Iran FM meets foreign counterparts in New York

September 22, 2021 - 18:11

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has met many foreign officials during his visit to the United Nations in New York.

In New York, Abdollahian has many meetings on his agenda. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the new Iranian foreign minister will have about 45 meetings in New York. Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, the spokesman said about 45 meetings with foreign counterparts have been scheduled for Abdollahian.

The situation around the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the situation in Afghanistan, as well as other bilateral issues, were among the issues discussed during Abdollahian’s stint in New York.

The Iranian foreign minister began his scheduled meetings by meeting UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi to discuss the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover of Kabul.

In the meeting, the top Iranian diplomat underscored the necessity of ameliorating the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing Afghan people being forced from their homes inside the country and [seeing] their exodus to neighboring countries,” said Abdollahian.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has hosted its Afghan brothers and sisters for four decades now, and has tried to be a good host throughout all these years despite sanctions and economic pressure, and recently the coronavirus pandemic” he added.

“But it is essential that international organizations more actively discharge their responsibilities with regards to the humanitarian situation in this country in order to prevent more noble Afghan people from being displaced,” said the Iranian foreign minister.

The first bilateral meeting by Abdollahian was held with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Tuesday. 

During the meeting, the two top diplomats reviewed bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and international issues. They emphasized the need to increase consultations to promote trade relations and finalize ongoing negotiations on vaccine supply.

Abdollahian and Jaishankar also discussed the situation in Afghanistan. They stressed the need for the realization of the Afghan people’s will and the formation of an inclusive government without foreign interference. In the meeting, the Iranian foreign minister announced Tehran’s readiness to promote cooperation and hold joint consular and economic commissions with India. He also said the preferential trade agreement between the two countries and their cooperation in the field of energy must be finalized, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.

The Indian foreign minister also congratulated Iran on becoming a permanent member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and renewed his invitation to the Iranian counterpart to visit New Delhi.

Jaishankar also announced the Indian government’s readiness to immediately send Covid vaccines over which the two sides are negotiating. India has already promised to send the vaccines to Iran.

Following his bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Abdollahian on Tuesday met with top Luxembourgian diplomat Jean Asselborn.

During the meeting, Abdollahian praised Luxembourg's efforts to improve relations with Tehran and said that he holds the country in high regard.

Abdollahian emphasized Iran’s new balanced foreign policy and the readiness of the new government to review relations with the European Union. He stressed the need to promote relations with Luxembourg based on mutual respect and interests.

The Iranian foreign minister said Tehran has fulfilled all its obligations under the nuclear deal, or JCPOA, for many years, but the other parties have distanced themselves from fulfilling their part of the agreement in various ways. He added that the United States has committed a wide-ranging and complete violation, and the European troika is also inactive and indifferent to their commitments and to Iran's interests under the JCPOA.

Asselborn also wished Abdollahian success in his post as Iran’s foreign minister. Referring to his three previous visits to Iran, the Luxembourgian foreign minister said the two sides have many possibilities to expand their relations. He also supported bilateral consultations aimed at reviving the nuclear deal.

Abdollahian has met with his Vietnamese counterpart in New York. Abdollahian and Bui Thanh Son discussed Iran-Vietnam ties and reviewed issues of mutual interest.

Abdollahian thanked Vietnam for its principled stance on the Islamic Republic at the UN.

Abdollahian further said Iran is ready to export Iranian-made vaccines to Vietnam to help improve the Covid situation in the country and to cooperate with Hanoi in the fields of industry, agriculture and tourism. Abdollahian added that a joint economic commission is expected to be held as soon as possible.

During the meeting, the Vietnamese foreign minister first thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for its support of Vietnamese candidates in international organizations. Then, he presented a report on the latest Covid situation in his country and the problems that have arisen. He also welcomed cooperation with Iran in the fields of economy, investment, science and technology.

Abdollahian held talks with his Finnish counterpart in the last meeting of Tuesday morning with other top diplomats.

Abdollahian and Pekka Haavisto discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan and the wider region as well as issues of mutual interest.

