Iran FM: Contradictory US Behavior Presents Major Obstacle in Vienna Talks

Nov, 24, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian says the United States claims it is willing to return to the 2015 nuclear deal but simultaneously expands sanctions, warning that Washington’s “contradictory behavior” presents one of the obstacles in the Vienna talks aimed at putting the accord back on track.

In a telephone conversation with his Swiss counterpart, Ignazio Cassis, on Tuesday, Amir Abdollahian said Iran was “ready and serious to reach a good and immediate agreement” in the talks that would start in Vienna, Austria on November 29, “but at the same time it is distrustful of US behavior.”

“On the one hand, the US pretends to be interested in returning to the JCPOA, but on the other, it has imposed sanctions on Iranian individuals and companies in two stages over the past few weeks. America’s contradictory behavior is one of the main obstacles to the negotiations,” he added, referring to nuclear deal by the acronym of its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The top Iranian diplomat also emphasized that the Islamic Republic would judge the US based on its behavior.

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries – Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany – are expected to hold the seventh round of discussions in Vienna on November 29.

The negotiations were paused in June, when Iran held a presidential election. Since then, the new Iranian administration has been reviewing the details of the six rounds of talks held under the previous administration.

Former US president Donald Trump left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories, and let go of some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy program.

The US administration of President Joe Biden has said it is willing to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has shown an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure.

Tehran insists that all sanctions must first be removed in a verifiable manner before it reverses its remedial measures.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Amir Abdollahian said that Tehran-Bern relations were on the right track and that a recent visit by Switzerland’s President of the National Council Andreas Aebi to Iran marked a turning point in bilateral parliamentary ties.

Referring to the efforts underway to resolve problems on the way of the activities of Swiss companies in Iran, he stressed the need to boost relations between the two countries in various sectors, including science, education, agriculture, transportation, health and banking.

The Swiss foreign minister, for his part, pointed to the importance of relations with Iran and explained the status of a trade channel between the two states.

The two chief diplomats also discussed the crisis in Afghanistan

Amir Abdollahian said Iran continued to encourage the ruling administration in Afghanistan to form an inclusive government, expressing concern over the humanitarian situation in the South Asian country amid the winter season.

His Swiss counterpart also announced his country’s readiness to cooperate in the transfer of aid to Afghanistan through Iran.

Bern agrees with Tehran on the need to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan, he said, praising Tehran for attempting to find a diplomatic solution to the Afghan crisis as well as hosting refugees.

Additionally on Tuesday, Amir Abdollahian met with Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA].

During the meeting, the Iranian foreign minister urged the UN nuclear watchdog to keep cooperating with the Islamic Republic within the framework of its technical duties and avoid taking political positions.

Grossi, for his part, said he stands ready to resolve the remaining technical issues between the IAEA and Iran with goodwill and close cooperation in the shortest possible time.

Iran FM: “Good Agreement In Short Time” Possible If Parties to Vienna Talks Serious

Nov 13 2021

Iran FM: “Good Agreement In Short Time” Possible If Parties to Vienna Talks Serious

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian says Tehran and the remaining parties to the landmark nuclear deal of 2015 can reach a “good agreement in a short time” only in case of a “serious and positive” approach to the upcoming talks slated to start in the Austrian capital of Vienna at the end of this month.

“The Islamic Republic has no intention to be locked in the stalemate remaining from the previous negotiations…I believe that if the opposite sides enter in the Vienna [talks] with a serious and positive approach, it will be possible to achieve a good agreement in a short time,” Amir Abdollahian said in a post on Instagram on Friday.

The top Iranian diplomat said it was necessary to once again outline Iran’s stance and views about the sanctions-removal talks in Vienna as the date of the negotiations has been finalized. He noted that he held “detailed and separate” phone talks with the foreign ministers of the P4+1 group of countries – China, Russia, Britain, Germany and France – last week and emphasized that the Islamic Republic would pursue a result-oriented approach to the talks and is “determined to achieve a ‘good agreement’”.

