Tehran reminds US of its own killings by race, provides proof

 September 23, 2022

Iran, through its Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, calls US human rights records despicable and slams claims on human rights abuses in the country as baseless.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani

The Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to the US Secretary of State’s claims on human rights issues in Iran and slammed them as baseless, reminding the US of its own record of killings and human rights abuses committed racially, with Black people making the majority of those killed.

Following how the West, spearheaded by the US, took advantage of the death of Mahsa Amini, claiming that it was the result of a brutal arrest by the Iranian police, and the fact that the western and Arab-monarchy-backed media outlets quickly jumped to the trend of covering anti-Iran protests, picturing them as large rallies, when in fact, they included far fewer numbers than depicted, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani reminded the US of its “despicable” human rights record across the world. 

“With a despicable human rights record both at home & abroad, how does the US have the audacity to give itself higher moral ground to lecture the world?” Kanaani tweeted on Friday.

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No traces of beating, internal bleeding found on Amini’s body: Report

21 Sep 2022 22:53

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Director General of Forensic Medicine in Tehran Province says the autopsy conducted on Mahsa Amini’s body revealed no bleeding or rupture in her internal organs.

A still image from Iranian CCTV showing Mahsa Amini

    The Director General of Forensic Medicine in Tehran Province said Wednesday that there are no traces of beating or wounds on the head and face of the late Iranian Mahsa Amini.

    “Concerning the misleading information about blood coming out of Amini’s ears and a fracture at the base of her skull, we, forensic doctors, confirm that there are no signs of bruising or swelling on her eye and no fracture in her skull either,” the Director General said. 

    The forensic report showed that there are no signs of skull fracture, and the autopsy conducted on Amini’s body revealed no bleeding or rupture of her internal organs.

    According to the Director General of Forensic Medicine in Tehran, more time is needed to find the actual cause of Amini’s death in order to issue a final report based on the results of the analysis of the taken samples.

    It is worth noting that “Mahsa Amini underwent a brain surgery in a hospital in Tehran in 2006,” as revealed by the Director General. 

    It is noteworthy that Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian pointed out Tuesday that “an investigation was ordered into the tragic death of Mahsa, who, as the President said, was just like our own daughters.”

    According to the Iranian Minister, “to Iran, human rights are of inherent value unlike those who see it a tool against adversaries,” hinting at the US. 

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    Mahsa Amini is a 22-year-old Iranian whose case has been exploited by several Western media outlets in order to further promote Iranophobia by fabricating lies and making use of her medical condition that led to her death merely for political purposes.

    Mainstream and social media outlets were swarmed with trumped-up news, as some media outlets, mostly Western, claimed that an alleged brutal arrest led to the death of Amini. 

    Following the incident, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called Amini’s family, confirming that he had ordered the incident to be investigated carefully.

    “Your daughter is like my own daughter, and I feel that this incident happened to one of my loved ones. Please accept my condolences,” Raisi told Amini’s family.

    Earlier, Iranian Judiciary Chief, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, stressed that the judiciary will closely investigate the case of Amini’s death, assuring her family that he has ordered the judicial bodies to carry out a thorough investigation of the case.

    The story as it is

    After contacting several official sources in Iran, Al Mayadeen learned that Amini was never assaulted, beaten, or abused, and the proof was CCTV footage that slammed western reports as fake and fabricated.

    The incident, recorded by the CCTV, shows a female police officer approaching Amini and pointing at her hijab. Amini and the officer entered into a verbal disagreement, after which the officer turned around and left Amini alone.

    At this point, and without any physical altercation taking place between the two – contrary to western media reports which claimed that Amini was brutally beaten – Amini fainted and it was later reported that she fell into a coma. The police officer can be seen rushing to support Amini to prevent her from falling. Amini was then transferred to the hospital for treatment. 

    The video shows that there was no violence and no beating whatsoever and that not even an arrest was made. Official sources told Al Mayadeen that Amini had a brain tumor and that she has been undergoing treatment for some time prior to the incident. Medical records confirm Amini’s multiple visits to the hospital for treatment.

      Iranian FM visits Mali days after French withdrawal

      Malian officials praised Iran for providing aid that ‘does not seek superiority, and seeks the interests of Africans’

      August 24 2022

      (Photo credit: Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

      ByNews Desk- 

      On 23 August, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian travelled to Mali to meet with interim President Colonel Assimi Goïta, one week after France withdrew the last of its troops from the African state.

      Amir-Abdollahian expressed Tehran’s determination to develop cooperation with Bamako and praised the nation’s struggles against terror groups, highlighting Iran’s experience in the successful fight against ISIS in West Asia.

      Western military troops have been operating in Mali – a former French colony – since 2013, allegedly to assist in defeating terrorism. But as terror acts steadily increased over the past decade, Malians have slammed the foreign military intervention and labelled the presence of French troops as an “occupation.”

      In a previous letter to the UN Security Council president, Mali’s Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop accused France of supporting terrorists in his country.

      “These flagrant violations of Malian airspace were used by France to collect information for terrorist groups operating in the Sahel and to drop arms and ammunition to them,” the letter charged.

      In the meeting to boost bilateral relations between Iran and Mali, Goïta emphasized his nation’s readiness to host Iranian industrialists and entrepreneurs.

      Earlier in the day, Iran’s top diplomat took part in the first Iran-Mali joint economic commission with his Malian counterpart, Diop.

      After unveiling special plans to promote economic cooperation with the West African nation, Amir-Abdollahian took aim at the “failure” of western sanctions imposed on sovereign nations.

      “The west’s nonsensical sanctions policy has failed, and nations will move forward with perseverance, stability, and self-confidence,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

      He also called on Malian authorities to take advantage of Tehran’s accumulated experience in the field of countering western sanctions.

      “Iran attaches great importance to the development of relations with the important and beautiful African continent. The new Iranian government of President [Ebrahim] Raisi places special emphasis on prioritizing the relationship with Africa, especially with a historical and civilized country like the Republic of Mali,” the Iranian foreign minister affirmed.

