Iran, allies won’t let ISIL terrorists revive in Iraq, region: FM spox

The Iranian Foreign Ministry says Tehran, along with its allies, will not allow the ISIL terrorists to reactivate their movements in Iraq and other countries of the region.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Kahtibzadeh pointed to the recent deadly suicide attacks in Baghdad, saying, “We have deep, historical and multifaceted ties with the Iraqi people. The suffering of the Iraqi people is our suffering; therefore, the recent terrorist incident [in Baghdad] also affected us.”

“Iran, along with its allies, will not allow the ISIL terrorists to resume their activities in Iraq and other countries,” the spokesman also said during his weekly presser on Monday.

Emphasizing that terrorism is rooted in ideological and organizational extremism, Khatibzadeh said, “Of course, the tracks of some [foreign] elements have been seen in these actions.”

“There seems to be a third party that tried to fish in the troubled waters by disturbing the situation in the region in order to achieve their own goals,” he stressed.

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Riyadh’s leaving regional violence key for talks

Khatibzadeh referred to the recent remarks by the Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers over talks for resolution of disputes, saying Tehran is ready to hold talks with Riyadh as long as Saudis leave their violence in the region.

“If Saudi Arabia moves away from the vicious cycle of violence and cooperation with extra-regional countries, and this is reflected in Riyadh’s speech and behavior, we will open our arms to talks and take more effective steps.”

The Iranian diplomat said, “We cannot see that the daily bombing in Yemen on the one hand, and talks about peace in Yemen on the other hand.”

He noted that improving such a situation takes courage and a change of discourse on the Saudi side.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has said Riyadh stands ready for rapprochement with Iran but claimed that the Islamic Republic does not commit itself to de-escalating tensions.

The remarks came two days after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif welcomed his Qatari counterpart’s call for the Persian Gulf Arab countries to hold talks with Iran, saying Tehran has long demanded neighborly cooperation towards establishing the strong Middle East.

Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran in January 2016 following angry protests outside its embassy in Tehran over Riyadh’s execution of a prominent cleric. Ever since the country has followed a hostile policy that intensified in line with former US President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” on Tehran.

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Commitment key to US’ return to JCPOA

Khatibzadeh pointed to the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPO), saying that the US return to the pact should be accompanied by responsibility and commitment.

He said it is not possible for a government to unilaterally withdraw from a UNSCR-backed deal one day and return to it later without any promises.

“This is not possible. No one should be allowed to use the deal’s Articles and Clauses for their own purposes and question the whole deal.”

He reiterated, “Returning to JCPOA must be with commitment and responsibility.”

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Iran waiting for information over tanker seized by Indonesia

Khatibzadeh pointed to the seizure of an Iranian tanker by Indonesia and said that this is a technical issue and the Iranian Road Ministry and Embassy in Indonesia are following up the case.

He said the latest information would be released as soon as possible.

Indonesia seized two oil tankers, one Iranian and one Panamanian, on Sunday claiming they were illegally transferring oil in its waters.

A spokesman for the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency, Colonel Bakamla Wisnu Pramadita, said on Sunday that the Iranian-flagged MT Horse and the Panamanian-flagged MT Frea were seized in waters off Indonesia’s West Kalimantan Province.

He claimed that the tankers have been captured for committing a variety of violations, including not displaying national flags, shutting off their identification systems, anchoring illegally as well as the illegal transfer of fuel between ships, and spilling oil.