Amir Abdollahian emphasized that achieving a good agreement calls for the “effective and verifiable removal of sanctions and the return of the opposite sides to their full obligations” as per the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

He said Washington’s behavior, including in imposing new sanctions against Iran, has made the provision of its “objective guarantees” an unavoidable necessity.

The foreign minister noted that his deputy and the country’s chief negotiator, Ali Baqeri Kani, held “explicit and useful” talks in European capitals this week.

Recently, Baqeri Kani traveled to France, Germany and Britain. In Paris, he held a meeting with Philippe Errera, the ‎director general for political and security affairs at France’s Foreign Ministry. Iran’s chief negotiator on Friday held talks in the Spanish capital of Madrid with EU deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora, who chairs the JCPOA Joint Commission on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell.

Amir Abdollahian further said, “As I have repeatedly emphasized, the administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue the policy on the expansion of balanced ties with countries based on mutual respect and common interests with seriousness and is determined not to tie the improvement of bilateral and multilateral economic cooperation to the issue of the JCPOA.”

The JCPOA was unilaterally abandoned by the US in 2018 despite Iran’s full compliance with its nuclear undertakings, as repeatedly certified by the UN nuclear agency. The US then unleashed a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, which practically deprived the country of all of the deal’s economic benefits.

Iran fully honored its nuclear obligations for an entire year, after which it decided to ramp up its nuclear work as a legal “remedial measure” against the US violation of the deal and the abject failure on the part of the other signatories, the E3 in particular, to safeguard its benefits.

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 are expected to hold the seventh round of discussions in Vienna on November 29. The negotiations were paused in June, when Iran held its presidential election. Since then, the new Iranian administration has been reviewing the details of the six rounds of discussions held under the previous administration.

The US administration of Joe Biden has said it is willing to compensate for former President Donald Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has shown an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure. Tehran insists that all sanctions should first be removed in a verifiable manner before it reverses its remedial measures.

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Lebanon’s Friends vs. Enemies: Tangible Practices Say It All

9 October, 2021

Lebanon’s Friends vs. Enemies: Tangible Practices Say It All

By Mohammad Youssef

Some of the Lebanese intentionally skip the root causes and the nature of the crises in their country, and that it is not only a mere confrontation with, or a struggle against, the ‘Israeli’ occupation, aggression and threat, but it extends beyond that to become a complicated and multifaceted issue, and here comes the sinister role of the West, namely the USA.

It is worth mentioning, that when we say that, we do not mean the American people, but their administration, and the warmongering military industrial complex!

Many of the Lebanese, even consider Washington a friend of the country without providing any evidence that supports their argument, forgetting its fixed alignment and continuous support to their enemy!

Now if we make a very simple research we can easily spot the truth, the US administration has always been the number one military supplier and political sponsor of the ‘Israeli’ enemy.

Without the Western support, firstly and mainly Britain and France in the forties till the sixties, and the American support that followed after that and continued till now, ‘Israel’ would not have continued to exist, not only that, but the Arabs and the Arab world would have been saved from many of the miseries, massacres, destruction and havoc that the Western-backed ‘Israeli’ occupation has caused in many of its parts, starting with Palestine, extending to Syria, Egypt, Jordan and reaching to Lebanon. This comes on the direct level; but if we intend to enlist what conspiracies and aggressions the ‘Israelis’ planned and how much they indirectly caused destruction in the Arab world we need volumes to do that.

Coming back to Lebanon, the ‘Israeli’ occupation would not have been able to inflict all the damage it did without the US support.

Almost all of the invasions, major incursions, the ‘Israelis’ carried out in Lebanon, not only were given the green light from Washington but worse, they were supported with American military supplies and a veto power cover in the security council to spare ‘Israel’ any condemnation by the so-called international community.

Now Lebanon is in a major crisis, a structural one that poses an existential threat to the county and the people. What did Washington do and what is doing to help? Nothing is not the answer.

