TEHRAN – Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said here Monday that any negotiations by Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement would not mean that it trusted Washington.
Speaking at a press conference, Kanaani said Iran acts based on its national interests rather than the idea of trusting the U.S.
“A continuation of talks to remove the sanctions is not based on Iran’s trust in the U.S.,” he said.
The U.S., he said, could have built “relative trust” by honoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but it “did not even build this relative trust for Iran.”
“We are striving to have the cruel sanctions removed and have all the parties, including the U.S., responsibly return to the JCPOA,” he said. “Iran negotiates and follows the path of diplomacy based on its national interests and the clear provisions of the JCPOA.”
The spokesman further noted, however, that the JCPOA can be revived whenever the other side is ready and can assure Iran that they will honor their commitments.
“As the only side that has behaved responsibly, we are ready to continue the talks to secure the country’s national interests,” he said.
Asked about a leaked audio file of the U.S. special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, Kanaani said it is up to the U.S. government to clarify what the American diplomat has said, reiterating that Iran acts only in order to secure the rights of the Iranian nation.
“Our view on the U.S. government is clear. We never negotiate with the U.S. based on trust, and the JCPOA was not a product of our trust in the U.S. either.”
Peace in Iraq
Touching on a recent visit of the Special Representative for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq Jenin Hennis-Plasschaert to Tehran, Kanaani said it is natural the Iranian government welcomes the role of the United Nations in helping to create peace, stability and security in the neighboring country in line with Iraq’s benefits.
He said dialogue between the UN special representative and Iran has been going on for years, adding the recent visit was also as a follow-up of the previous trips by the UN representatives to Tehran in this regard.
The spokesman said various policies were discussed in the framework of providing more assistance with the aim of strengthening popular government, economic development, peace, stability and security in the neighboring state.
The way to utilize the potential of the United Nations to enhance peace, stability and security in the West Asia region was also one of the topics of discussion between the UN special envoy and the Iranian authorities, he added.
Taliban Should Fulfill
The Iranian diplomat also pointed to the issue of Iran’s water rights from the Helmand River and the follow-ups by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard.
He said Iran’s water share is one of the issues covered in regular talks with Afghanistan’s caretaker officials and that there have been some preliminary agreements as well, so Tehran expects the Afghan side to act responsibly in this respect.
As the Afghan side has repeatedly said that it accepts Iran’s water rights based on the existing agreement between the two countries, it is expected to fulfill its obligations, he said.
Normalization With Zionist Regime
Kanaani said the U.S. administration has showed its unconditional commitment to supporting the Zionist regime.
Within this framework, the U.S. has made several attempts and has normalized political relations between the Zionist regime and a number of countries in the region, he added.
“What happened in practice was providing the Zionists with more freedom to commit crimes against the Palestinians,” the spokesman said.
In the first six months of the current year, he said, “we witnessed the killing of about two hundred innocent Palestinian people”.
Kanaani said compromise with the Zionist regime will not help the Palestinian nation.
Iran, he said, sees any step in recognition of the Zionist regime in the interest of neither Palestine nor the regional peace and security.
Kanaani said Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian will visit Pakistan to discuss political and common security issues, including fighting terrorism.
“A high-ranking economic delegation from Iran is also going to accompany the foreign minister on this trip so that economic issues can be discussed as well,” he added.
President Raisi Invited to BRICS Summit
On the upcoming summit of BRICS leaders, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said President
Ebrahim Raisi has been invited to participate in the summit, adding the details of the trip will be announced soon.
“Iran’s economic capacities will help us develop complementary cooperation in line with the goals of this organization when it becomes a BRICS member state, and as you know, BRICS has economic goals that can bring mutual benefits to both sides with Iran’s membership,” he said.
Europe Responsible to Fight Terrorism
The spokesman also pointed to the arrest of a terrorist network in Iran, saying it shows once again that the enemies of the Iranian nation spare no effort to carry out inhumane measures such as resorting to terrorist methods in a bid to create instability and insecurity.
According to the official, in the contacts between the security services of Iran and certain countries, such issues are communicated, Kanaani said.
