Iran FM: I told Harris in Munich to let us know if rioters are to rule WH after Biden

June 1, 2022 - 11:23

TEHRAN — Speaking at a seminar titled “Balanced Foreign Policy in Imam Khomeini’s School” on Tuesday, Iran’s foreign minister revealed the message he had given through an intermediary counterpart to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris during the Munich Security Conference in February.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian also said the negotiations in Vienna to remove the sanctions on Iran by the United States are still underway, and non-papers are still being exchanged between Iran and the U.S. through the EU coordinator, Enrique Mora. 

At the beginning of his remarks, the Foreign Minister referred to “Neither the East nor the West” slogan used by Imam Khomeini at the early stages of the Islamic Revolution, noting, “When we speak of neither the East nor the West, which is something explicitly stated in the Constitution, we mean neither isolationism nor distance from East and West, nor negation of the East and the West. In the foreign policy of this government, it is stated that the main goal is not to be dependent on either the East or the West.”

Amir Abdollahian said that after expressing the approach of looking at Asia with the priority of neighbors in the new government, some criticisms were raised. 

“We are not selling the country to China or Russia,” he told the seminar held at the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini in southern Tehran.

He then said, “After the Ukraine war, when I traveled to Russia due to a misunderstanding in the Vienna talks, I told Lavrov clearly that we are independent in our foreign policy.”

According to the foreign minister, during the Ukraine war, the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal told Iran that even if an agreement is reached and approved by Tehran, Russia would not approve of the deal due to the Ukraine war and the consequences it might face.  

“I immediately contacted Lavrov, and a few days later we met in Moscow on the basis of an appointment we had made, and we made clear to Lavrov Iran's position that we were acting completely independently in our foreign policy, in accordance with our national interests. Our goal is that Russia would play a constructive role in the talks whenever we reach an agreement, as Russia did from the beginning of this round of talks. Of course, we said that we are clear and cannot bear anything against the national interests of the country,” he elaborated. 

Amir Abdollahian added that overall, Iran gained confidence that the assumption of some Western countries cannot be entirely true.

“Even at a press conference, Lavrov explicitly stated, and in our diplomatic talks, it was stated that at any point of time the Islamic Republic of Iran declares that we approve the content of the agreement, Russia will immediately be present in Vienna alongside the other member states of the agreement and will declare its support,” the foreign minister noted. 

According to the foreign minister, the pause in the Vienna talks is due to the Americans’ unilateral sanctions.

“Our negotiations and the exchange of messages are constantly done through Mora, the EU representative. There has barely been a week that we have not exchanged at least one or two indirect messages between us and the United States to clear up any ambiguities and obstacles on how to lift the sanctions,” he noted. 

Amir Abdollahian added, “Less than three months ago, when I was in Munich, senior U.S. officials present in Munich were interested in having a direct conversation with the Iranian Foreign Minister, and their message was that we could use the current situation to take the negotiations one step forward and fix the deal.”

He underlined that in order for Iran to respond to the other side, the first point he made was that the United States must put into practice the message that Biden repeatedly sends through the European Union and some regional or European foreign ministers that he has good faith.

“Biden says he disapproves Trump’s approach and he must show this in practice, and we must see the difference between Biden's approach and performance in comparison to Trump in practice,” Iran’s top diplomat said. 

“I asked the foreign minister who was trying to broker a negotiation between me and U.S. officials to tell the senior U.S. officials in Munich, both Kamala Harris and (Anthony) Blinken, why in the negotiations, with all the effort that has been put in, you often say that we cannot guarantee that what we will agree can be fulfilled by the next government. I told the said foreign minister to tell Ms. Kamala Harris that if there was going to be a group of rioters ruling the White House after you, please let us know.”

He added that even if there was a group of rioters in the White House, based on international law, they should adhere to international commitments. 

“It is not legally or even politically acceptable for a stable government to come to an agreement, but to say before returning to the agreement that it has no obligation regarding the next government. This may be acceptable to some, given the realities of the American structure, but we have made it clear to them that we are committed,” Amir Abdollahian underscored. 

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