We would have loved that Washington does nothing and leave us as Lebanese alone to manage our affairs. Contrary, The US keeps meddling and negatively interfering. It is exercising its power and influence to block any possibility of help and rescue offers coming from other countries. Lebanon is not allowed by Americans to accept the generous offer by the Iranians that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has submitted this week to build and hand to Lebanon two power plants with a 2000 Megawatt capacity in Beirut and the South. The Iranians also offered to rebuild the destroyed Beirut Port. The real value of this very generous offer is the flexibility of the Iranians to accept any sort of payment whether through different loans or even by the Lebanese pound. This offer deeply reflects the genuine and sincere relation Iran has for Lebanon and its people.

Now the question that presents itself, would the Lebanese officials take a bold step and accept this offer or would they as the habit bow down to the American veto, and if they fell short to respect and maintain their country’s sovereignty would they demand from Washington to give the equal alternative.

This is a very simple exercise and experiment to both Lebanon and USA. The result would be very telling about who is blocking Lebanon from salvation and a way to know genuinely who are Lebanon and the Lebanese people’s real friends and who are their enemies.

Amir Abdollahian in Beirut: Iran Strongly Backs Lebanese Army, Resistance

October 7, 2021

Amir Abdollahian in Beirut: Iran Strongly Backs Lebanese Army, Resistance

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian confirmed that “friendly and deep” relations with Lebanon.

He further vowed that the Islamic Republic will continue to strongly support the Lebanese people, army, and resistance movement.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will powerfully stand by its allies in the region and we will continue our support for the Lebanese independence, security and sovereignty,” Amir Abdollahian stated upon his arrival in Beirut on Thursday.

Amir Abdollahian pointed to a social media campaign launched ahead of his visit in appreciation of Iran’s assistance to Lebanon in breaking the United States’ economic siege, saying Tehran has even “better new offers” if the Lebanese officials make a request.

He further underscored that Tehran also stood ready to “continue on the previous path,” referring to recent energy sales to Lebanon, as long as Beirut kept up the demand, and also lend a helping hand to the Arab nation in other fields.

“This trip is indicative of deep and friendly ties between the two countries, and we support Lebanon’s army, people, and resistance with a strong voice,” he said.

In parallel, the top Iranian diplomat also extended his congratulations to the Lebanese people on the formation of a new government in the Arab country, following a 13-month-long political stalemate.

Heading a delegation, Amir Abdollahian arrived in Beirut on Thursday on a first visit to the country since his appointment, after wrapping up a trip to Russia. He is scheduled to hold talks with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, parliament speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib.

He also plans to meet representatives of Palestinian factions and groups at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.

ترحيب سيادي بالوزير عبد اللهيان

أكتوبر/ 7 تشرين الأول 2021

في علم القانون والعلاقات الدولية ليست مفردة السيادة تعبيراً انتقائياً يمكن إطلاقه وفقاً للأهواء والمشاعر، والتدقيق بمعايير انتهاك السيادة لا يحتاج الكثير من البحث، فمعاهدة جنيف التي وصفت الاحتلال ربطته بممارسة السيطرة وفرض إرادة أجنبية وتشريعات غير صادرة عن مؤسسات الدولة المعنية، بل هي تشريعات الدولة المهيمنة التي تقع عليها صفات انتهاك السيادة، هي ذاتها التي قالت إنّ تلكؤ الدولة التي تتعرض لانتهاك السيادة أو عجزها أو تغاضيها عن هذا الانتهاك توجب على الشعب ولا تمنحه الحق فقط، مقاومة هذا الانتهاك، ويقع فعل المقاومة هنا في مرتبة الدفاع عن السيادة بما في ذلك حمل السلاح بصورة غير مقوننة، لأن شرعية المقاومة تنبثق من شرعة أعلى من القوانين في ظل إرادة الدولة المشلولة بحكم العدوان الواقع على سلطتها السيادية.

