We are at a full-blown economic war, says Iranian diplomat

April 30, 2021 - 18:57

TEHRAN— Seyed Rasoul Mohajer, Deputy Foreign Minister in Economic Diplomacy, spoke with state news IRNA on Friday, stating that the United States government and its various entities are trying to close all of the economic openings in Iran.

The senior diplomat stated that the interpretation of full-blown economic war is not an exaggeration. "In recent years, all of our Iranian banks and shipping have been sanctioned, and the Americans have tried to prevent any Iranian ships from sailing."

He explained that the main task of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to direct and balance foreign relations in various matters, including economic. 
He stated that the sweetest fruit of the Islamic Revolution is the independence of Iran. 

"It is no exaggeration to say that the Islamic Republic is the most independent country in the world. Even the United States is not independent, and its policies depend on the Zionist regime. In the years after the revolution, the slogan of 'neither the East nor the West' has been well preserved in the country," he said.

'Iran-China cooperation plan is a symbol of development'
 

He described the 25-year cooperation plan with China as one of the symbols of the development of relations and moderation.

"Despite the fact that the enemies sought to provoke public opinion in this field to consider the signing of this document incorrect. In their view, if the document had been signed with a European country, there would have been no such media controversy," Mohajer stated. 

Referring to the signing of the 25-year cooperation plan with China, Mohajer said that Iran has already signed such a document with Russia, and now it's looking to develop that document. 

Elaborating on the Iran-China cooperation plan, he described it as a roadmap that was drafted and signed and therefore did not need parliamentary approval. 

"Iran has maintained its independence despite this document, and cooperation will be based on mutual respect and win-win. We do not give our market to any country," he said. 

Stating that Iran has to start signing contracts and implement the 25-year Iran-China cooperation plan as soon as possible, the senior diplomat said that the Chinese are looking for this document to become operational soon, and Iran will present the operational results of this document soon.
 

'Europe's lack of free will is the reason for less Iran-Europe relations'
 

The Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that the ministry is the flagship of supporting and developing foreign relations and Iran's relations with Europe. 

"We are preparing this document with other neighbouring countries, including Afghanistan, and it will be finalized and signed," the diplomat said.

Explaining the reasons for having less relations with Europe than other countries, Mohajer said that this is due to the lack of free will in the Europeans. 

"This is because Europe owes itself to American policies and could not even develop its economic relations with Iran through the INSTEX mechanism," he remarked.

He reminded the global community that Iran would not forget the countries that kept their relations with the Islamic Republic during harsh and unjust sanctions.

'Biden is following in Trump's footsteps'
 

Responding to a question about the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration, the diplomat said that the methods of Trump and Biden are different. Still, there is no difference between how the Islamic Republic will encounter the U.S. governments.

"The Vienna talks are underway now, but the Biden administration is still following in Trump's footsteps, but the government has managed to handle the country despite all the pressure and oppressive sanctions, and the US has not been able to reduce Iran's oil sales to zero," Mohajer said.

He expressed hope that the Vienna negotiations would open economic opportunities. 

The senior diplomat stated that he is optimistic about unfreezing Iranian assets.

"I am optimistic about the release of Iranian resources. Trump's maximum pressure was not effective against the endurance of the Iranian people. The purpose of the sanctions was to put pressure on the people, but the people bravely resisted, and this resistance of the people has made our diplomats have the upper hand in the Vienna talks. The outlook is positive, and I hope we will see new openings based on the resistance of the people of our country," the senior diplomat said. 

Mohajer believes that Iran has to join two United Nations conventions. Terrorist Financing Convention (CFT), and United Nations Conventions against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention)

"These two conventions are a prerequisite for the action plan we have agreed with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and by joining them, we will be removed from the FATF blacklist," the diplomat explained. 

The Deputy Foreign Minister elaborated that if Iran were not removed from the blacklist, it would not benefit from the lifting of sanctions if the sanctions were lifted. 

Mohajer stated, "The FATF has nothing to do with Iranian's private accounts. Iran is involved in drafting the Palermo and the CFT conventions and is a party to the UN conventions."

"It is contrary to popular belief that if we become a member of the FATF, our surveillance will increase. Now that we are on the blacklist, our surveillance has increased a lot, and there are many restrictions for Iranians abroad," he explained.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an international organization founded in 1989 to develop policies to combat money laundering. As of March 2021, Iran and North Korea are blacklisted. 


SA/SM

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