Rouhani urges EU to counter U.S. ‘inhuman’ sanctions regime

April 21, 2020 - 19:7

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani has urged the European Union to counter the United States’ “inhuman” actions.

“We expect the European countries, especially Italy, to take necessary measures against violation of the law [by the U.S.],” Rouhani said in a phone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday.

Rouhani described the U.S. pressure on other countries in a situation when they are fighting the coronavirus pandemic, as “inhuman”.

“Continuation of it [pressure and sanctions] is a brutal crime against a great nation and is contrary to humanitarian principles and international law,” he added.

‘INSTEX has not been effective so far’

Rouhani also said that INSTEX (the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) has not been effective so far.

He expressed hope that the EU would fulfill its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal known as the JCPOA.

INSTEX has been designed by the European Union to facilitate legitimate trade with Tehran. It was introduced on January 31, 2019, by France, Germany, and Britain, the three European countries party to the nuclear deal.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that the INSTEX is a preliminary step for Europeans to fulfill their obligations and their commitments are not limited to it.

For his part, Conte said that Italy is ready to cooperate with Iran and strengthen the EU financial mechanism to interact with Iran.

‘No way but regional cooperation to boost security’

In a separate phone conversation with Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Rouhani said that there is no way but expanding regional cooperation and friendship to boost security and stability in the region.

He added that Iran is ready to expand cooperation and relations with Kuwait.

For his part, the Kuwaiti Emir said his country supports Iran’s proposed Hormuz peace initiative.

At the United Nations summit in New York in late September 2019, Iran officially unveiled the proposal for regional security.

“Based upon the historical responsibility of my country in maintaining security, peace, stability, and progress in the Persian Gulf region and Strait of Hormuz, I would like to invite all the countries directly affected by the developments in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to the ‘Coalition for Hope’, meaning Hormuz Peace Endeavor,” President Hassan Rouhani told the UN delegates.

Foreign Minister Zarif has invited all regional states to join the peace plan for securing the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

In a tweet in September, Zarif said the initiative entails “dialogue, confidence-building, freedom of navigation, energy security, non-aggression, and non-intervention”.

In a post on his Twitter account on October 15, Zarif renewed Iran’s call to all countries bordering the Persian Gulf to join Tehran to “forge a blueprint for peace, security, stability, and prosperity” in the region.

In a press briefing on November 25, the Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi announced that three countries have accepted to join Iran’s Hormuz peace plan.

“Three countries have given written response to Iran’s invitation and other countries are studying it,” he said.

He also called on certain Persian Gulf Arab states to abandon reliance on foreign forces for their security, saying dependence on foreigners is just an “illusion” 

“We called on the countries to respond to Iran’s peace-seeking call and abandon illusions. We have stressed that the presence of foreign countries undermines security and stability. We hope this initiative of Iran would face with a positive response,” Mousavi stated.