      For his part, the Malian foreign minister praised Raisi’s commitment to Africa.

      “Many countries are interested in Africa for their own interests, but Iran’s choice is different. Iran’s choice is not for political purposes and does not seek superiority, and seeks the interests of Africans,” Diop said.

      At the conclusion of their meeting, Amir-Abdollahian announced that the Islamic Republic would donate one million doses of its homemade COVID-19 vaccine to Mali.

      Leading a high-ranking economic delegation on a tour of Africa, Amir-Abdollahian is next set to visit Tanzania and Zanzibar.

       Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian (R) in a meeting with Islamic Jihad S,G, Ziad Nakhale in Tehran (Wednesday, August 3, 2022).

       August 3, 2022

      Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian (R) in a meeting with Islamic Jihad S,G, Ziad Nakhale in Tehran (Wednesday, August 3, 2022).

      SourceTasnim News Agency

      Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian reaffirmed on Wednesday Tehran’s commitment to stand by the Palestinian cause and Palestinian people against the Zionist regime’s atrocities.

      In a meeting with Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad Palestinian resistance movement Ziad Nakhale in Tehran, Amir Aabdollahian called for unity and cohesion between Islamic countries in the face of the Israeli regime’s acts of aggression against Palestinians.

      Referring to the failures of ‘Israel’ and the US against the Palestinian resistance, the top Iranian diplomat expressed hope that the enemies would be further undermined through increased harmony and unity among Islamic countries.

      For his part, Nakhale hailed Iran’s support for the Palestinian people’s resistance and lauded the country’s constructive role in regional developments and its active diplomacy toward other countries.

      Iran’s achievements, in fact, belong to the entire Muslim community, he said, as quoted by Press TV.

      Nakhale also regretted certain efforts in the region to exert pressure on the Islamic Republic and downplay the real threat posed by the Israeli regime to the Muslim community, Palestinians in particular.

      The Islamic Jihad leader, however, said the endeavors and stances of the Islamic Republic in confronting the world’s hegemonic powers and supporting the oppressed nations against the occupiers and foreign powers “herald blessings and strength for the resistant nation of Palestine and weakness for the enemies of the Muslim world.”

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      Iran FM Terms Revenge for Gen. Soleimani as ’Absolute Responsibility’

      Jully 23, 2022

      By Staff, Agencies

      Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said revenge for the assassination of Iran’s celebrated anti-terror commander Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani is among the “absolute responsibilities” of the foreign ministry and other concerned organizations.

      Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in an interview broadcast on state television Thursday evening while elaborating on the Sayyed Ebrahim Raesi-led administration’s foreign policy.

      “The issue of General Soleimani will never be forgotten. The issue is so deep that even [Russian President Vladimir] Putin pointed to the important position and role of General Soleimani during his meetings with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the Iranian president,” the top diplomat said.

      The foreign ministry, Amir Abdollahian noted, has beefed up a committee that follows up on international issues, adding that the judiciary branch is also seriously pursuing the case.

      “We consider avenging the blood of Martyr Soleimani in legal, international, and political arenas and deem following up on the issue in all its aspects as our absolute responsibility,” he asserted.

      General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG], and his Iraqi trenchmate Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], were martyred along with their companions in a US drone strike on January 3, 2020.

      The strike near the Baghdad International Airport was authorized by then-President Donald Trump.

      The two noted anti-terror commanders were tremendously respected and admired across the region for their instrumental role in fighting and decimating the Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

      In other remarks during the interview, Iran’s foreign minister said Saudi Arabia has shown readiness to advance the ongoing talks from security to the political sphere, after progress in the previous five rounds hosted by the Iraqi government.

      He said the two sides have reached some agreements, including on re-opening embassies in their respective countries.

      “Last week we received a message from Iraqi foreign minister [Fuad Hussein] saying that the Saudi side is ready to move the phase of talks from a security one to a political and public one,” said the minister.

      “We also expressed our readiness to continue talks at the political level so that it leads to the return of Iran-Saudi Arabia ties to the normal level.”

      Riyadh decided to sever diplomatic relations with Iran back in January 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was stormed by protestors who were enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

      There was no change in Riyadh’s confrontational policy towards Tehran until 2021 when it signaled an inclination to mend fractured ties with the Islamic Republic.

      Putin heads to Tehran for talks with Iranian and Turkish leaders

      19 Jul, 2022

      The trilateral talks will focus on Syria but other key issues will also be addressed in the Iranian capital, the Kremlin has said

      Putin heads to Tehran for talks with Iranian and Turkish leaders
      FILE PHOTO: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin leaving his plane. © Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov

      Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to arrive in Tehran on Tuesday for talks with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

      It will be his second foreign trip since the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine on February 24. In late June, he visited Turkmenistan and Tajikistan to meet the countries’ leaders and attend the sixth Caspian Summit, in which Iran also took part.

      The trilateral negotiations in the Iranian capital will be held as part of the so-called Astana Peace Process, which was launched by Moscow, Tehran and Ankara in 2017 with the aim of achieving a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Syria.

      According to the Kremlin, the three heads of state will discuss steps to fully eradicate the hotbed of international terrorism in the country, the facilitation of the inter-Syrian peace process and solutions to humanitarian issues, including post-conflict reconstruction.

      Putin, Raisi and Erdogan will issue a joint statement after the negotiations, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on Monday, adding that its draft had already been prepared.

      Bilateral talks between the leaders will also take place, while Putin is also expected to meet with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

      During those meetings, the Russian president and his interlocutors will discuss the situation around the stalled talks on restoring the Iranian nuclear deal.

      Trade will also be on the agenda, with Moscow and Tehran preparing a new major cooperation deal, Ushakov said.

      Iran is an important partner of Russia. Our relations are friendly, have a centuries-old history, and are developing very effectively in many areas. Both sides have plans to take bilateral cooperation to a new level – the level of strategic partnership,” he pointed out.

      Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, who earlier gave an interview to the Iranian media, said trade between Russia and Iran had surpassed $4 billion in 2021, and grew by 31% in the first four months of this year.

      With Russia and Iran being among the most sanctioned nations in the world, Peskov expressed confidence that the two countries would be able to build relations that will allow them to minimize the effect of international restrictions on their economies.

      When it comes to Ukraine, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made it clear that Tehran would not provide assistance to any of the sides of the conflict as it believes that the conflict “has to be stopped.” By saying so, the minister refuted the US claims that his country was planning to provide Russia with hundreds of drones, including combat drones.

      At the same time, Raisi has said on multiple occasions that Tehran stands ready to contribute to a diplomatic resolution of the Ukrainian conflict.

      Putin’s bilateral meeting with Erdogan is expected to touch on the issue of Ukrainian grain exports from the Black Sea ports, according to Ushakov. Turkey, which declares itself a neutral country when it comes to the situation in Ukraine, has been engaged in various issue-resolving initiatives. It recently hosted multilateral consultations on the grain issue, with the participation of Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations.

      Food security was also one of the main subjects of the phone conversation between Putin and Erdogan last week. The Turkish leader said at the time that “it was time for the United Nations to take action for the plan regarding the formation of secure corridors via the Black Sea.”

      In March, Istanbul hosted a crucial round of peace negotiations between Kiev and Moscow.

      You can share this story on social media:

      Iran Demands ‘Strong’ Economic Guarantees in JCPOA Revival Talks – FM

      July 15, 2022

      By Staff, Agencies

      Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said it is a “necessity” for Iran to gain economic benefits from the 2015 agreement and thus wants “strong” guarantees in talks on a potential revival of the deal, which the US abandoned unilaterally three years after its conclusion.

      “We seek strong economic guarantees. If a Western company signs a contract with its Iranian counterpart, it must rest assured that its project will be implemented and it will receive compensation in case new sanctions are imposed,” Amir Abdollahian, who is on a visit to Rome, said in a Wednesday interview with Italian newspaper la Repubblica.

      The top Iranian diplomat added that the issue of guarantees is one of the biggest obstacles in the talks aimed at restoring the 2015 deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

      Elsewhere in his remarks, Amir Abdollahian was asked about reports on Washington’s refusal to remove the Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] from its blacklist.

      He said during last month’s indirect talks between Iran and the US — mediated by the European Union — in the Qatari capital of Doha, Tehran proposed putting off the issues related to Washington’s so-called list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations [FTOs].

      “But we must be certain that the Iranian companies enjoy the economic benefits and their own share of the agreement. Making economic benefits in the JCPOA is a necessity. We do not ask for anything that goes beyond the nuclear agreement,” Amir Abdollahian said.

      He also noted that Tehran and Washington are in contact through the EU on possible ways to remove anti-Iran sanctions, saying both sides should have flexibility and initiatives.

      Iran and the US concluded two days of indirect talks, mediated by the European Union, in the Qatari capital of Doha, late last month in an attempt to break the stalemate in reviving the JCPOA.

      At the end of the talks, Iran and the EU said they would keep in touch “about the continuation of the route and the next stage of the talks.”

      The talks in Doha followed seven rounds of negotiations in the Austrian capital of Vienna between Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA since April last year.

      They were put on hold as Washington insists on its refusal to undo its past wrongs through measures such as removing the IRG from its foreign terrorist organization list.

      Iran maintains that the IRG’s designation in 2019 was part of former President Donald Trump administration’s so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran, and, therefore, it has to be reversed unconditionally.

      Related

      Sergey Lavrov’s Presser at a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

      June 24, 2022

      Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tehran, June 23, 2022

      Ladies and gentlemen.

      I would like to thank my colleague, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the hospitality extended to me and my delegation from the first minutes of my stay on Iranian soil.

      Yesterday’s detailed conversation with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi and today’s long talks have confirmed both countries’ focus on deepening cooperation in all areas in accordance with the agreements reached by our leaders. I am referring to Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Russia in January 2022 and his subsequent telephone conversations with President Vladimir Putin. The last call took place on June 8.

      The presidents are unanimous that relations between Russia and Iran have reached the highest point in their history. At the same time, there is significant untapped potential for further advancement in our partnership. To this end, work is now underway on a new and comprehensive “big interstate treaty,” initiated by the President of Iran. Some time ago, Russia submitted its proposals and additions to the Iranian initiative to Tehran. Today we agreed that experts should coordinate this important document as soon as possible because it will determine the prospects for our strategic cooperation for the next two decades.

      Particular attention during the talks was paid to trade and economic issues, investment, and the need to expand bilateral relations in a situation where the United States and its “satellites” are using illegal sanctions to hinder our countries’ progressive development and the interaction between Russia and Iran, as well as with other countries that reject diktat and refuse to follow Washington’s orders. Despite this discriminatory policy, trade between Russia and Iran showed a record growth of over 80 percent in 2021, exceeding $4 billion for the first time. This trend continued into 2022. We will do everything we can to support it.

      A Russian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak visited Tehran at the end of May to promote economic cooperation. The delegation included representatives from the relevant ministries and agencies, the heads of Russian regions that cooperate with Iran, and business representatives. They met with their Iranian counterparts to discuss purely practical issues of expanding cooperation, outlining action plans for such areas as energy, transport, agriculture, finance, banking, and customs. At this point, these ambitious goals are being considered at the level of relevant experts.

      We highlighted success in implementing our flagship projects, including  the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (the second and third units being under construction), the Sirik Thermal Power Plant that is being built with the state loans issued by the Russian Federation and a project to upgrade a railway section.

      Just last week, a panel discussion dedicated to the Russian-Iranian business dialogue took place as part of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. A meeting of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation will be held soon. As we agreed today, the foreign ministries of Russia and Iran will continue to provide political and diplomatic support to all joint economic undertakings every step of the way.

