Senior Cleric Urges Europeans Not to Fall in US, Israel's Trap
TEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran's Provisional Friday Prayers leader Hojjatoleslam Seyed Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabifard called on the European leaders not to sacrifice the interests of their nations for the sake of the illegitimate interests of the US and Israel.
During this week's Friday Prayers on the campus of the University of Tehran, Hojatoleslam Aboutorabi Fard touched on the upcoming round of nuclear talks between Iran and Group 4+ 1 (Russia, China, France and the UK plus Germany) in Vienna, Austria.
He called on the leaders of the European countries not to sacrifice the interests of the European nations to the illegitimate interests of the "United States and the Zionist regime".
"The interests of European nations are tied to the interests of Asia, specially West Asia, and today it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that has the authority to guard this security. If it were not for the authority of the Resistance, Europe would be exposed to severe insecurity today, and it was the authority of Islamic Iran and the Resistance that defeated the ISIL," the senior cleric added.
He pointed out that today, it is known to everyone that the policies of the United States in the West Asian region have been failed.
"Given the tremendous amount of contradictions and conflicts in US strategic plans, the inability of the Pentagon and US military apparatus to suppress popular movements in the world, we are witnessing a decline in US soft power," he further said.
In a relevant development on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in a Twitter message strongly blasted the anti-Iran moves by the US and the three European countries of France, Britain and Germany just before the the new round of the upcoming talks in Vienna, Austria.
The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman made the remarks while comparing the approach and actions of the US, European Troika, and Iran ahead of the new round of Vienna talks.
"Ahead of #ViennaTalks,US/E3:Issue bogus statements, add sanctions, conjure distorted narratives, keep mum on Israel's threats," Khatibzadeh tweeted.
"Iran: Forms high-level nego team, calls for quick good deal & full implementation of JCPOA/2231, holds regional consultations", the Iranian diplomat added.
Khatibzadeh's tweet came in reaction to a joint statement issued by France, Germany, and Britain at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors.
In their anti-Iran statement, France, Germany, and Britain expressed concern over the progress of Iran's nuclear program.
In a relevant development on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that his country will take part in the upcoming talks with the Group 4+1 with the aim of reaching a good agreement.
In a phone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on November 24, Amir Abdollahian said the Islamic Republic was completely willing to participate in the negotiations with the aim of reaching "a good agreement".
Such an agreement, he added, could materialize shortly if Washington and its European allies in the deal were likewise willing to resume their commitments under JCPOA.
Elsewhere, Amir Abdollahian said that Tehran and the UN nuclear agency have reached an agreement in principle to resolve their outstanding issues.
Iran and the agency were seeking to "issue a joint statement at the earliest opportunity", he added.
The comments came a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency's Director General, Rafael Grossi ended a two-day visit to the Islamic Republic, during which he held various meetings with senior Iranian officials, including Amir Abdollahian himself.
In a tweet earlier on Wednesday, the top Iranian diplomat described his talks with the IAEA chief as "cordial, frank and fruitful" and said they "reached good agreements on continuing cooperation".
"Yet, to work out a text, we need work on a few words. Agreement is possible," he further said in his tweet, warning "politicization of technical matters is unproductive".
He also said that a meeting will be held soon to finalize the text of their agreement.
The Chinese official, for his part, rated Grossi's trip to Iran as a "positive" development. He also considered the Islamic Republic's standpoint on the JCPOA's potential revival to be "fair".
On Tuesday, Amir Abdollahian called on Washington to stop its contradictory behavior to bring talks out of the current stalemate.
“The Americans on the one hand say they are interested in returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but on the other hand in two phases they imposed two sets of new sanctions against Iranian persons and companies, which shows how contradictory the US behaviors are, as one of the main obstacles in upcoming negotiations,” Amir Abdollahian said in a phone conversation with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis.
He added that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s judgment about the US is based on its behaviors.
Amir Abdollahian also said that the negotiations to terminate the anti-Iran sanctions will start in Vienna as of next week, emphasizing that Iran is ready for a good, immediate and serious agreements, but meanwhile the contradictory US behaviors generate mistrust.
The revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been on the agenda of high-profile negotiations between Iran and the remaining signatories, known as the G4+1 group (Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany), in the Austrian capital since April.
The JCPOA was unilaterally abandoned by the US in 2018, when former US President Donald Trump decided to implement a “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran.
US President Joe Biden promised to reverse Trump’s own reversing of his predecessor Barack Obama’s decision to sign on to the JCPOA. The Biden administration also argued on the sidelines of the Vienna talks that Tehran and Washington should mutually return to their commitments under the agreement.
Iran, however, has insisted that the US, as the party that initially violated the pact by its 2018 withdrawal, needs to fully honor its commitments first, after which Tehran will halt its nuclear energy activities that go beyond the limits set by the JCPOA.
Iran and the G4+1 are due to hold the new round of their talks in Vienna on November 29.