عرف لبنان من أربعة عقود اجتياحاً إسرائيلياً بلغ عاصمته وفرض على اللبنانيين اتفاقاً للإذعان عرف باتفاق 17 أيار، وخرجت المقاومة الوطنية والإسلامية لمواجهة هذا العدوان على السيادة بعدما تلكأت الدولة وعجزت وتغاضت، فكانت المقاومة هي الفعل السيادي، وسلاحها هو الحامي لمفهوم السيادة، وعندما وقفت الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران إلى جانب المقاومة وأمدتها بما احتاجت من أسباب للقوة، كانت إيران تقف على ضفة الدفاع عن السيادة اللبنانية المنتهكة، وكان الذين رضخوا لمشيئة الاحتلال أو راهنوا عليه واستفادوا منه واستثمروا على تداعياته مجرد خونة وعملاء باعوا وطنيتهم وسيادتهم، وعندما وقفوا ينددون بالمقاومة كانوا يفعلون ذلك من موقع خدمة الاحتلال والتفريط بالسيادة.

مع بدء نظام العقوبات الأميركية باستهداف العديد من دول العالم بما فيها دول صديقة وحليفة لواشنطن، كانت تشريعات العقوبات انتهاكاً موصوفاً لسيادة هذه الدولة، وشكلاً من أشكال الاحتلال، طالما أنها تفرض على هذه الدولة تطبيق تشريعات غير صادرة عن مؤسساتها السيادية، وكان لبنان من بين هذه الدول، سواء بما يخص شموله بالعقوبات على إيران أو سورية، وهي عقوبات صادرة عن السلطات الأميركية وليس عن مؤسسات لبنانية، وتلكؤ أو عجز أو تغاضي الدولة اللبنانية عن مهمة مقاومة هذه التشريعات المنتهكة للسيادة يفرض على الشعب مقاومتها، وكل مقاومة من خارج الدولة تمتلك مشروعية أعلى من مشروعية خضوع الدولة أو تلكؤها أو تغاضيها.

قيام المقاومة في لبنان بكسر الحصار المفروض على لبنان عبر سفن النفط الإيراني فعل سيادي يسقط مفعول قرارات تنتهك السيادة صادرة عن مؤسسات غير لبنانية، ولا تتمتع بصفة القانون الدولي كحال القرارات التي تصدر عن مجلس الأمن الدولي، وكل مندد بقيام المقاومة بمبادرتها السيادية يقع في دائرة الشبهة لمساندة الاحتلال غير المباشر الذي يفرض تشريعات تنتهك السيادة ويندد بمقاومتها المشروعة خدمة للمحتل العابر للحدود بتشريعاته.

لأن إيران في كل مرة تعرض فيها لبنان لانتهاك لسيادته وقفت إلى جانب مقاومته النابعة من روح سيادية شرعية أعلى مرتبة من أي معايير أخرى، ولأن إيران لم تطلب يوماً ولم تحصل يوماً على مقابل لهذه المساندة المتعددة الأشكال، فإن كل سيادي لبناني غير مزور، معني بالترحيب بزيارة وزير خارجية إيران إلى لبنان.

أهلاً وسهلاً معالي الوزير حسين أمير عبد اللهيان صديقاً للبنان واللبنانيين.

أخبار متعلقة

The Iran-Azerbaijan standoff is a contest for the region’s transportation corridors

October 05, 2021

Sides are forming around the Iran vs Azerbaijan squabble. But this fight is not about ethnicity, religion or tribe – it is mainly about who gets to forge the region’s new transportation routes.

By Pepe Escobar posted with permission and cross-posted with The Cradle

The Iran-Azerbaijan standoff is a contest for the region’s transportation corridors

The last thing the complex, work-in-progress drive towards Eurasian integration needs at this stage is this messy affair between Iran and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus.

Let’s start with the Conquerors of Khaybar – the largest Iranian military exercise in two decades held on its northwestern border with Azerbaijan.

