Spokesman: Freedom of Iran’s Assets Not Related to Washington
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the recent unfreezing of his country’s assets in foreign states is not the result of an agreement with the US.
"The release of Iranian assets has nothing to do with any third country, and the fact that the US is trying to intervene on any issue related to Iran shows how far it is from US and Biden's claims," Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran on Monday.
"A delegation (from a country other than the US) came to Iran and an agreement was reached on the release of part of Iran's assets, and this issue is not related to the US," he added.
Asked about the reason for the suspension of the Vienna talks, Khatibzadeh said that the remaining issues between Iran and the US are more than one subject.
All elements and components of the maximum pressure must be removed. The United States is trying to maintain some of the components of maximum pressure. Meanwhile, Iranians should benefit from the deal, he underlined.
When an agreement on the remaining issues is reached, it can be said that the (final) agreement is available, Khatibzadeh said.
The spokesman went on to say that exchange of messages between Tehran and Washington is going on through European Union coordinator Enrique Mora.
At present, the atmosphere in Vienna is not negative because Iran and G4+1 have done their work and are waiting for proper response from the US to remove the concerns, he said, adding that Washington has adopted a policy of delay.
Turning to the issue of the Zionist regime of Israel’s raid against Al-Aqsa Mosque and attack on worshippers, Khatibzadeh criticized the international organizations for their silence.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has taken due measures to follow up the case in the international organizations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the spokesman noted, adding that unfortunately some regional countries’ normalization (of relations with Israel) has made the Zionist regime more impudent.
Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.
In May 2019, following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by the other side.
The Biden administration says it is willing to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.
Last month, the talks in Vienna, aimed at resurrecting the JCPOA, were paused for an undetermined period of time but later reports suggested that they were in final stages.
In relevant remarks earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian criticized Washington for raising excessive demands from Tehran and blocking efforts to reach an agreement in Vienna talks.
"The American side has raised excessive demands in the last two or three weeks. Although much of the text has been agreed upon, the US makes suggestions that contradict some parts of the text. They are sometimes interested in unilaterally raising and imposing new conditions outside the framework of the negotiations that have taken place in the field of lifting sanctions," Amir Abdollahian said.
Iran will not cross its red lines, he said, adding that if Iran's red lines are observed, a good agreement will be reached. "We will continue to pursue a dignified, good, strong and lasting diplomatic path to reach an agreement that lifts sanctions," Amir Abdollahian underlined.
He also said that Iran and Russia agreed that Moscow will not hinder reaching an agreement in Vienna talks.
"West told us that since the start of the Ukraine war, the situation is that even if we reach an agreement [in Vienna], Russia will not go along with the agreement. During the telephone conversation we had with Mr. Lavrov and during my visit to Moscow, we had very clear and transparent talks. Our agreement with the Russian side was that if our red lines were fully observed and we reached an agreement in the Vienna talks on lifting the sanctions at any time, Russia would not be an obstacle in the way of reaching an agreement."
"We certainly want the sanctions to be lifted, but with dignity and stability," Amir Abdollahian said, adding that however, President Rayeesi has always emphasized to all cabinet members in meetings that the focus should not be on Vienna, but that all institutions should act to neutralize sanctions and to promote the sustainable development of the economy and trade in the country.
"It was necessary to pause the negotiations because we came very close to a conclusion with the three European countries on technical issues," the foreign minister said, referring to the Vienna talks.
Also, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called on the Iranian government to continue plans to further increase progress and power in the country regardless of the results of the Vienna talks.
Addressing a meeting with heads of the three branches of government and a number of Iranian officials last Tuesday evening, Ayatollah Khamenei said that the country's diplomacy is moving on a good direction, stressing that Iran has resisted and will continue to resist against excessive demands.
He urged the Iranian officials not to be held back by the negotiations at all and to base their plans on the country’s realities instead in order to tackle the problems.
The results of the negotiations, either positive or negative, should never hinder the country’s affairs, the Leader said.
The Leader said the country's diplomacy is moving on a good direction while the Iranian negotiating team will continue to inform the president, the Supreme National Security Council and other officials on the process of Vienna talks, make relevant decisions, and move forward.
“So far, our negotiating team has been resisting the other side’s excessive demands, and this [trend] will continue, God willing”, Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader said it was the opposite side of the talks in Vienna that failed to remain committed to its obligations.
“The other side broke its promise and left the JCPOA. It now feels desperate and [has found itself] in a stalemate,” the Leader said, adding that the Islamic Republic has managed to overcome many difficulties through reliance on the people and will pass through this stage as well.