Mar 8, 2021, 11:33 AM
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Spox: Iran looks at Afghanistan with friendly eyes

Tehran, March 8, IRNA – Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday that Tehran looks at its friends and Kabul with friendly eyes and that Iran attaches importance to Afghanistan.

Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks at his weekly press briefing in Tehran.

About proposal made by US secretary of state for multilateral mechanism with participation of Iran for Afghan peace talks, Khatibzadeh said Iran has had no direct or indirect contacts with United States about issues related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the issues non-related to the deal.

In February, Khatibzadeh had told reporters about consultations with Taliban leaders in Tehran and the reason why the consultations could not be effective to de-escalate tensions in Afghanistan, making clear that the visit was made upon Afghan Government's permission aiming to help narrow the gap in intra-Afghan talks.

He said that Iran has not yet received any invitation for any session on Afghan Peace Talks at the United Nations. Iran will review the invitation whenever it receives any.

Iran holds close talks with the JCPOA participants, the spokesman stressed

US, a former member of the July 2015 nuclear deal formally known as the JCPOA withdrew unilaterally from the landmark deal in May 2018.

Elaborating on consultations held by Iranian president and Iraqi prime minister, the spokesman said the two exchanged views about various issues one of which was exit of foreign forces from the Iraqi soil based on law passed by the Iraqi parliament.

Iraqi Government knows well how to implement their law, Khatibzadeh noted.  

Iran is moving forward to its path, he said, adding that there is no talks between Iran and United States because JCPOA has made the route clear for US to return to the deal.

At his remarks, the spokesman expressed Iran's concern about the critical humanitarian situation in Yemen; then he called on Saudi Arabia to halt war against Yemen.

Khatibzadeh pointed to dialogue as political way for settlement of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Touching upon visit of Pope Francis to Iraq, the spokesman said the message of the visit is return of tranquility to Iraq.

Asked about the meeting between Pope Francis and Iraq's prominent Shia Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Khatibzadeh said it was dialogue of religions and brought about message of peace and friendship.

Turning to recent meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the visiting Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney which focused on Tehran-Washington ties, the spokesman said there is no question of sending pulse or signal withe regard to the issue of Iran and the US but the question is effective implementation of UNSC Resolution 2231 that is lifting the sanctions.

They are clear issues and no need to send signal for them, he added.

Europe did not fulfill its commitments [to the JCPOA]; meanwhile, Iran looks positively at Euopean effort taken through its coordinator, Khatibzadeh noted.

"We await implementation of the JCPOA by Europeans."

Iran's message is clear, the spokesman said adding that "diplomacy" is a better way with lower cost.

He underlined that if they return to diplomacy soon, they will receive better responses from Iran.

He bitterly criticized former UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt for false comment about release of Nazanin Zaghari.

Khatibzadeh said Hunt's deceitful remarks will not cover up his destructive measures in the past.

If Hunt had not taken destructive measures, the today event would have happened several years ago, he added.

On March 7, Iran released Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe- a British-Iranian national- after she finished five-year jail term on charges of espionage.

The spokesman said that British government should know that Iran still follows cases of Iranian nationals who have been arrested in UK regardless of universal Human Rights Law.


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