Among the deployed Iranian military and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) units there are some serious players, such as the 21st Tabriz Infantry Division, the IRGC Ashura 31 battalion, the 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade and an array of missile systems, including the Fateh-313 and Zulfiqar ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 700 kilometers.

The official explanation is that the drills are a warning to enemies plotting anything against the Islamic Republic.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei pointedly tweeted that “those who are under the illusion of relying on others, think that they can provide their own security, should know that they will soon take a slap, they will regret this.”

The message was unmistakable: this was about Azerbaijan relying on Turkey and especially Israel for its security, and about Tel Aviv instrumentalizing Baku for an intel drive leading to interference in northern Iran.

Further elaboration by Iranian experts went as far as Israel eventually using military bases in Azerbaijan to strike at Iranian nuclear installations.

The reaction to the Iranian military exercise so far is a predictable Turkey–Azerbaijani response: they are conducting a joint drill in Nakhchivan throughout this week.

But were Iran’s concerns off the mark? A close security collaboration between Baku and Tel Aviv has been developing for years now. Azerbaijan today possesses Israeli drones and is cozy with both the CIA and the Turkish military. Throw in the recent trilateral military drills involving Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan – these are developments bound to raise alarm bells in Tehran.

Baku, of course, spins it in a different manner: Our partnerships are not aimed at third countries.

So, essentially, while Tehran accuses Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev of making life easy for Takfiri terrorists and Zionists, Baku accuses Tehran of blindly supporting Armenia. Yes, the ghosts of the recent Karabakh war are all over the place.

As a matter of national security, Tehran simply cannot tolerate Israeli companies involved in the reconstruction of regions won in the war near the Iranian border: Fuzuli, Jabrayil, and Zangilan.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdullahian has tried to play it diplomatically: “Geopolitical issues around our borders are important for us. Azerbaijan is a dear neighbor to Iran and that’s why we don’t want it to be trapped between foreign terrorists who are turning their soil into a hotbed.”

As if this was not complicated enough, the heart of the matter – as with all things in Eurasia – actually revolves around economic connectivity.

An interconnected mess

Baku’s geoeconomic dreams are hefty: the capital city aims to position itself at the key crossroads of two of the most important Eurasian corridors: North-South and East-West.

And that’s where the Zangezur Corridor comes in – arguably essential for Baku to predominate over Iran’s East-West connectivity routes.

The corridor is intended to connect western Azerbaijan to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic via Armenia, with roads and railways passing through the Zangezur region.

Zangezur is also essential for Iran to connect itself with Armenia, Russia, and further on down the road, to Europe.

China and India will also rely on Zangezur for trade, as the corridor provides a significant shortcut in distance. Considering large Asian cargo ships cannot sail the Caspian Sea, they usually waste precious weeks just to reach Russia.

An extra problem is that Baku has recently started harassing Iranian truckers in transit through these new annexed regions on their way to Armenia.

It didn’t have to be this way. This detailed essay shows how Azerbaijan and Iran are linked by “deep historical, cultural, religious, and ethno-linguistic ties,” and how the four northwestern Iranian provinces – Gilan, Ardabil, East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan – have “common geographical borders with both the main part of Azerbaijan and its exclave, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic; they also have deep and close commonalities based on Islam and Shiism, as well as sharing the Azerbaijani culture and language. All this has provided the ground for closeness between the citizens of the regions on both sides of the border.”

During the Rouhani years, relations with Aliyev were actually quite good, including the Iran‑Azerbaijan‑Russia and Iran‑Azerbaijan‑Turkey trilateral cooperation.

A key connectivity at play ahead is the project of linking the Qazvin‑Rasht‑Astara railway in Iran to Azerbaijan: that’s part of the all-important International North‑South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

Geoeconomically, Azerbaijan is essential for the main railway that will eventually run from India to Russia. No only that; the Iran‑Azerbaijan‑Russia trilateral cooperation opens a direct road for Iran to fully connect with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

In an optimal scenario, Baku can even help Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman to connect to Georgian ports in the Black Sea.

