Iran’s Foreign Ministry: We do not count on U.S. help

March 2, 2020 - 19:40

TEHRAN - Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that Iran does not count on the United States’ help to counter the outbreak of coronavirus.

“We have doubts about the United States’ intention and we do not count on its help. You saw that the United States even causes impediments to the Swiss humanitarian channel,” he said at a news conference.

 Washington has no good intention and just makes propaganda, Mousavi added.

 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed Washington is ready to help Iran in the battle with the infectious disease.

 An American weekly news magazine has said that the unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran have complicated the country’s access to life-saving medical supplies, hampering its ability to effectively respond to the deadly spread of the new coronavirus.

 “The U.S. sanctions regime has severely impacted the access that Iranians have to life-saving medical supplies and will most likely hamper the Islamic Republic’s ability to respond to the coronavirus efficiently,” Naveed Mansoori, a co-editor of online Middle East magazine Jadaliyya’s Iran Page, told Newsweek which was published on February 24.

‘Foreign media should not abuse issue of coronavirus outbreak’

 Mousavi also said that the foreign media outlets should not abuse the issue of coronavirus outbreak in Iran.

 “We advise the foreign media, especially the ones which are in Persian, not to make the people fearful and weaken their spirit,” he said.

 The BBC’s Persian service claimed on Friday that coronavirus has killed at least 210 people across Iran.

 Iran’s Health Ministry categorically denied the claim.

 Kianoush Jahanpour, head of the ministry’s Public Relations and Information Center, said on Friday that the BBC Persian is seeking to take political advantage of the coronavirus outbreak.

 “Coronavirus has brought suffering and infirmity upon the people of the world. However, it has turned into a source of profit for such satellite channels and others with corresponding roles in Saudi Arabian and Albanian channels,” Press TV quoted Jahanpour as saying.

“These are seeking to satisfy [their] ignoble political goals by creating anxiety and distress among nations, and are unfortunately making their money this way,” Jahanpour added.

‘Triggering dispute mechanism was canceled from beginning’

 Elsewhere, Mousavi said that triggering the dispute mechanism in the nuclear deal was canceled from the beginning.

 He urged the Europeans to implement their obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

 EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell was notified in January by Paris, London, and Berlin that they had triggered the dispute resolution mechanism.

 He has said that the EU will extend indefinitely the time limit to resolve disputes in the nuclear deal to avoid having to go to the UN Security Council or triggering new sanctions.

 “There is an agreement that more time is needed due to the complexity of the issues involved. The timeline is therefore extended,” Borrell said in a statement on January 24.

 Borrell said on February 16 that he will remain committed to keep the JCPOA alive.

 “As coordinator, I remain committed to listen to all sides and keep the #NuclearDeal alive,” he said in a tweet.

 In May 2019 Iran announced that its “strategic patience” is over and started to reduce its commitments to the JCPOA at bi-monthly intervals in response to the abrogation of the pact by the U.S. coupled with the European Union’s inaction to shield Iran’s economy from sanctions.

 In its last step on January 5, Iran took the last and final step, removing bans on the number of its centrifuges.

 Borrell has said that Europe must ensure Iran’s benefits from the nuclear deal if it wants the deal to survive.

 “If we want the Iran nuclear deal to survive, we need to ensure that Iran benefits if it returns to full compliance,” he wrote in an article in the Project Syndicate published on February 8.

‘Pathways to peace in Afghanistan must be through intra-Afghan dialogue’

 Mousavi also said that all the pathways to peace in Afghanistan must be through inter-Afghan consensus.

 “Taliban’s role in Afghanistan cannot be denied. What Iran attached great importance to is that all the passages to peace in Afghanistan must be through inter-Afghan consensus and with the involvement of all the Afghan groups guided by the central government,” he noted.

 After nearly two decades of war, the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement on Saturday aimed at paving the way for the complete withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.

 Mousavi said in a statement on Sunday that the U.S. is in no legal position to sign an agreement that determines the future of Afghanistan. 

“The U.S. has no legal status for signing a peace deal or deciding the future of Afghanistan,” he said.

 He said the Islamic Republic believes reaching a deal to establish sustainable peace in Afghanistan will be achieved only through Afghan-Afghan talks and with the cooperation of that country’s political groups including the Taliban and by taking into account the considerations of Afghanistan’s neighbors.

‘Iran will continue talks with Taliban’ 

Mousavi also said that Iran will continue talks with the Taliban and the U.S.-Taliban agreement will not affect it.

‘Iran following Turkey-Syria issue’

 Elsewhere, Mousavi said that Iran is following clashes between Syria and Turkey in Idlib.

 “Iran follows the issue by the time that peace is restored to the region,” he said.

 Ankara is directly involved in the clash against Syrian forces as part of a bid to help armed opposition groups, who have formed a military alliance with the terrorist groups, to halt advance of Syrian forces in Idlib.

 According to France 24, Turkey shot down two Syrian warplanes over Idlib on Sunday and struck a military airport well beyond its frontlines in a sharp escalation of its military operations following the death of dozens of Turkish soldiers last week.

 Turkey has already deployed thousands of troops and military vehicles in northwest Syria's Idlib province in the last month to stem advances by Syrian government forces, the TV channel reported.

 NA/PA

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