      In this context, Russia has been facilitating the Iran-EAEU negotiating process that started out in 2021 to develop a free trade agreement. The working group in question will meet in Isfahan in early July.

      We talked about fortifying the contractual and legal framework. Hossain Amir-Abdollahian mentioned an agreement on international cybersecurity and an agreement on creating cultural centres in our countries.

      We also mentioned the importance of moving forward with drafting an agreement on cooperation in geological exploration and oil and gas production, as well as with ratifying the existing agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between our countries.

      We discussed international issues in depth. We stand together in rejecting the concept of the rules-based order that is pushed forward by the United States and its satellites. This concept is designed for use as a substitute for international law and the UN Charter’s basic principles, primarily the principle of sovereign equality of states. Everything that the United States and its allies are doing in the international arena flat-out undermines this fundamental UN principle. Iran and Russia condemn the untenable practice of unilateral illegal sanctions that are imposed contrary to the UN Charter and need to be opposed by all independent members of the international community.

      To this end, the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations was established which, among others, includes Iran and Russia and has more than 20 members. I’m sure the group will expand.

      On behalf of the Russian Federation, we welcome the official process for Iran joining the SCO as a full member which was launched in 2021. A memorandum will be signed at a SCO summit to be held in Samarkand in September that will clearly lay out the legal scope and timeframe for this process. It should not take long.

      We are convinced that Tehran will make a significant contribution to strengthening the SCO as one of the key centres of the emerging multipolar order.

      We discussed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action designed to settle matters related to the Iranian nuclear programme. In conjunction with other nations that signed this plan, we have been striving for a long time now to correct the mistake made by the United States. Washington withdrew from this deal and from the corresponding UN Security Council resolution, once again trampling upon its commitments under international law. We will push for the JCPOA to be restored in its original configuration, the way it was approved in 2015 by a UN Security Council resolution, without exceptions or additions, to make sure that the illegal sanctions on Iran that are inconsistent with the JCPOA are lifted. We hope Washington will make a rational choice, although we cannot fully rely on that.

      We spoke about our cooperation on a Syrian settlement, primarily in the Astana format that includes Russia, Iran and Turkey. We highly rated the regular session in this format which took place in the capital of Kazakhstan in early June of this year. We agreed to continue coordinating our efforts to achieve the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, resolve humanitarian problems in Syria and encourage the international community to start practical work on restoring the infrastructure, preparing for the return of refugees and in general, ensuring the country’s return to normal life.

      Iran and the Russian Federation are doing much in this area, helping to implement relevant projects on the ground in the Syrian Arab Republic. Unfortunately, the majority of the Western members of the international community are doing everything to delay fulfilment of the requirements of this resolution and impede the efforts of international organisations to this end, primarily the relevant UN agencies. This politicised course of action prevents the settlement of problems in Syria and, zooming out, in the Middle East and North Africa.

      Russia and Iran have a common position on the need to resume direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis with a view to implementing all decisions of the international community, including the creation of the State of Palestine and the OIC-approved Arab Peace Initiative. We will uphold this position in the UN and closely cooperate with the OIC and the Arab League.

      We talked about the developments in the South Caucasus, Afghanistan and Yemen. Russia and Iran have many opportunities to use their influence and contacts with a view to achieving a durable settlement and normalisation.

      We reaffirmed our commitment to facilitate stabilisation in the Persian Gulf. As you know, Russia has introduced and continues promoting a concept for collective security in this important part of the world. We are willing to help promote dialogue between the Arab countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

      We are members of the Caspian Five. Next week, the Caspian states will meet for a summit in Ashgabat. We coordinated our preparations for this important event.

      Talking yesterday with President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi and today with Foreign Minister of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, we described in detail the current developments in and around Ukraine. We thanked our Iranian friends for their entirely correct understanding of the events. Above all, they realise that during the past decade our US-led Western colleagues have been trying to turn Ukraine into a bridgehead for threatening and “deterring” Russia, in part, by developing Ukraine’s territory militarily. We repeatedly sought to engage with the West on this matter. All our concerns have been ignored. President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking officials explained many times that Russia simply did not have another choice but to ensure the interests of Donbass and its Russian residents in the face of a threat from the increasingly aggressive neo-Nazi regime that took power in Kiev after the anti-Constitutional coup d’etat. The Kiev authorities and those who put them in power and continue supporting officially refuted all our attempts to achieve the implementation of the Minsk agreements that were approved by the UN Security Council.

      We are convinced that an overwhelming majority of the world’s countries understand the current situation. The Americans are trying to impose a “rules-based order” on all others. This concept is designed to subordinate the security of all countries to the interests of the Western world and ensure the total, “eternal” domination of Washington and its allies. Understandably, this concept goes against the entire historical process and the objective trend towards forming a multipolar world order under which countries, with their independence and self-worth intact, will uphold their interests in conformity with the principles of the UN Charter. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation are among these countries.

      Question: Given the constructive role played by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation in the negotiations, they have managed to reach a sustainable agreement on the JCPOA. We see the current sabotage by the United States through the imposition of new sanctions and anti-Iranian resolutions. They are slowing down the process. What is your assessment of Washington’s destructive policy of slowing down the JCPOA negotiating process?

      Sergey Lavrov: Not only on the JCPOA, but on virtually every issue on the international agenda, the United States is totally inconsistent, driven by short-term considerations, glancing back at the problems in the United States itself and how they can try to distract voters from them.

      What the United States is doing in the negotiations to resume the JCPOA is an example of such actions, where the focus is on creating a “picture” designed to reaffirm the unquestioned leadership role of the United States on every issue on the international agenda. Such attempts to put a falsely understood reputation ahead of the merits of the issue are highly risky.

