We won’t take any deal on the table, Amir Abdollahian says

UAE, Kuwait to send ambassadors to Tehran

July 22, 2022 - 21:19

TEHRAN — In a live talk show aired late Thursday, Iran’s foreign minister discussed a broad range of issues, from Iran’s good neighborliness policy to the ongoing sanctions-removal negotiations.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian also informed the people that Kuwait and the UAE will soon send ambassador to Tehran. 

He said the UAE ambassador will resume his work in Iran soon, and Kuwait has also named its new ambassador to Tehran.

The foreign ministry has endorsed the two Arab ambassadors, he added. 

In the beginning of the talk show, Amir Abdollahian referred to the expansion of Tehran's economic interactions with the neighboring countries over the last 11 months, noting, “During the last ten months, the volume of trade between Iran and Iraq has increased from 12 billion to 16 billion dollars.”

Ebrahim Raisi officially began his work as president in August 2021.

Saudis asked us to make the negotiations public

Regarding the Tehran-Riyadh negotiations, Iran’s top diplomat said last week Tehran received a message from the Iraqi foreign minister suggesting that Saudi Arabia is ready to continue the talks with Iran at political level and publicly.

Previously, these negotiations were conducted at security level and in secrecy. 

Noting that Iran is ready that its talks with Riyadh to enter political phase, he said, “We hope that these talks will eventually lead to the restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

The foreign minister also said that the slogan of the diplomatic apparatus is interaction with the East and the West.

Intermediaries told Iran Pompeo has spent $2 million on protection

Elsewhere in the show, the chief diplomat said that the European intermediaries have informed Iran that former U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who was one of the perpetrators behind the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani, has spent two million dollars on his protection so far. 

“On the sidelines of negotiations to lift the sanctions, the intermediaries who transmit American messages told us that Pompeo alone has spent two million dollars on his protection because he is one of the agents who carried out the assassination of martyr Soleimani,” he stated.

He clarified that at a point in the recent negotiations, the American side sought to convey its concerns about the perpetrators of the assassination through the intermediaries, which was strongly rejected by Tehran and this case is being followed seriously by the Judiciary and the Foreign Ministry.

We hope Iran would enter SCO this September

Asked about the latest status of Iran regarding its full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the foreign minister expressed hope that in its September meeting, the SCO would review Iran’s application. 

“We hope that in the September meeting of the organization, we will enter into the implementation and practical stages of using the benefits of Iran's permanent membership in this organization,” Amir Abdollahian stated. 

Similarly, on Iran's membership process in BRICS +, he noted that Iran is one of the first countries that is going to become a member of BRICS +.

BRICS includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Private sector is leading in interaction with Africa

In the interview, the foreign minister also expressed his satisfaction with the level of interaction with the African continent, saying that in the last 10 and a half months, about 47 official delegations from Africa came to Iran and signed contracts in which the private sector was leading. 

Nonetheless, he noted that the level of interaction with Africa is unsatisfactory. 

“Actions taken to expand the interaction with Africa are necessary but not sufficient. Africa is an intact continent and has many capacities,” the chief diplomat stated. 

We won’t take any deal on the table

Elsewhere in the talk show, the foreign minister faced a question on the latest developments surrounding the nuclear negotiations intended to remove sanctions, to which he responded that the foreign policy of the government in view of the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) is that the government should follow sustainable economic development program regardless of the JCPOA. 

On the other hand, he remarked, the foreign ministry should use its optimum capacity for sustainable economic development to lift the sanctions and that Tehran must be present at the negotiation table, as this is a “negotiation campaign.”

More than 95 percent of the nuclear text is ready 

Amir Abdollahian continued, “We are now at a point where we have a ready text in front of us, and there is a consensus between the parties regarding more than 95 percent of its content, but there is still an important flaw in this text; and as we have stated many times, we must fully enjoy the economic benefits of this agreement.”

In this connection, Amir Abdollahian added, Tehran doesn’t want to repeat the same mistake twice.
“In order for Iran to enjoy the economic benefits of this agreement in full, the Americans must make commitments and (give) guarantees,” he reiterated, adding that Tehran is serious about reaching a “good, strong and stable” agreement. 

“We do not want an agreement at any price…, we are looking for a good, stable and strong agreement,” Amir Abdollahian underlined. 

He then pointed out that exchanging messages and consultations to reach an agreement is still underway, and the Americans have not yet assured Iran that Tehran can fully enjoy the economic benefits of the JCPOA.

“We are in the process of contacting and exchanging messages so that the indexes we want in this field are concretely and accurately put on paper so that we can then announce that we are securing a good agreement,” the chief diplomat said. 

Water diplomacy seriously on the agenda 

In the last part of the interview, Amir Abdollahian pointed to the efforts of the diplomatic apparatus to solve the environmental crises, saying that unfortunately part of the environmental crises that the region is facing is due to the wars that have occurred in the region over last two or three decades and these wars have negatively affected the environment. 

“Regarding this issue, Iran is trying to create peace, stability and sustainable security in the region and avoid war. The second part of it refers to the issue of water diplomacy and this is an issue that is on the agenda of the foreign ministry and the energy ministry,” he added.

The foreign minister announced about three weeks ago, he had a meeting with President Ebrahim Raisi during which he called all the relevant departments to bring any plan and action to the relevant institutions and implement them because the issue of water is a very important issue for the country.

Stating that a part of this issue also goes back to Helmand water, he clarified that he has talked about this issue three times in person and several times over the phone with Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan's interim governing body.

“The progress we have had is that the current officials of the Afghan governing body accept that Iran's water rights from Helmand should be secured, but they say from a technical point of view, Kabul is also facing problems with rain and so on,” he elaborated. 

Regarding Iran’s water rights from Aras and the need of the western provinces, the foreign minister said that about eight months ago, he agreed with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to form a joint water committee for the first time. 

“A delegation from Iran went to Turkey and soon a delegation from Turkey will come to Iran,” he added. 

Similarly, Amir Abdollahian pointed to the recent conversation between the presidents of Iran and Turkey and said, “Dr. Raisi emphasized this issue twice in his recent meeting with Mr. Erdogan and said that this is not an issue that we can easily ignore and we expect you not to reduce Iran's water rights from the Aras River, and this is the right of the Iranian people and should be taken into consideration. We are also following this issue in different departments.”

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