The Iranian foreign minister said the new administration in Tehran is willing to more diligently pursue relations with Finland. He added that, to this end, holding the Iran-Finland political committee can give an impetus to bilateral ties and that Tehran is pushing for boosting relations.

Abdollahian noted that Iran is quite ready to expand economic, trade, industrial and agricultural ties with Finland and to also establish a direct flight between Tehran and Helsinki. He underlined the need to support the activity of the private sectors of Iran and Finland.

Haavisto also reviewed ties with Iran, including political, economic and environmental relations. He said Helsinki is ready to expand the ties. The Finnish foreign minister also expressed pleasure at the establishment of the Iran-Finland chamber of commerce, saying that marks a step forward in strengthening economic relations between Helsinki and Tehran.

Foreign Minister Haavisto also said his country is ready to give any necessary help to revive the Iran nuclear deal. He referred to the history of hosting regional talks within the framework of the Helsinki process and extended an invitation to the Iranian foreign minister to attend the upcoming meeting.

Following his bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Abdollahian on Tuesday met with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

He outlined Iran’s foreign policy under the new Ebrahim Raisi administration as well as the Iran nuclear program and the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the agreement, otherwise known as the JCPOA.

Abdollahian underlined the importance of the Vienna negotiations being result-based. He said the Iranian people rightfully expect to enjoy the economic benefits of the nuclear deal this time around. The foreign minister noted that this expectation has not been realized yet because the other sides have failed to live up to their part of the JCPOA. 

The U.S. should understand that all transactions were made once during the JCPOA talks, so the Vienna talks are not meant to lead to a new agreement but to ensure Washington’s return to compliance with its commitments under the deal and also UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the Iranian foreign minister highlighted.

He added the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden’s policy is a continuation of his predecessor’s policy to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Abdollahian further noted that the Iranian government is bound to make sure a parliamentary act regarding the sanctions is implemented, calling the European troika’s excuses about its failure to stick by its part of the JCPOA “unacceptable”.

The Iranian foreign minister added that the other signatories to the JCPOA must have flexibility and understand the new situation following the inauguration of the new Iranian administration. Abdollahian also underscored that the administration’s definite policy is to not tie the Iranian economy to the nuclear deal, declaring Iran’s readiness to forge ties irrespective of the JCPOA. He stressed that the Iran-Germany trade and economic ties are not satisfactory at all and that Tehran and Berlin must find a solution to this problem.

The German foreign minister also said his country is committed to the nuclear agreement and will do its utmost to revive and safeguard the deal. He welcomed the recent agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency following its chief Rafael Grossi’s visit to Iran. Maas underlined the need for all sides to do their best to make sure the Vienna talks pay off.

The top German diplomat also referred to his country’s determination to boost ties with Iran and blamed the current state of the economic relations on circumstances over which neither Iran nor Germany has any control.

Iran, Germany stress formation of inclusive government in Afghanistan

The two foreign ministers also discussed regional and international issues and the situation in Afghanistan and stressed the formation of an inclusive government in the country.

As part of his meetings on Tuesday, Abdollahian met with Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman.

During the meeting, in addition to bilateral issues, topics including the crisis in Afghanistan, refugees and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action were discussed.

The Iranian foreign minister referred to the importance of the Balkan region, especially Croatia, in the foreign policy of the new Iranian administration, stating that the two countries have great potential for developing cooperation in political and cultural spheres.

He further said that two agreements are on the agenda of the Iranian parliament in the field of customs cooperation and encouragement of mutual investment, and that with the final approval of these agreements, new opportunities will be created for cooperation.

During this meeting, the Croatian foreign minister also highlighted the importance of relations with Iran, stating that Croatia seeks to strengthen relations with the Islamic Republic. The joint economic commission is one of the mechanisms that help to expand ties.

Referring to negotiations between Iran and the 4+1 group and the Vienna agreement (JCPOA), he said that part of the benefits of this agreement will help improve Iran's economy.

He said the visit of the director general of the IAEA to Tehran and the technical agreement between the two sides was an important step, adding that the goal of the JCPOA is clear and there is no better alternative to it.

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