      About a year ago, the United States tried to blame us for the fact that an agreement to fully resume the JCPOA was delayed. That was, to put it mildly, untrue. Everybody understands this very well. A year ago, the Russian Federation, like all the other parties to the agreement, reiterated its readiness to resume it in full. Since then, the United States has been single-handedly stalling the agreement. We have once again confirmed to our Iranian friends that we will support in every way possible their position on the need to resume the JCPOA in full, without any exceptions or unacceptable “add-ons”. This includes lifting all illegitimate sanctions.

      Question (retranslated from Pashto): How close is Russia’s position on the Syrian crisis to that of Iran? Does the warning to Israel about an attack on Damascus International Airport mean that the positions of Iran and Russia are close on this issue?

      Sergey Lavrov: We have repeatedly emphasised the need for all countries to strictly fulfil UN Security Council Resolution 2254 that relies on the basic principle of recognising the territorial integrity of the SAR and the need to respect Syria’s sovereignty.

      During regular contacts with our Israeli colleagues, we constantly draw their attention to the need to stop violating this resolution and the air space of Syria, not to mention striking at its territory.

      To our great regret, the latest incident is serious. It was a strike on a civilian airport, which put it out of service for several weeks and made it impossible to deliver humanitarian cargoes by air.

      We sent a relevant note to Israel, emphasising the need for all countries to abide by Resolution 2254. We will continue upholding this position in our contacts with Israel and other countries that are involved in the Syrian settlement process in different ways.

      You asked my colleague several questions, including one about the food crisis. I would like to emphasise again that there is no connection whatsoever between the special military operation in Ukraine and the food crisis. This is admitted even by US Government members and representatives of the international organisations dealing with food security. The crisis and the conditions for it were created several years ago. It didn’t start today or yesterday, but a couple of years ago when the Western countries embarked on imprudent, ill-considered, populist fiscal policies. President Vladimir Putin spoke about it in detail. I will not describe them at this point. I would merely stress that the efforts undertaken now by Turkey and the UN Secretary-General would have succeeded long ago if Ukraine and its Western patrons demined Black Sea ports. This issue is clear to any specialist. The attempts to establish an international coalition for these procedures are obviously aimed at interfering in the affairs of the Black Sea region under UN aegis. This is perfectly clear to us. There is no need for any complicated procedures. It is simply necessary to allow the ships locked by the Ukrainians in the mined ports of the Black Sea to leave. The main thing is to clear these ports of mines or provide clear passageways for them.

      As for international waters, the Russian Federation guarantees the safe travel of these ships to the Strait of Bosporus. We have an understanding with the Republic of Turkey in this respect.

      I will say again that the attempts to make a “worldwide tragedy” out of the amount of grain that remains in Ukraine are not above board. Everyone knows that this grain amounts to less than one percent of the global production of wheat and other grains.

      Now it is important to compel the Ukrainians to let out the foreign ships that are being held hostage there. There is no need to turn this problem into a diversion to conceal the mistakes and failures of the West in its international policy on the food and fertiliser markets.

      Question (retranslated from Farsi): A fortnight ago you mentioned a new political package from the US side. A week ago, Mr Zadeh said that “the train has not yet gone off the rails” and you said that in the future there was a possibility that negotiations could be resumed. Has anything changed recently?

      Sergey Lavrov: If I understood the translation correctly, cooperation between Russia and Iran in the energy sector has a rich history and good prospects.

      As far as bilateral cooperation is concerned, we have always found solutions to the problems that have arisen in this area because of the illegal actions of the United States and its satellites, who are trying to hinder the development of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s energy sector. At the present stage, they are trying to do the same with regard to oil and gas production and transportation in the Russian Federation. Our bilateral plans under consideration today are starting to take concrete form; they are beginning to be implemented. They are aimed at making sure that they do not depend in any way on the unlawful unilateral intervention of anybody else.

      I can assure you: there is a reliable plan to work in this way. Together with Iran, we have traditionally worked together in the context of international efforts to stabilise the oil and gas market. There is a complete agreement within the OPEC+ group on the need to safeguard Iran’s interests in its future activities. We will be guided by this.

      Question: Israel and the United States have announced a new regional air defence alliance in the Middle East to protect Israel and neighbours from Iranian rockets. How will this affect the Iran nuclear deal? Will Moscow and Tehran intensify military cooperation in this regard?

      Sergey Lavrov: We are following statements made by our American colleagues, who are openly declaring their intention to try and forge a bloc between several Arab countries and Israel and target this new group against the Islamic Republic of Iran. I believe too much has already been said about the inconsistency of American foreign policy. I don’t want to repeat myself. But this idea is obviously at odds with their intention to normalise the situation in the region and resume full implementation of the JCPOA, through the efforts of the United States, if they are sincerely interested in this.

      We prefer less contradictory arrangements, as compared to those the Americans are now promoting in various regions. Take their idea of ​​the Indo-Pacific. It runs counter to every universal format that has developed over the years around ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific region. Those formats included the US, Russia, China, Australia, India, Japan and Korea. It was a process whereby all interests, primarily those of the regional players and their partners, were brought to a common denominator. Instead, having disrupted all the bodies created under the auspices of ASEAN, the Americans are promoting conflict-generating, divisive formats, without hiding that their policy is aimed at restraining China and isolating Russia.

      The same logic is evident in the initiative to create an air and missile defence system in the Middle East. This is the logic of division and confrontation. We prefer unifying logic. The underlying principle of our initiative to build a collective security system in the Persian Gulf region is unification. The system we propose should provide a framework for the Arab countries to establish a dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran, work out joint measures of confidence and transparency, and take other steps to ensure stabilisation. Our idea is to involve the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the EU, the Arab League, the UN and the OIC to facilitate these processes. This is an example of how we consistently propose resolving any problems through combining efforts and finding a balance of interests.

