Iran rejects U.S. sanctions, joint statement with E3 and Arab states 

November 19, 2021 - 23:19

TEHRAN – Iran has reacted to the U.S. move in imposing sanctions and issuing a joint statement with a number of European and Arab countries on Iran. 

On the sanctions, which were imposed on six Iranian individuals for allegedly interfering in the U.S. 2020 presidential election, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called them a continuation of the failed “maximum pressure” campaign of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Regarding new U.S. sanctions against six Iranian individuals and an Iranian institution under the false pretext of interfering in U.S. elections, Khatibzadeh said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the new U.S. sanctions efforts as a continuation of the failed policy of Trump's maximum pressure and as actions out of desperation.”

He stated that the sanctions have no legitimacy and are condemned.

Khatibzadeh emphasized that these kinds of blame games by the U.S. government, which has a long history of interfering in different countries in various forms, are considered baseless and meant to deceive the public in America.

The spokesman also reacted to a joint statement by the U.S., the three European signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and the countries of the Cooperation Council on Iran. 

In response to reporters' questions about the statement of the self-proclaimed working group of the United States, the European Troika and the countries of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council on Iran, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “This meeting and its statement are so fabricated, pretentious and illegitimate that they are not worth a response.”

Khatibzadeh stated that the U.S. government as the violator of Resolution 2231 and the party that withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPO) and is responsible for the current situation, and as the only country with a history of using nuclear weapons, with a black record of numerous interventions in the domestic affairs of different countries, and the main seller of weapons and ammunition to different parts of the world, is once again trying to create a crisis and campaign against Iran.

Countries that must be held accountable for their adventures and aggressions in the region, including the seven-year aggression again Yemen, cannot make baseless accusations against others and absolve themselves of responsibility for these crimes and divert public opinion, Khatibzadeh added.

The remarks came after senior officials of the United States and the members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) convened their working group on Iran at the GCC’s headquarters in Riyadh on November 17, as decided by the U.S.-GCC foreign ministerial meeting on September 23.

A day later, political directors (PDs) of the E3 (France, Germany, UK) and the U.S. special envoy for Iran held consultations with the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council states, Egypt, and Jordan in Riyadh.

“They exchanged views on the political and security situation in the region, including Iran’s actions. They also addressed the upcoming seventh round of talks on the return of Iran and the United States to mutual, full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Representatives of the E3 and the United States reiterated the importance – for Europe, the United States, the region and beyond – of quickly reaching and implementing a negotiated solution to that end and of ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes,” a statement by U.S. State Department said. 

The statement added, “PDs of the E3 and the U.S. Special Envoy for Iran welcomed our regional partners’ efforts to deescalate tensions and promote dialogue in the region. They affirmed their determination to continue to address broader security concerns of the region.”

The statement concluded, “They underlined that enhanced regional dialogue and a return to mutual compliance with the JCPOA would benefit the entire Middle East, allow for more regional partnerships and economic exchange, with long-lasting implications for growth and the well-being of all people there, including in Iran.”

“IAEA should be free from the stain of any political conduct”

Khatibzadeh also responded to French remarks on a recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency. 

In response to a question about the recent remarks by the French Foreign Ministry spokesman, Khatibzadeh said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a responsible member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has always emphasized that the IAEA's reputation as a UN technical and specialized body should be free from the stain of any political conduct or action.”

Accordingly, any stance of officials and political institutions of different countries with the aim of influencing the behavior of the International Atomic Energy Agency harms the technical and professional status of the IAEA, and without a doubt, the ploy of using the International Atomic Energy Agency as a tool calls into question the international legitimacy of the Agency's actions rather than benefiting its perpetrators, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman added.

French Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre has called for a tougher message to Iran in the upcoming meeting of the IAEA board of governors in light of the IAEA’s recent report on Iran. 

She called for a strong message to Iran through a meeting of the IAEA board of governors.

Legendre described the IAEA report as “very worrying” and said that next week's meeting of the board of governors should send a strong message to Iran.

The IAEA has claimed in a new quarterly report that Iran has increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

The IAEA also reiterated its allegations against the Islamic Republic, claiming that Iran continues to violate many of the limitations of the nuclear deal, including the level of uranium enrichment and its enriched uranium stockpile. 

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Legendre said, “Iran must return to fulfilling all its obligations and duties to the IAEA without delay, resume cooperation with the IAEA and return to full implementation of the JCPOA.”

“The board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency should help send a strong message to Iran in this regard,” she added.

This is the second time France signals that it may take action against Iran in the next meeting of the board of governors.

In early November, Legendre pointed out that France still could take action against Iran in the next meeting of the IAEA board of governors. She said France was in contact with its allies on how to respond to what she called Iran’s “non-cooperation” with the IAEA.

France’s position could not come at a more sensitive moment. The IAEA board is preparing for a meeting ahead of the seventh round of the Vienna talks. So, it’s not clear yet if France would push for censure against Iran during the meeting.

Many observers and diplomats believe that France could fail in pushing for censure given the dire implications of such a move for the next round of the Vienna talks scheduled to take place on November 29.

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