Araghchi holds Washington responsible for heightened tensions in Persian Gulf

October 9, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi has said the heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf is a result of Washington’s meddlesome policies in the region.

“The priority of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to establish security, stability and economic prosperity for the entire region,” Araghchi said on Tuesday, Mehr reported.

He made the remarks in a meeting in Tehran with Portugal’s Foreign Ministry director-general for political affairs.

The senior diplomat also pointed to the issues surrounding the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, saying Iran expects European countries to secure Tehran’s interests under the deal.

Araghchi further criticized European countries for failing to stand up to the U.S. unilateralism and avoiding to pay the costs of saving the JCPOA.

The Portuguese diplomat, for his part, voiced his country’s interest in boosting bilateral relations with Iran.

He said Europe was really seeking to preserve the JCPOA and that Portugal was in line with EU policies in that regard.

U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal in May 2018 and imposed the harshest ever sanctions on Tehran. However, Trump has been repeatedly calling for dialogue with Iran.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. withdrawal, Tehran began reducing its commitments to the agreement at bi-monthly intervals.

Iran blamed European countries’ inaction for its decision, saying the decision would be reversed as soon as they fulfill their obligations under the deal and protect Iran’s interests.

Late last month, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the Europeans have failed to meet their nuclear commitments and Iran should not pin hope on them.

“Despite their commitments, the Europeans have practically stayed committed to sanctions of the United States and have taken no action. It is very unlikely that they will be able to do anything for the Islamic Republic. So, we should not pin hope on the Europeans,” Ayatollah Khamenei said during a meeting with members of the Assembly of Experts.

“As frequently mentioned before, we should not at all place hope and trust on anyone except for the domestic forces, in particular, not on those that have raised the flag of hostility against the Islamic Republic and the Islamic establishment, firstly led by the U.S., and next by the European countries,” he added.

MH/PA

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