      The example we are now discussing, which involves the US initiative in the Middle East, is not a case of finding a balance of interests; it is a case of planting confrontation, and an attempt to create dividing lines that will be there forever. Needless to say, this is a dead-end position. In any case, in the end, everyone will come to understand the need to return to the underlying principles of the United Nations, such as resolving problems through cooperation, and not through the creation of hostile and aggressive blocs.

      BREAKING: Iran seizes two Greek-flagged oil tankers in the Persian Gulf

       May 27 2022

      The US navy says they are ‘looking into the incident,’ which came in retaliation for the theft of an Iranian oil cargo by Greece and the US

      ByNews Desk

      Naval forces from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized two ships sailing under the Greek flag in the Persian Gulf on 27 May, in retaliation of the coordinated theft of its oil by Greece and the US.

      Local sources have confirmed the ships’ names are the Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior, with just the former being operated by a Greek crew. They were seized near the Iranian ports of Bandar Lengeh and Asalouyeh.

      The Prudent Warrior vessel loaded its cargo at Basrah, Iraq, and was on its way to the US. The Delta Poseidon also loaded its cargo at the same port, however its destination remains unknown.

      According to AP, the US navy’s 5th Fleet said it was “looking into” the seizures, which came on the heels of Tehran threatening to take “punitive action” against Athens.

      Earlier in the day, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Swiss chargé d’affaires in order to lodge a complaint over Washington’s illegal seizure of its oil, which was confiscated from a Russian-operated Iranian tanker impounded by Greece the day before.

      “The Swiss chargé d’affaires was summoned to convey Iran’s concern and strong protest over the continued violation of international laws and maritime conventions concerning free navigation and trade by the US administration,” Director-General of the Foreign Ministry’s department for US Affairs said in a statement.

      Switzerland’s envoy is the official representative of the US in Tehran.

      The Foreign Ministry also called for the immediate release of the tanker and the confiscated oil, as the Swiss chargé d’affaires assured officials that Iran’s message has been conveyed to US officials.

      On 25 May, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Greek embassy chargé d’affaires in Tehran, explicitly condemning the seizure of the tanker and laying the responsibility on the Greek government, who it accused, alongside the US, of engaging in “maritime piracy.”

      Iran’s Ports and Maritime Authority said that the vessel had to stop in Greek waters due to bad weather conditions and technical problems. However, the ship did not receive assistance and was instead seized by the Greek government.

      A day later, the US seized the tanker’s oil cargo, and is reportedly shipping it to a US port aboard another vessel.

      The illegitimate seizure was confirmed by a separate western source familiar with the matter, who added “that the cargo was transferred onto the Liberia-flagged tanker Ice Energy, which is operated by Greek shipping company Dynacom.”

      Iran openly condemned the Greek decision, referring to it as an “unacceptable” surrender to US pressure.

      This is not the first time the US illegally seizes Iranian oil in international waters. In August of 2020, the US seized four Iranian tankers headed for Venezuela in the Straits of Hormuz. According to reports, the Iranian oil was then sold for over $40 million.

      The oil seizure comes as the sanctions-removal talks in Vienna have been stalled due to Washington’s unwillingness to meet Tehran’s conditions, such as the removal of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) off the terrorist list.

      “Now, we have reached a point [during the negotiations in Vienna] that if the American side makes a realistic decision, an agreement would be within reach… Zionists tell many lies about Iran’s nuclear issue, but Americans exactly know what they must do if they want to return to the JCPOA,” Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on 26 May.

      Iran, Oman Ink 12 Agreements during President Raisi’s Visit

      May 24, 2022

      By Staff, Agencies

      Iran and Oman signed twelve cooperation documents and memorandums of understanding to broaden relations in various fields during Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi’s trip to Muscat.

      The twelve cooperation documents were signed between senior officials of Iran and Oman on Monday in the fields of energy, politics, transportation, diplomatic cooperation, trade and economic relations, science, environment and sports.

      The agreements were signed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Industry, Mines and Trade, Oil, Roads and Urban Development, and the Head of Trade Development Organization of Iran and their Omani counterparts.

      In comments at a meeting with Omani businesspeople and economic actors in Muscat, Raisi highlighted the serious will between Tehran and Muscat to expand interactions, especially with the focus on economic and trade relations.

      “We are determined to expand fields of relations between the two countries to all areas of interest,” he noted, adding, “It seems that the businesspeople of the two countries do not have enough knowledge of the economic capacities of the two countries, so it is necessary for the economic actors of both sides to take steps towards recognizing the mutual capacities.”

      “The first step is to establish an active Iranian business center in Oman. One of the functions of the business center is to identify the capacities of the two countries, especially in Iran,” Raisi stated.

      Raisi in Oman: the development of strong relations, high trade exchanges and security is the focus

      Referring to his meeting with the Sultan of Oman, the Iranian president said, “Resolving the problem of transportation and monetary and bank payments was discussed in this meeting and it was decided to resolve these issues.”

      Describing the joint investment between the two countries as necessary, Raisi emphasized the need for production to be exported to the Eurasian market, his website reported.

      “The customs problems for trade exchanges between Iran and Oman should be resolved as soon as possible,” he added.

      “We are determined to develop the relations between the two countries and the ministers of the two countries should pursue their work seriously,” Raisi concluded.

      “Iran Ready to Mediate in Ukraine War, Determined to Reach Strong Agreement in Vienna”

       May 21, 2022

      Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian expressed Tehran’s readiness to mediate in the war in Ukraine and contribute to peace and security.

      In a telephone conversation on Friday, the Iranian top diplomat and the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josef Borrell talked about the latest developments in the Vienna talks aimed at removing anti-Iran sanctions and the most important international developments.

      Pointing to the Ukraine crisis, Amir Abdollahian said Tehran has always expressed its opposition to the use of war, including in Ukraine.

      He referred to his talks with the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine in recent months, announcing Iran’s readiness to support peace and security and act as a mediator.

      Iran invites both warring sides in Kiev and Moscow to negotiate and to end the war, he said, as quoted by Tasnim news agency.

