Press TV – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the US has no longer any influence on relations between countries in the region, stressing Washington will no longer be able to dictate its policies to regional states.
“Our neighbors … have explicitly told the US that the era of dictating policies to others is over and the US cannot decide for the region and relations between regional nations and countries from thousands of kilometers away,” Rouhani told reporters at Mehrabad International Airport on Wednesday before leaving for Ankara for an official two-day visit at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Iran’s president, who is in Ankara to co-chair the 5th Turkey-Iran High Level Cooperation Council meeting, also hailed Turkey’s “firm” stance on unilateral US sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
He said that Turkey, as friendly key regional player, was of high significance to Iran.
Back on May 8, US President Donald Trump announced that he would abandon the Iran nuclear deal, reached between Tehran and six world powers – the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany in 2015. He also announced that he would reinstate the sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to limit parts of its peaceful nuclear program in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions.
In August, Trump ordered all nuclear-related sanctions that were removed under the deal to be reinstated immediately.
Turkish officials, including President Erdogan, have criticized the US for re-imposing its unilateral sanctions against Iran, stressing Ankara’s determination to keep economic ties with Tehran.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said that matters of mutual interest as well as regional and international developments would be on the agenda of talks between the two sides during the visit.
Rouhani also said promotion of economic relations, including in the banking system, energy sector, oil and gas and transit, will be discussed and certain agreements would be signed during his visit.
He said efforts to increase bilateral annual trade from 10 billion dollars to 30 billion dollars would be among his top agenda of discussion.
Among other issues to be discussed during the visit are regional security and fighting terrorism, the Iranian president said.
Touching on the Syria crisis, Rouhani highlighted the significance of a recent meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey and Russia over the Arab country in Geneva.
He said that such talks aimed to help restore security to the Syrian nation and facilitate the return of Syrians to their homeland. The talks also stressed that only Syrians have the right to determine the fate of their country, he added.
After their meeting in Geneva on Tuesday, top diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey agreed to step up efforts aimed at convening the first session of a UN-sponsored Syrian Constitutional Committee early next year in a bid to begin a viable peace process to the country’s seven-year-old conflict.
Reading out a joint statement after meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts Mohammad Javad Zarif and Mevlut Cavusoglu as well as outgoing UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the three countries supported the launch of a Syrian-led political process for the composition of Syria’s inclusive constitution.
He also described the meeting as very positive, stressing that Moscow, Tehran, and Ankara were committed to Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.