U.S. offers talks with Iran on daily basis, spokesman says

October 2, 2020 - 16:55

TEHRAN – Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, has said the United States makes efforts to hold talks with Iran every day.

“Not a day goes by that the U.S. government does not seek to take pictures with Iranian officials and design a play. The Americans are so desperate in their maximum pressure policy against Iran that they are increasingly trying to open a path in which they think can stage a show,” the spokesman said in an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

“We do not give anyone the opportunity to stage show,” he added.

Khatibzadeh was responding to a question on whether the U.S. has offered to start negotiations with Iran.

Tehran and Washington have not held direct talks since the White House unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deals between Iran and world powers, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran has called on the U.S. many times to return to the JCPOA and lift the sanctions it imposed on Iran following its withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

“Our framework is clear. The JCPOA specifies the obligations of the parties and that there is no need to give a message or renegotiate. We should not waste each other's time. Our message to Washington has been clear: Accepting responsibility for the destructive actions taken against the Iranian nation, stopping economic terrorism, respecting Iran's rights and responsibly compensating for the damages caused,” Khatibzadeh said in the interview, which was published on Friday.

Referring to the UN Security Council opposition to the U.S. announcement that it has restored all UN sanctions on Iran, the spokesman pointed out, “America has heard a ‘big no and become more isolated’. Trump failed to keep the promises that he had made to his election campaign but still, he wants to portray himself as triumphant. Of course, at least over the past 70 years, the U.S. has taken a path of bullying. And it wants to get others on board through bullying. This is an addiction that Washington should quit sooner or later.”

On Monday, Khatibzadeh strongly rejected news media reports suggesting that Iran and the U.S. are holding secret negotiations. He said, “There have been no negotiations, and there is not, and there will not be any negotiation [with the U.S.], all of this is for domestic consumption. It may benefit Trump, but it does not benefit Iran-U.S. relations.”

During his interview with IRNA, Khatibzadeh also said Iran has warned the U.S. that any American miscalculation about Iran will bring about “the mother of all quagmires.”

“The U.S. is our enemy. It’s not our tutor. We make our choices according to our national interests and in an independent way. The U.S. big mistakes have led to its failure and expulsion from the region,” the spokesman said.

Responding to the U.S. threat that all options are on the table against Iran, Khatibzadeh asserted, “Since the early days of the Revolution, the U.S. sought to take a lot of measures against the government and the people of Iran, but failed to carry out a lot of these measures. Misperceptions and miscalculations lead to dangerous results. Therefore, we have warned the Americans that a misperception about Iran, would create the mother of all quagmires.”

Khatibzadeh also touched on the European stance on the nuclear standoff between Tehran and Washington, saying it’s likely that the European position on Iran will change if Trump is reelected.

“It’s clear that the Europeans failed to implement their commitments under the JCPOA. Iran has announced this many times while triggering the Dispute Resolution Mechanism. Iran’s five steps in reducing the nuclear commitments were aimed at restoring balance to the deal,” noted the spokesman, adding that these steps were a response to the European inaction, not the U.S.

He explained, “Because the Europeans and the parties to the JCPOA did not fulfill their obligations, Iran reduced its commitments. Obviously, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, and we consider their actions to re-impose sanctions and impose double pressure beyond the JCPOA illegal and against international law.”

Khatibzadeh said Iran cannot reverse its nuclear measures unless Europe and other parties to the nuclear deal fully implement their obligations under the JCPOA.

“The Europeans have so far failed to meet their obligations. They could not even implement INSTEX, which is the prelude to their obligation to lift the sanctions. Therefore, we do not take the matter lightly and we pay attention to their actions, not to their words and promises.”


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