Iran regional coop. with US depends on change in US behavior

TEHRAN, Dec. 14 (MNA) – Iranian FM spokesman says the successful implementation of the JCPOA could set the stage for cooperation between Iran and the US on regional issues on the condition that Washington changes its contradictory policies.

Hossein Jaber Ansari made the remarks at his first weekly press conference on Monday in Tehran.

On Iran and the US possible cooperation on settling regional crises, Jaber Ansari maintained that the negotiations between the two countries so far have only focused on nuclear issues and Iran’s delegation has never deviated from this official position. He went on to add, however, that the success of the JCPOA could set the stage for cooperation in other areas; “This is subject to Washington’s policies and positions. So far, we have not witnessed any sign that the US has the strong will to successfully implement the nuclear agreement. To date, the possible cooperation between Iran and the US on resolving regional crises has only been an idea, not a determined schedule,” he said.

On the recent bill by the US House of Representatives on tightening visa-free travel to the United States, Jaber Ansari warned that it will have a negative message for the Iranian people and would trigger wide-spread opposition both inside Iran and other countries; “we hope that American legislators will pay due regard to this issue and will not press ahead this legislation, otherwise it will bear witness to yet another example of Washington’s unilateral policy on international issues,” he said.

In regard to Tehran’s measures toward the recent attacks on Shias in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Nigeria, Jaber Ansari said Iran from the very beginning made every effort to bring this issue under control so that it would not enter into conflict with certain parts of Azerbaijan society. He stressed that consultations between Iranian and Azeri officials on the issue have been relatively successful; “what happened to Shias in Azerbaijan was an incident not a process. We want peace and stability in our neighboring countries and believe that under current circumstances when our nation is facing various threats, especially the threat of terrorism, we have to set the ground of further national solidarity,” he said.

The Iranian diplomat also expressed his condolences over the recent tragic events in Nigeria which resulted in death and injury of a large number of Muslims, highlighting the two countries’ good relations and Nigerian government’s important role in the African continent. He expressed hope that this incident would not deter the Nigerian government and its people from continuing their rightful path.

On Tehran’s reaction to Bahrain’s summoning of Iranian charge d’affaires, Jaber Ansari said the issue with Bahrain is a wide-spread, local issue between Bahraini society and its government; “Iran has encouraged the Bahraini government and Bahraini political opposition to take part in talks to reach a political agreement that would serve the basic rights of its people. We will not interfere in Bahrain’s internal issues, and it is completely up to Bahraini government to make a final decision in order to see that the agreement is reached,” he said.

On Palestinian third Intifada, Jaber Ansari first noted that the question of Palestine is a matter of concernt for all humanity. He expressed his lament over the fact that the legitimate demands of the Palestinians in order to restore their basic rights over the past few decades have been constantly denied by the Israeli regime; “it is due to this denying of rights that Palestinians have staged uprisings to reclaim their rights,” he said. Jaber Ansari went on to add that during the third Intifada over the past three months, around 120 more Palestinians have been killed, adding “unfortunately the policy adopted by regional countries on Israel is not even within the minimum requirement of human rights.” The Iranian diplomat then called the continued occupation of Palestinian territories an institutionalized terrorism and an organized crime against them.

By Mehr News Agency