Iran has serious doubts about U.S. intentions, says Khatibzadeh

Tehran: Swiss FM’s visit has nothing to do with Iran-U.S. issues

September 6, 2020 - 11:19

TEHRAN – The Foreign Ministry has announced that Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis’s visit to Tehran has nothing to do with Iran-U.S. issues.

“This trip has nothing to do with Iran-U.S. issues. This trip has already been planned within the framework of reciprocal ties and regular trips by both countries’ foreign ministers,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Friday evening, the Foreign Ministry website reported.

Khatibzadeh touched upon reports on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s contacts with the top Swiss diplomat, saying, “The U.S. secretary of state’s hasty contacts with dignitaries who are going to visit Iran are nothing new.”

“Out of desperation, Pompeo seeks to pursue Washington’s ‘maximum pressure’ policy one way or another. So, he tries to dissuade third countries from having normal relations with Iran. Of course, he has failed in his attempts so far. The Americans failed in their efforts, too, during a trip to Iran by director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi. This time, too, their pressure will fail to be effective,” he said.

According to the spokesman, the Islamic Republic has time and again announced its official stance on the Trump regime’s recalcitrance, and Iran’s position has not changed.

Cassis is scheduled to discuss bilateral and regional issues with Iranian officials in a two-day visit to Tehran.

During his visit, he is slated to meet with several high-ranking Iranian officials including President Hassan Rouhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Switzerland has represented U.S. interests in Iran since 1980 and has acted as a go-between to deescalate tensions between Tehran and Washington. It has also played a key role in paving the way for prisoner swap deals between the two countries.

Cassis’s visit comes amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington, with the latter having recently resorted to a political ploy to reimpose the UN sanctions on Iran under the 2015 nuclear agreement it ditched in May 2018.

The U.S. move, which comes under a mechanism commonly known as “snapback”, has been rejected vehemently by other parties to the deal, including Iran on the one side and Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany on the other.

On September 2, Cassis discussed his upcoming visit to Iran with Pompeo via telephone.  

“In view of my trip to Iran, we discussed the Swiss financial channel for humanitarian goods,” he wrote in a tweet after a telephone conversation with his American counterpart.

Iran has serious doubts about U.S. intentions, says Khatibzadeh

In his Friday remarks, Khatibzadeh said two transactions have taken place so far via the Swiss financial channel.

“The first one was conducted in February 2020 on a trial basis,” he said. “And back in June, the first official transaction was conducted through this channel. Both transactions included the transfer of medications using Iranian financial resources in Switzerland.”

He also slammed U.S. destructive moves with regard to the financial channel, saying, “We have serious doubts about the United States’ intentions.”

“Of course, it is clear that everything conducted so far through this financial channel has been done with Iranian assets in Switzerland,” the spokesman said.

“We welcome any move that would see this channel get rid of the U.S. pressure and ease the shipment of commodities and medicines by using Iran’s assets in other countries,” he added.

MH/PA

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