Iran supports Yemen peace talks: Senior official

Iran Daily – The Islamic Republic of Iran expressed support for the Yemen peace talks in Sweden as the country has always been against war and violence, said the president of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations.

Kamal Kharrazi made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily on the sidelines of the seminar on ‘Regional Stability in West Asia; Prospect of Stability, Cooperation and Collective Development’ held in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Monday.

“We hope that these talks will yield definitive results helping fulfill Yemenis’ desire: Having a government elected by the people of the country and participation by all parties in the country. Therefore, we are happy that these talks were held.”

Held in Rimbo, outside Stockholm, Sweden, the weeklong negotiations ended on December 13. At the end of the talks the warring parties agreed on a cease-fire in the port city of Hodeida.

He added, however, that there was still a long way to go, expressing hope that what will eventually unfold would help serve the Yemeni people’s interests. Commenting on certain countries, such as Saudi Arabia, lack of cooperation and resistance against the process of establishing peace and ensuring stability in the region, he said these states seek to gain hegemony over the region.

“They pursue such an approach due to their dependence on foreigners.”

Kharrazi added that Iran has always been a supporter of other nations and their people, and maintains that peoples should enjoy their rights.

Today, after three-and-a-half years of war in Yemen, as the entire world has come to the conclusion that the war on Yemen has been a futile conflict, the Saudis must have also realized that they will not achieve their goals through war, he said.

Kharrazi stressed that they, the Saudis, must accept the fact that the Yemeni people, themselves, should decide their future.

Commenting on the Iran nuclear deal signed between Tehran and P5+1 in July 2015, he said as per the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Europeans are duty-bound to take steps toward normalizing their ties with Iran.

Their proposed special purpose vehicle (SPV) mechanism – a special payment channel created by Europe as part of its efforts to keep trade flowing with Iran in defiance of US sanctions – has been designed to help achieve the same goal, he noted.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the JCPOA and announced that the White House would reimpose its unilateral sanctions on Iran in two phases, both already in place.

“However, we are required to wait and see when the mechanism will be activated. They [Europeans] have so far made a large number of pledges, none of which, unfortunately, has been fulfilled. Their last promise was that the SPV would be activated by the end of 2018. We shall wait and see to what extent they will honor their pledge.”

On the relationship between Washington and Ryiadh, Kharrazi said that Saudi Arabia is a US servant. “Currently, the US is ruling over Saudi Arabia. US officials explicitly describe Saudi Arabia as a ‘milk cow’ being milked by Washington.”

Addressing the seminar, Kharrazi said the reason for terrorist attacks, like the one carried out in Chabahar port in southeastern Iran on December 6, is hostility toward Iran’s peace and stability.

On December 6, more than 40 people were injured in a suicide car bomb attack by a terrorist group on a police headquarters in the port city of Chabahar.

He added that Iran’s security is exemplary and famous in the region and, thus, has some enemies. Kharrazi noted that foreigners seek to beset Iran’s security with problems.

He said Iran seeks to establish peace and ensure stability in the region, describing resorting to military option to stabilize the region as ineffective. Kharrazi said everyone acknowledges that Iran is the most stable country in the region, thanks to the country’s powerful security forces.

“Iran does not accept world powers having control over the region. Iran does not need to be hegemonic because it has spiritual influence upon all other countries, and this does not mean hegemony.”

Valuable asset

Speaking at the same seminar, Hesameddin Ashena, the cultural advisor to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, said the JCPOA is a valuable asset to the peace and security of the region.

He noted that the JCPOA helped Iran reject the false accusation that it is making efforts to build nuclear weapons.

Ashena said, “Today, although the US has withdrawn from the JCPOA, no one supports the country [and its decision]. Nobody, neither those who are in favor of the deal nor those against it, is worried about Iran’s [peaceful] nuclear activities anymore.”

Commenting on the crisis in Syria, he said that with the assistance of Russia and the Syrian Army, Iran helped prevent the Western Asian state from dissolution. “Such a dissolution could be a beginning for interference and destructive invasions.”