TEHRAN -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday urged the United States to drop its addiction to sanctions and adopt a constructive approach to restoring the U.S.-abandoned nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.
Nasser Kanaani said during a press conference that the U.S. does not seem to have the necessary political will to continue negotiations in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Imposing new sanctions on Iran shows that the U.S. government” is not following a “constructive” approach, Kanaani said. “It needs to abandon its addiction to sanctions and take on a constructive approach.”
Echoing Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian’s earlier remarks, Kanaani said Tehran and Washington have exchanged more messages.
“Messages between Iran and the United States have been exchanged in New York through the European coordinator (Enrique Mora) and other top officials,” Kanaani said.
“If the other side, particularly the U.S. government, shows political will, it is possible that a deal will be concluded in a short period,” he added.
He also said Iran’s final draft, which has been already sent to the European side, was helpful in pushing the talks forward.
Washington unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 under former U.S. president Donald Trump.
The talks to salvage the agreement kicked off in Vienna in April last year, months after Biden succeeded Trump, with the intention of examining Washington’s seriousness in rejoining the deal and removing its anti-Iran sanctions.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Kanaani criticized the role of Persian-language media based outside the country in recent waves of protests in Iran, calling the news outlets “a factory of lies” that promotes murder.
“Persian-language media based outside the country have turned into a factory of lies and a threatening command center that promotes murder, threatens to attack public properties and teaches how to make Molotov cocktail,” he said.
“Are these called media? They are command centers that provoke violence and what they do is not acceptable by any international standards and conventions,” he added.
He further explained that Iran has warned the countries hosting the media outlets and has taken some measures in this regard.
Over the past two weeks, Iran has sharply criticized the hostile environment created by the Persian language media based in other countries, particularly in London, in the wake of the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini.
Amini died at a Tehran hospital, three days after she collapsed at a police station while receiving training on the proper rules of wearing the Hijab in Tehran on September 16.
Violent protests have targeted Iran’s diplomatic missions in other countries. On Kanaani said all countries are bound by law to provide security for other countries’ diplomatic missions.
“Some of our missions have been targeted by the rioters, some of whom claim to be human rights activists,” he said. “Therefore, we have underscored the importance of ensuring the security of the embassies in phone calls and now the embassies have resumed their activities.”
The spokesman also said Tehran has officially warned the Iraqi government against infiltration by terrorists into the Iranian borders.
He made the remarks in response to a question about Iran’s recent strikes on bases of anti-Iran terrorists in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran respects Iraq’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity, but unfortunately terrorist groups have set up bases in neighboring countries across Iran’s borders, compromising the country’s security and resulting in civil and military casualties,” he added.
The spokesman further rejected Western media reports about Iran sending combat drones to Russia to be used in the Ukraine war as “baseless.”
He made the remark in reaction to Western media reports and statements by Ukrainian officials that the Russian army was using Iranian drones in its war with Ukraine.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers reports about delivering drones to Russia for use in the Ukraine war ‘baseless’ and does not confirm them,” he said.
“Since the beginning of the conflict, we have voiced our principled and clear policy of active neutrality and opposition to war, while stressing the need for the two sides to solve their problems through political means free from violence.”
Kanaani said during the past months and in numerous contacts and meetings with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, the Iranian foreign minister has highlighted the necessity of settling differences through peaceful means and via dialogue, and has declared Tehran’s readiness to help with this process.
On Monday, the Ukrainian military repeated allegations that Russia had used Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones to attack the Mykolaiv region recently and claimed that its air force had shot down five out of seven unmanned aerial vehicles.