‘U.S. undermining global efforts for non-proliferation’, Iranian diplomat warns 

Araqchi meets Finnish officials in Helsinki

December 19, 2018

TEHRAN – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi, who was on tour of Finland, held separate meetings with a number of Finnish officials in Helsinki, according to the Foreign Ministry website.

On Tuesday, Araqchi met Finnish Secretary of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Matti Anttonen and Under-Secretary of State Anne Sipilainen.

He also held talks with Pertti Salolainen, the vice chairperson of the Finnish Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, who is also the head of Finland-Iran parliamentary friendship group.

During the meetings, the two sides conferred on the latest developments regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, regional issues, and mutual cooperation between Tehran and Helsinki.

The Finnish officials underlined Helsinki’s full support for the nuclear agreement, officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), describing it as a great political, diplomatic, multilateral, and security achievement.

They also expressed the Finnish government’s resolve to develop cooperation with Iran, noting that Finnish companies are still interested in being present in Iranian market and promoting cooperation with the Islamic Republic. However, they said, companies are waiting for the European Union to prepare the grounds.

In addition, they said, the Finish government is trying to provide facilities for small- and medium-sized companies in Iran.

Araqchi, for his part, highlighted the significant role the JCPOA plays in developing Iran’s cooperation and transactions with other countries, including Finland.

“The fate of the JCPOA, which is a great achievement of diplomacy and security, has been seriously challenged and threatened as a result of the U.S. withdrawal,” the top Iranian diplomat said.

By leaving the nuclear deal, he said, the U.S. is “undermining not only the JCPOA but also the independence and sovereignty of other countries as well as the global efforts for non-proliferation.”

He also hailed the EU for its “praiseworthy” political support for the nuclear pact. However, he said, “The EU’s political support is valuable, but not enough. European countries must take operational steps to safeguard the JCPOA.”

Araqchi also pointed to the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran, saying the policy of sanction is a failed one. 

“Iran has lived with sanctions for years, and has even made considerable achievements under sanctions. The language of respect must replace the language of sanction and threat.”

He added that Tehran welcomes the Finnish government’s political resolve to continue and expand all-out cooperation with Tehran, expressing the hope that further efforts will be made to develop mechanisms and proper solutions in order to facilitate the presence of Finnish companies, especially the small- and medium-sized ones, in Iran.

SP/PA

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