The West is oblivious to the fact that virtually all sections of the INSTC are already working. Take, for instance, the exquisitely named Astara‑Astara railway connecting Iranian and Azerbaijani cities that share the same name. Or the Rasht‑Qazvin railway.

But then one important 130km stretch from Astara to Rasht, which is on the southern shore of the Caspian and is close to the Iranian–Azeri border, has not been built. The reason? Trump-era sanctions. That’s a graphic example of how much, in real-life practical terms, rides on a successful conclusion of the JCPOA talks in Vienna.

Who owns Zangezur?

Iran is positioned in a somewhat tricky patch along the southern periphery of the South Caucasus. The three major players in that hood are of course Iran, Russia, and Turkey. Iran borders the former Armenian – now Azeri – regions adjacent to Karabakh, including Zangilan, Jabrayil and Fuzuli.

It was clear that Iran’s flexibility on its northern border would be tied to the outcome of the Second Karabakh War. The northwestern border was a source of major concern, affecting the provinces of Ardabil and eastern Azerbaijan – which makes Tehran’s official position of supporting Azerbaijani over Armenian claims all the more confusing.

It is essential to remember that even in the Karabakh crisis in the early 1990s, Tehran recognized Nagorno‑Karabakh and the regions surrounding it as integral parts of Azerbaijan.

While both the CIA and Mossad appear oblivious to this recent regional history, it will never deter them from jumping into the fray to play Baku and Tehran against each other.

An extra complicating factor is that Zangezur is also mouth-watering from Ankara’s vantage point.

Arguably, Turkey’s neo-Ottoman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who never shies away from an opportunity to expands his Turkic-Muslim strategic depth, is looking to use the Azeri connection in Zangezur to reach the Caspian, then Turkmenistan, all the way to Xinjiang, the Uyghur Muslim populated western territory of China. This, in theory, could become a sort of Turkish Silk Road bypassing Iran – with the ominous possibility of also being used as a rat line to export Takfiris from Idlib all the way to Afghanistan.

Tehran, meanwhile, is totally INSTC-driven, focusing on two railway lines to be rehabilitated and upgraded from the Soviet era. One is South-North, from Jolfa connecting to Nakhchivan and then onwards to Yerevan and Tblisi. The other is West-East, again from Jolfa to Nakhchivan, crossing southern Armenia, mainland Azerbaijan, all the way to Baku and then onward to Russia.

And there’s the rub. The Azeris interpret the tripartite document resolving the Karabakh war as giving them the right to establish the Zangezur corridor. The Armenians for their part dispute exactly which ‘corridor’ applies to each particular region. Before they clear up these ambiguities, all those elaborate Iranian and Tukish connectivity plans are effectively suspended.

The fact, though, remains that Azerbaijan is geoeconomically bound to become a key crossroads of trans-regional connectivity as soon as Armenia unblocks the construction of these transport corridors.

So which ‘win-win’ is it?

Will diplomacy win in the South Caucasus? It must. The problem is both Baku and Tehran frame it in terms of exercising their sovereignty – and don’t seem particularly predisposed to offer concessions.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects are having a ball exploiting those differences. War, though, is out of the question, either between Azerbaijan and Armenia or between Azerbaijan and Iran. Tehran is more than aware that in this case both Ankara and Tel Aviv would support Baku. It is easy to see who would profit from it.

As recently as April, in a conference in Baku, Aliyev stressed that “Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia and Iran share the same approach to regional cooperation. The main area of concentration now is transportation, because it’s a situation which is called ‘win‑win.’ Everybody wins from that.”

And that brings us to the fact that if the current stalemate persists, the top victim will be the INSTC. In fact, everyone loses in terms of Eurasian integration, including India and Russia.