      Tehran believes that the only way out of the crisis is focusing on diplomacy and dialogue, the top Iranian diplomat added.

      Amir Abdollahian also noted that Iran has never adopted double standards towards crises in Yemen, Afghanistan, Ukraine or other countries.

      He further referred to the recent visit that EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Enrique Mora paid to Tehran, saying a series of initiatives were reviewed during the trip.

      The Iranian FM reiterated the seriousness of Iran about reaching a strong and lasting deal in Vienna, saying Tehran has the goodwill and the necessary determination to reach an agreement.

      He thanked Borrell and Mora for their constructive efforts in this regard.

      For his part, the EU foreign policy chief put emphasis on Iran’s initiatives during the Vienna talks, saying, “We are now on a new path of continuing dialogue and focusing on solutions.”

      “We are determined to continue our efforts in constant touch with Tehran and Washington to bring their views closer together,” Borrell added, the Foreign Ministry’s website reported.

      He also noted that he is optimistic about reaching a good deal.

      The EU foreign policy chief further thanked Iran for its efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis, saying Iran’s efforts to invite the two sides to dialogue and to propose a truce are signs of Tehran’s goodwill.

      “Unfortunately the two (warring) sides accuse each other of lacking the required will for talks and under such circumstances, reaching peace will be difficult,” he concluded.

      SourceIranian media

      الرئيس الأسد في طهران: الحلف القويّ يزداد قوّة

      الجمعة 13 مايو 2022

      المصدر: الميادين نت

      جو غانم 

      استراتيجيّات دمشق وطهران المشتركة، فقد تجاوزت بأشواط بعيدة هوامش العلاقات والمكاسب والمصالح السياسية.

      الرئيس الأسد في طهران: الحلف القويّ يزداد قوّة

      في الشكل السياسيّ العام، قد لا تُشكّل زيارة الرئيس السوريّ بشار الأسد إلى طهران، يوم الأحد 8 أيّار/مايو، مفاجأة لمتابعي الملفات السياسية في المنطقة والعلاقات بين البلدين الحليفين، حتى لو ابتعدت نحو 3 سنوات عن الزيارة السابقة، فهي تأتي ضمن الحراك السياسيّ البينيّ المتوقّع في أيّة لحظة، وذلك ربطاً بطبيعة العلاقات بين البلدين، وبتطورات المنطقة المرتبطة بكلّ تفاصيلها السياسية والعسكرية والاقتصادية بالعاصمتين اللتين شكّلتا محور الأحداث في المنطقة، ووجهة أهداف كلّ المشاريع الدولية للإقليم على مدى العقد الأخير على وجه الخصوص.

      لكنْ، ومن جهة أخرى، إنّ هذه الزيارة بعيدة كلّ البعد، في الشكل والمضمون، عن كونها زيارة روتينيّة أو تواصلاً عاديّاً ودوريّاً بين قيادتي بلدين حليفين أو صديقين، فمعظم الحراك السياسيّ الإقليميّ والدوليّ الذي شهدته المنطقة في الأعوام الأخيرة، وما رافقه من تطورات اقتصادية مفتعلة أو قسريّة، وتحرّكات أو خطط وهجومات عسكريّة، كان يستهدف فكّ هذا الحلف المتين بين البلدين أو على الأقلّ إضعافه.

      إن دمشق تحديداً تلقّت أكبر قدر من الاستهدافات والضغوطات والإغراءات التي تركّزت بمجملها على هذا البند – الإيرانيّ والمقاوم – الثابت في طريقة التعاطي معها منذ انتصار المقاومة الإسلامية في لبنان، واندحار العدو الصهيوني من الجنوب في العام 2000، ثم اجتياح العراق ودخول مشروع “الشرق الأوسط الجديد” حيز التنفيذ، حتى اللحظة.

      تأتي زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى طهران بعد أقلّ من شهرين على زيارته العاصمة الإماراتية أبو ظبيّ، والتي اعتبرها العديد من المحللين والمتابعين وقتذاك منعطفاً مفصليّاً في السياسة الدولية والإقليميّة حيال الشام، بعد 10 سنوات من محاولات تحطيم سوريا بكلّ السبل، وكسر إرادة دمشق الوطنيّة، وعزلها في أقصى زوايا الضعف السياسيّ والعسكريّ والاقتصادي، لترفع آخر راية بيضاء يمكنها نزعها من مزق خيمة المقاومة، بعد أنْ صبغ العالم الغربي وأدواته الداخلية والإقليمية خريطتها كلها بلون الدم الأحمر. 

      لقد قيل الكثير عن زيارة الرئيس الأسد للإمارات، وما سيليها، وذهب البعض بعيداً في الحديث عن نجاح العمل الغربي – العربيّ بإحداث خرق على خطّ دمشق – طهران، متّكئين على تداعيات الحصار الخانق الذي تعانيه سوريا، وحاجتها إلى طوق نجاه يُبعد شبح الجوع المُخيّم على بيوت مواطنيها ومؤسساتها.

      وهناك من تحدث عن تحقيق العرب المطبّعين مع العدو الإسرائيليّ نقاطاً جديدة تخدم مشروع العدو، على حساب مشروع المقاومة التي تقف دمشق وطهران على رأسه وفي قلبه.

      وقد تحدّثنا حينذاك في “الميادين نت” عمّا أثبتته دمشق دائماً بأنّ كل تلك التحليلات والاستشرافات تثبت جهلاً بالسياسة السورية وثوابتها الوطنية والاستراتيجية، وتنمّ عن ضعف في قراءة حقيقة طبيعة العلاقات السورية – الإيرانيّة، واستسهال في دراسة النتائج والتحديثات الاستراتيجيّة المتتالية التي عمل ويعمل عليها محور المقاومة الممتد ميدانيّاً من طهران إلى أقصى الشمال والشرق السوريّيْن، مروراً باليمن والعراق ولبنان، وبمركزه فلسطين المحتلة.

