Iran rejects allegations by Israel, Arab quartet

September 11, 2021 - 18:55

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh strongly rejected allegations by Israel and some Arab states against Iran’s nuclear program and its regional influence. 

In a tweet on Friday, Khatibzadeh rejected Israeli threats against Iran’s nuclear program, underlining that Iran retains the right to respond to any Israeli aggression.

“Outlaw Israeli regime—sitting on illicit nukes & refusing to join NPT—again threatens NPT member Iran; a nation w world's most inspected nuclear program,” he said on Twitter.

Khatibzadeh added, “The West's darling is a habitual extorter. But world has woken up to its destabilizing nature. Iran reserves right to respond.”

The tweet came after Israel’s top diplomat implicitly threatened Iran. During a visit to Moscow on Thursday, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid accused Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapon and said that if the world doesn’t stop Iran, Israel will do so. 

“The world needs to stop Iran from getting a nuclear capability, no matter the price,” Lapid said, adding, “If the world doesn’t do it, Israel reserves the right to act.”

The Israeli-Iranian war of words came amid a flurry of diplomatic efforts to resume the stalled Vienna nuclear talks over reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

On the same day Lapid met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to discuss “the prospects of restoring full-fledged implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” according to the Russian foreign ministry.

Earlier On September 7, the U.S. State Department had confirmed in a statement that Malley’s journey was to make “consultations with our Russia and European partners on Iran’s nuclear program and the need to quickly reach and implement an understanding on a mutual return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

After consultations in Moscow, Malley will meet diplomats from France, Germany, and the UK in Paris ahead of a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.

Over the last few days, the situation around the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has become even more complicated, with the United States undertaking shuttle diplomacy to convince other parties to the deal into urging Iran to return to Vienna as soon as possible.

The thrust of the U.S. push is to build a consensus among the P5+1 group of countries that stalled Vienna nuclear talks should be resumed as soon as possible, indicating a sense of frustration over the failure of the so-called maximum pressure campaign of the U.S. in forcing Iran into giving more concessions regarding the revival of the JCPOA.  

So far, six rounds of talks have been held in Vienna since April but the talks did not result in a deal to revive the JCPOA due in part to U.S. insistence that the nuclear agreement should be lengthened and strengthened. 

In late August, Khatibzadeh said that the nuclear talks in Vienna are not intended to rewrite the text of the 2015 nuclear deal, suggesting that Iran would oppose any efforts in that regard. 

In addition to his response to Israel, Khatibzadeh also reacted to recent remarks by an Arab quartet committee. Khatibzadeh has condemned absurd accusations leveled against Tehran in a statement issued by the self-proclaimed Arab Quartet Committee, according to a statement by the Iranian foreign ministry. 

Khatibzadeh said such statements show that the members of the committee lack the least understanding of regional developments and general conditions in relations between the Islamic Republic and Arab countries.

The foreign ministry spokesman dismissed the hackneyed allegations of Iranian interference in the domestic affairs of others leveled against Tehran by countries that have a history of intervention, creating tension, breeding terrorists, breeding mercenaries and war mongering especially in Yemen and afflicted parts of West Asia and Africa.

Khatibzadeh said putting these components together to accuse Iran, will not solve the problem of the countries that intervene in the affairs of others and ignore the people.

He said the main concern of those behind such statements is to serve the Zionist regime overtly and covertly.

Khatibzadeh advised the four countries to focus on the Zionist regime’s crimes against the oppressed people of Palestine instead of issuing such worthless statements.

He said issuing such statements simultaneously with the actions of some of these countries to mend ties with Iran is contradictory and reiterated the Islamic Republic’s permanent position in calling on neighbors for dialog and clearing misunderstandings through diplomatic channels.

Regarding the three Iranian islands, he rejected the statement and noted that all Iranian measures are in the framework of exercising its sovereignty and territorial integrity. He denounced interference by others in this regard.

The foreign ministry spokesman said maintaining and consolidating nuclear achievements and the defense capabilities of Iran are among the country’s strategic policies.

He underlined obstructionism by some of the members of the self-proclaimed Arab Quartet Committee on the path towards a nuclear deal, stressing that such statements will have no effect on the development of Iran’s peaceful nuclear industry.

Since April, Iran and Saudi Arabia began several rounds of what can be called exploratory talks in Baghdad concurrently with the nuclear talks between Iran and major world powers in Vienna.

But all these diplomatic efforts failed to break the wall of mistrust currently prevailing in the Iran-Saudi relations, which were cut in 2016 after a mob of Iranian protesters angry over the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric by Saudi Arabia stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi has recently announced that the fourth round of Iran-Saudi talks is expected to take place soon. Speaking at an event in Baghdad, the ambassador said, “So far, we have had three rounds of talks with the Saudi side, and the fourth round will be held following the formation of the new Iranian government.”

Underlining that Iran is a large and civilized country and is ready for any kind of dialogue with other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Masjedi said, “Iran has declared its readiness for dialogue and peace and has extended its hand to help neighboring countries and the region.”

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