Iran has repeatedly conveyed the responsibility of those states to deal with the terrorist groups, he said.
European countries, which portray themselves as the flag-bearers in the fight against terrorism, should pay attention to the fact that they have a responsibility to fight the phenomenon, he added.
Cooperation With Bolivia
The spokesman referred to a defense agreement between Iran and Bolivia, noting that Tehran has agreed to assist the Latin American country in its combat against drug trafficking.
The mutual agreement poses no threat to other states in that region, he added.
He touched on disparaging remarks about security cooperation Iran and Bolivia, saying Such reactions are in line with Iranophobic policies.
“Not only should no third state be concerned about the cooperation between Iran and Bolivia on combating drug trafficking, but it should welcome it,” Kanaani said.
Desecration of Islamic Sanctities
Kanaani urged European governments, especially to prevent further desecration of the Holy Qur’an in their countries.
He said Swedish and Danish authorities announced that they are looking for a mechanism to prevent the repetition of such insults.
The spokesman touched on the military coup in Niger, saying Iran is carefully following the developments in the country.
“Iran stresses respecting the rule of law and seeks establishing peace and stability in this friendly African country,” he added.
Gas Dispute With Kuwait
Kanaani said Iran will not tolerate a violation of the nation’s rights over the Persian Gulf Arash natural gas field shared with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Iran, he said, has always adhered to “the path of dialog and consensus” about the operation of the oil and gas fields shared with its neighbors.
“As we officially said, we want joint exploitation of the Arash gas field, and we announced our readiness for talks with the Kuwaiti side in this regard,” he said.
“However, if perhaps there is no desire for joint exploitation of the field, Iran has naturally put on its agenda its own rights and interests concerning the exploration and exploitation of its resources and it will not tolerate any violation of the rights of the Iranian nation.”
The Iranian government, he said, is obliged to defend and protect the rights and interests of the nation.
The remarks came after Kuwaiti Oil Minister Saad al-Barrak said that the Arab country’s plans for production from the field will not wait for border demarcation with Iran.
The maritime border demarcation dispute between Iran and Kuwait dates back to more than 60 years ago.
Some estimates suggest more than 70% of the resources of the disputed gas field, which is believed to contain up to 60 trillion cubic feet (1.7 trillion cubic meters) of gas, lie in waters claimed by Iran under the dispute with Kuwait.
Kanaani emphasized that Iran supports and abides by the settlement of border and maritime issues with its neighbors in a “friendly” manner.
He touched on a recent meeting between Amir-Abdollahian and his Kuwaiti counterpart, Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on the sidelines of a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Baku.
During the meeting, “there was a consensus between the two sides and the Kuwaiti side suggested that we pursue the issue outside the media … within the framework of technical talks between the two countries,” Kanaani said.
“Iran believes that such issues should be discussed within the framework of technical, specialized, and legal negotiations and that it is not helpful to raise them in the media,” he said.
“We stand ready to cooperate and talk with Kuwaiti brothers in this regard.”
In case the other side is not prepared to jointly develop the field, Iran reserves the right to protect its interests and will put the development of the field on its agenda, the spokesman said.
Kanaani said Iran will not tolerate any violation of its rights, adding the government feel duty-bound to protect the rights and interests of the Iranian nation.
Kanaani also addressed the legal complaint filed against South Korea over the latter’s refusal to release Iran’s funds.
“The Iranian government and diplomatic apparatus are steadfast in asserting the rights of the Iranian people,” the spokesperson said.
However, he expressed disappointment at the lack of “anticipated progress” in pursuing the matter with South Korea, despite repeated assurances by their officials.
Kanaani clarified that Iran has taken the legal action to complement the continuous diplomatic negotiations with South Korea.
“This action by the Iranian government sends a clear message to South Korean authorities,” he noted.
He said Iran expected the South Korean government to act prudently and wisely in releasing Iran’s funds, and take a step towards improving bilateral relations.
Tehran said on Saturday that it had officially started the process of referring the dispute with South Korea to international arbitration.
Iran has more than $7 billion worth of blocked funds from the sale of oil and petrochemical products in the past to South Korean in two banks in that country.