Sheikhzadeh, an Iran-born U.S. citizen, who was sentenced to three months on Friday for evading taxes by concealing his income and helping family and friends make money transfers that violated U.S. sanctions against Iran.

He said the United States’ jailing of a former consultant to Iran’s mission to the United Nations is part of a campaign of “psychological warfare”.

“The accusations against him are unacceptable and baseless.”

Sheikhzadeh, 61, admitted that he had not disclosed his income from the mission, which was paid in cash, on his tax returns, but called the prison sentence “very unfair” and said his prosecution had been an attempt to coerce him to act as an informant from within the Iran mission.

“This verdict was politically motivated as the Americans are constantly engaging in psychological warfare against Iran,” Qassemi said.

He also called on Washington to stop its “continuous pressure” on Iranians in the United States and other countries.

“The Americans should reverse this wrongful policy and release all Iranian detainees immediately,” he stressed.

An Iranian judicial official said last year more than 56 Iranians were imprisoned in the United States, most of them on charges of violating U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

MH/PA

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