The Pakistan angle, floated by a few in hush-hush mode, is completely far-fetched. There’s no evidence Tehran would be supporting an anti-Taliban drive in Afghanistan just to undermine Pakistan’s ties with Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The Russia–China strategic partnership looks at the current South Caucasus juncture as unnecessary trouble, especially after the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. This badly hurts their complementary Eurasian integration strategies – the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Greater Eurasian Partnership.

INSTC could, of course, go the trans-Caspian way and cut off Azerbaijan altogether. This is not likely though. China’s reaction, once again, will be the deciding factor. There could be more emphasis on the Persian corridor – from Xinjiang, via Pakistan and Afghanistan, to Iran. Or Beijing could equally bet on both East-West corridors, that is, bet on both Azerbaijan and Iran.

The bottom line is that neither Moscow nor Beijing wants this to fester. There will be serious diplomatic moves ahead, as they both know the only ones to profit will be the usual NATO-centric suspects, and the losers will be all the players who are seriously invested in Eurasian integration.

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Iran Seeks Action Rather Than Words From JCPOA Parties – Amir Abdollahian

September 22, 2021 

Iran Seeks Action Rather Than Words From JCPOA Parties – Amir Abdollahian

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with new UK foreign secretary Liz Truss on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday to discuss Afghanistan and issues of mutual interest as well as the Join Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

At the meeting, the top Iranian diplomat said that the rebuilding of bilateral relations requires serious actions and stressed the need for the implementation of the repayment of Britain’s debt to Iran.

Amir Abdollahian said Iran just had heard words from the other parties to the JCPOA and no actions, adding, “Unfortunately, Britain is also part of this inaction and this approach must change.”

He further said that “The US administration, with Europe’s silence and cooperation, continues to impose its illegal sanctions [against Iran] and at the same time claims it wants to return to JCPOA.”

“This is a clear paradox that is carefully being seen by the Iranian people,” he noted, adding that for the current Iranian government action rather than words matters most.

Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Britain needs to pay attention to the fact that fulfilling its obligations is the only way to rebuild relations, and that Tehran will respond appropriately to any positive and constructive step.

The two sides also discussed consular issues, including the issue of dual-national prisoners.

The Iranian foreign minister further stressed the need to pay attention to the humanitarian situation in Yemen and Bahrain.

Regarding Afghanistan, he said that the formation of an inclusive government that represents the ethnic and demographic composition of the country is the only comprehensive solution to achieve lasting stability and peace in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, the new British foreign secretary, for her part, said that her country is ready to repay its debts to Iran.

Regarding the Iran nuclear deal, Liz Truss said that the most urgent issue now is the attention of all parties to the time of the start of the talks process.

The British top diplomat also thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for facilitating the evacuation of the remaining British nationals from Afghanistan.

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Iran Ready to Meet Lebanon’s Demands in Various Fields – Amir Abdollahian

September 16, 2021 

Iran Ready to Meet Lebanon’s Demands in Various Fields – Amir Abdollahian

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian expressed Tehran’s readiness to boost relations with the new Lebanese government and meet the Arab nation’s demands in different areas.

Amir Abdollahian made the remarks as he received the representative of Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement in Iran, Abdullah Sefieddine, in Tehran on Wednesday.

As he congratulated Lebanon on the formation of a new government and expressed hope that the problems of the Lebanese people would be resolved as soon as possible the top Iranian diplomat assured that the aspirations of the Lebanese people would be realized.

Amir Abdollahian also noted that Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi’s government cares for and supports the resistance front, and hailed the dignified resistance of the Lebanese people against the Zionist and Takfiri enemies as a source of honor and pride for all regional nations and freedom-seekers.

The Iranian minister additionally emphasized the need to expand relations between the Lebanese people and government and the Islamic Republic of Iran, saying Tehran is ready to supply the needs of Lebanon in various fields.

Safieddine, for his part, congratulated Amir Abdollahian on his appointment as Iran’s foreign minister, saying the Lebanese people are grateful to Iran for its supports for Lebanon in times of difficulty.

