Foreign Ministry says pursuing cases of two Iranian citizens in border point with Turkey

April 26, 2021 - 18:17

TEHRAN — The Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it is following the cases of two Iranian citizens who were reportedly tortured and mistreated in border point with Turkey.

On April 15, several media outlets said two Iranian citizens named Behnam Samadi and Hassan Kachanlou were tortured and abused by ten Turkish border guards at the zero-point border.

“Pursuing the rights of Iranian citizens has always been important to us, and we have been following this issue seriously since the first moment we became aware of it,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told at his weekly press briefing.

“We called our friends in Turkey and talked (about the matter),” he said.

Khatibzadeh said Iran’s consulate in Turkey is actively pursuing the issue.

“The border guards of the two countries met with each other in this regard,” he added.

Khatibzadeh noted that Tehran also submitted a note to the Turkish ambassador on the same day to follow up on the issue.

Regarding the incident, the spokesman stated that this is “bad” for the good relations between the two countries.

He said, “I think we can prevent this from happening again with the cooperation of each other.”

Khatibzadeh said that the exact dimensions of the story are not yet clear to Iran and investigations are underway.

“Our friends in Turkey are helping to find out more in good faith,” he noted.

He also emphasized that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seriously pursuing the rights of Iranian citizens in various places.

“UN Security Council ratifications are the most formidable guarantee”

He also said the Iranian delegation left for Vienna on Monday to continue talks within the framework of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA for a possible revitalization of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The talks are being led by the European Union. 

Negotiations on reviving the nuclear deal started some two weeks ago as Biden administration has expressed willingness to return to the JCPOA that was ditched by the Trump administration in May 2018.

Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal despite the fact that it was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

When a resolution is adopted by the Security Council as the most important international body its implementation is obligatory.

However, Khatibzadeh said in the international system sometimes international law is violated.

He said the most formidable guarantee for implementing an agreement is a ratification by the UN Security Council yet it should be noted that “all these guarantees do not prevent countries from not fulfilling their obligations.”

He went on to explain about the U.S. bad record in breaching its obligations, saying Washington has shown that it does not adhere to these “guarantees” and does not have a good track record in meeting its commitments.

The JCPOA has the highest guarantee given that UN Security Council has made it legally binding, the spokesman noted.

Iran has been demanding that if the JCPOA is to be revived the U.S. must lift all sanctions in a verifiable way.

“What is important is that the fulfillment of all obligations by the United States are verified; and on the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran does not remain silent against the other side's breach of obligations.”

He reminded the global community that Iran reduced its obligations in response to the other side’s actions.

It must be noticed that the JCPOA “is a two-way road”.

Iran started to gradually reduce its commitments to the terms of the JCPOA one year after Trump left the deal and introduced the harshest sanctions within his “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.

‘Iran’s position on lifting sanctions has not changed’

The diplomat also said there has been no change in Iran's position on lifting sanctions.

“The United States must live up to its obligations under the JCPOA and verify the implementation of those commitments,” he said.

Khatibzadeh also emphasized that Iran will not accept a step-by-step or gradual plan to lift sanctions.

He added that there is no need for direct or indirect dialogue with the U.S. to return to its JCPOA obligations.

"The U.S. commitments are clear and the Joint Commission is a channel that can remind the United States of its commitments to this deal."

“We do not agree on anything unless we agree on everything.”

Responding to a question about the Vienna negotiations and how long would it take, Khatibzadeh said Iran is not interested in starting or continuing erosive or protracted talks.

At the same time Tehran will not be in a hurry as long as Iran's interests under the nuclear deal are not observed and secured in details, he added.

“As I have said before we will definitely not continue the talks if it becomes clear that there is not enough political will by the other side, or the way to lift the sanctions becomes difficult.”

The spokesman stressed that unless the United States fulfills its obligations effectively and verifiably, it will not have any seats at the JCPOA negotiating table, and Iran will continue this policy until the end.

In response to a question about differences of opinion in the U.S. about lifting sanctions, Khatibzadeh made it clear that Iran has nothing to do with the U.S. domestic politics.

“How the United States wants to meet its obligations is a matter for the United States. What is important for us is that the lifting of sanctions should be effective and we should be able to verify them, and this verification should be verified by institutions and departments that can verify practically.”

Iran has been insisting on removal of banking, insurance, and oil sale sanctions.

‘U.S. should remove terrorist tag from IRGC’

On the issue of sanctions imposed on entities such as the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Khatibzadeh responded, “The glorious Corps of Islam is definitely the pride of Iran. No institution, body or entity in Iran in various fields should be subject to such sanctions. Of course, the United States has long shown its enmity with the pillars of the system and the various pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran. All these elements, including the Corps, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Broadcasting, etc., are for Iran, and it is important for us that the United States fulfills its obligations, and the removal of these labels is one of these obligations and duties.”

‘Iran needs more details on the Syrian oil tanker’

About the Syrian oil tanker incident, the spokesman said Iran has requested for more detailed information and is waiting for Syria to shed some light on the matter.

“We have also seen these scattered reports; we have requested more detailed reports, and I think that what the Syrian government is saying in this regard should be cited by the media at the moment to see exactly what happened,” he explained.

On April 24, Syria’s oil ministry said firefighters have put out a blaze on an oil tanker outside the Baniyas refinery off Syria’s coast after a suspected attack by a drone.

The official state news agency SANA on Saturday quoted the oil ministry as saying the fire erupted after “what was believed to be an attack by a drone from the direction of Lebanese waters”.

‘EU politicizing human rights’

Regarding the attitude of Europeans towards the issue of human rights and related issues, Khatibzadeh said, "The history of Europeans in relation to human rights and their political and double standard approaches have not left any reputation for some European countries."

The spokesman reiterated that the Europeans’ actions confirm that they politicize human rights and are “the biggest traitors to it.”

The EU recently blacklisted 89 individuals and four organizations in Iran.  The move drew a strong response from Iran. Iran cut cooperation with the EU on combatting terrorism, drug trafficking, etc. Iran has vowed to retaliate.

‘Iran welcomes dialogue with Saudi Arabia’

Responding to a question on possible Iran-Saudi Arabia negotiations, the spokesman once again reiterated that Iran is always open to settle differences with the Saudis.

“We welcome talks between the two countries. Whenever the King of Saudi Arabia makes a decision to hold talks at various levels, we welcome it.”

On the remarks of the Saudi ambassador to the United Nations against Iran and his request to the international community that a stronger nuclear agreement should be reached with Iran, the spokesman said he has not seen such remarks and “it should be answered at its own level.”

On April 24, Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, urged Tehran to “seriously engage” in the ongoing negotiations over its nuclear program.

‘Israel’s actions against Iran will not go unanswered’

The Foreign Ministry spokesman also responded to a question about the Zionist regime's subversive acts in the region and against Iran's national security, saying, "As has been said many times before, none of the actions of the occupying regime against Iran's national security and interests have remained and will not remain unanswered.”

Khatibzadeh remarked that Israel considers its life in “creating a crisis” and it is important for Iran to maintain stability and security in the region.

“Iran will not allow this usurper regime to endanger the security of the region more than before,” the spokesman stressed.


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