He also thanked the Islamic Republic for selling much-needed fuel to Lebanon, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s website reported.

Hezbollah’s representative expressed hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran would go through stages of growth and prosperity in all fields.

Baghdad summit | Mideastream

Iraq hosted a regional summit on Saturday supposedly aimed at easing tensions in the Middle East while emphasizing the Arab country’s new role as a mediator. Heads of state attending included Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Amir Abdollahian, Assad Discuss Iran-Syria Cooperation

 August 30, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

Amir Abdollahian, Assad Discuss Iran-Syria Cooperation

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad talked about the regional and international cooperation between the two allies at a meeting in Damascus.

The new foreign minister of the Islamic Republic, who is visiting Syria with a high-ranking delegation, held talks with Assad on Sunday.

Amir Abdollahian congratulated Assad on holding a successful presidential election, and hailed Syria’s political and international victories and its achievements on the battlefield, and extended top Iranian officials’ greetings to the Syrian president.

He further referred to the economic cooperation between the two countries, highlighting the need to activate the Joint Commission of Economic Cooperation and other existing related mechanisms, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s website.

Additionally, Abdollahian briefed Assad on a summit in Baghdad which he had attended a day earlier.

The Syrian president, for his part, expressed pleasure at Iran’s support for his country and outlined his views on the bilateral ties and also cooperation between Tehran and Damascus in the regional and international spheres.

The Iranian diplomat has traveled to Syria after a visit to Iraq, where he attended the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership, a summit with the objective of calming regional tensions.

Before leaving Tehran for Baghdad on Saturday, Amir Abdollahian complained that Syria had not been invited to the summit, saying, “However, we are in contact and hold consultations with Syria’s leadership about the region’s security and sustainable development.”

Amir-Abdollahian From Baghdad Airport: US Cannot Evade Responsibility for Martyr Soleimani’s Assassination

 August 28, 2021 

Source

Amir-Abdollahian From Baghdad Airport: US Cannot Evade Responsibility for Martyr Soleimani’s Assassination

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s new Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the US cannot escape from its responsibility for the assassination of martyr Qassemi Soleimani and it is a must for the Americans to bring to his murderers to justice.

He made the remarks in Baghdad Airport, where he paid tribute to Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at the place of their martyrdom.

Amir-Abdollahian vowed that the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs will follow up the case of martyr Soleimani at the international bodies.

“The US must be held accountable to Iran, even if the previous US administration committed such a crime, the US government cannot escape this terrorist act,” he underlined.

“The perpetrators of this terrorist attack must be punished for their actions,” the Iranian diplomat added.

Heading a delegation, Amir-Abdollahian arrived at Baghdad International Airport on Saturday morning to attend Iraq’s regional summit.

The Baghdad visit is Amir-Abdollahian’s first regional tour after gaining parliament’s vote of confidence to take power as the Islamic Republic’s new foreign minister.

Amirabdollahian: My Top Priority Is to Cement Ties with Neighboring, Asian Countries

August 25, 2021

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

Iran’s new foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian eyes a balanced and active foreign policy during his tenure.

Iran's new foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Iran’s new foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian

The new Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian pledged, in his first statement since taking office, to pursue an active and balanced foreign policy.

Amirabdollahian stated that his diplomatic policy “will be based on the principles of dignity and wisdom, seeking concord and coinciding interests with neighboring countries and Asia.”

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov congratulated Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on his winning of vote of confidence from the Iranian lawmakers to become the Iranian Foreign Minister on Wednesday.

Besides, the Iranian Parliament granted confidence today to all the proposed ministers in the upcoming government of President Ibrahim Raisi, with the exception of the minister of education. 

In a public session, the Iranian president thanked the Islamic Consultative Assembly for reviewing the qualifications of the proposed ministers, saying that this is “a display of democracy, where deputies examine the qualifications of candidates with interest and sensitivity.”

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