      لذلك كله، يأتي هذا التواصل السوري الإيرانيّ الجديد، وكل تصريح أو جملة وردت خلال هذه الزيارة على لسان الرئيس السوريّ بشار الأسد، والسيد علي خامنئي، والرئيس الإيراني إبراهيم رئيسي، لتعطي فرصة جديدة لمن يريد قراءة الحدث كما ينبغي، ولاستشراف مستقبل المنطقة انطلاقاً من إرادة “محور القدس” وخططه ومشاريعه لمنطقته وشعوبه، لا من زاوية المشاريع والخطط الأميركية والإسرائيلية للمنطقة، والتي تهاوت وتتهاوى تحت ضربات هجوم مضادّ على امتداد ساحات المقاومة في المنطقة وميادينها، وصولاً إلى ميدان الصراع العالميّ الأشمل حول العاصمة الأوكرانية كييف، وعلى مشارف الحدود مع حلف الناتو.

      لقد أصرّ الرئيس الأسد بدايةً على تذكّر الشهيد قاسم سليماني، ودوره الكبير في النضال في مواجهة المشاريع الغربية في سوريا تحديداً، وفي المنطقة عموماً، ومحبته لسوريا ومحبة سوريا له، ودوره في ترتيب زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى طهران قبل 3 سنواتٍ.

      وحين يكون اسم اللواء قاسم سليماني، بكلّ ما يعنيه هذا الاسم لأهل المقاومة وأعدائها الذين استهدفوه شخصيّاً، فاتحة الحديث بين قادة البلدين، ويكون خلَفه اللواء إسماعيل قاآني الذي رتّب هذه الزيارة وحضر كل تفاصيلها، فهذا يعني أننا لسنا أمام لقاء روتينيّ وعاديّ لقادة سياسيين عاديين، بل أمام لقاء بين قادة ميدانيين يقاتلون كتفاً إلى كتف لبلوغ غايات استراتيجية كبيرة تتعدّى كلّ ما هو عاديّ وروتينيّ في العلاقات بين الدول.

      نحن هنا، وبناءً على كلّ كلمة قيلت في هذه القمّة أو خبرٍ رشح عن كواليسها أمام لقاء بين قادة محور مقاومٍ يتحدّثون لغة واحدة، ويستهلّون كلامهم ويختمونه بالحديث عن المقاومة وحاضرها وجدواها ومستقبلها وطرق تصعيدها وحصد نتائجها، ويبحثون في السياسة من قلب هذا السياق تحديداً، وتبدو وحدة الحال بينهم أمتن وأقوى من أيّ وقت مضى، منطلقين من واقعٍ عمليّ واستراتيجيّ اشتغلوا عليه معاً لسنوات طويلة، وقدّموا فيه الكثير من الأثمان الباهظة والتضحيات النفيسة، ويرون أنّ نتائجه حتى اللحظة باهرة وعظيمة، وتستدعي ظروفه الراهنة لقاءً مثل هذا للتباحث والتشاور ووضع الخطط الاستراتيجية القادمة. 

      إنّ فلسطين تشتعل تحت أقدام المحتلّ الذي يتخبّط تحت وقع عمليّات فدائيّة يعجز عن التعامل معها، كما يعجز عن القيام بردّ عسكريّ شامل ومدمّر كعادته في أزمان خلت على مدن فلسطين وقراها، حيث تهدّد قوى المقاومة الفلسطينية العدو بالويل والثبور إذا ما أقدم على ذلك أو على اغتيال أيّ قائد من قادة المقاومة، والعدو يعرف أنّ المقاومة جدّية وقادرة، وهي على قدر التهديدات هذه المرّة، ويعرف أنّ فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية التي تُشكّل عصب هذا المحور، أذابت الكثير من الفروقات والتناقضات والخلافات لمصلحة الهدف الأسمى، كما يعلم أنّ هذا العمل استلزم جهد جميع أطراف محور المقاومة لبلوغه، وعلى رأسهم طهران ودمشق. كما أنّ الواقع الميدانيّ في سوريا واليمن والعراق، والسياسيّ – الانتخابيّ – في لبنان، يُظهر تقدّماً كبيراً وراسخاً لقوى محور المقاومة، مقابل عجز واضح للمحور المعادي وأدواته المحليّة.

      وانطلاقاً من هذا كلّه، فإنّ حديث قادة المقاومة في سوريا وإيران خلال هذه الزيارة عن نظام عالميّ جديد هو حديث يصدر عمّن ساهم وشارك في صنع هذا النظام على مستوى الإقليم على الأقلّ، الأمر الذي ساعد كثيراً القوى الدولية الحليفة والصديقة، وعلى رأسها روسيا والصين، في السير باتّجاه المواجهة مع النظام العالمي الذي تقوده الولايات المتحدة، والسعي إلى إزاحته وإرساء نظام جديد.

      لقد ساهمت دمشق وطهران وقوى محور المقاومة في المنطقة بشكل أساسيّ ومباشر وفاعل في كسر أخطر المشاريع الغربية والإسرائيلية لمنطقتنا في السنوات العشر الأخيرة وإفشالها، وها هو الرئيس السوريّ بشار الأسد يقف إلى جانب إخوة السلاح في طهران – بعد حديث عن لقاء جمعه بالسيد حسن نصر الله قبل الزيارة إلى طهران – ليعلنوا معاً تمتين هذا الحلف الاستراتيجي، ويبحثوا في سبل ترسيخه وتقدّمه على جميع المستويات، وخصوصاً الاقتصاديّة منها، وذلك بعد أنْ بلغ المستوى العسكريّ والأمني درجة كبيرة من الوضوح في التقدّم والأفضليّة.

       ولعلّ تدشين خطّ ائتمان إيراني جديد باتّجاه سوريا، بالتزامن مع الزيارة، لإمداد دمشق بموارد الطاقة اللازمة للفترة القادمة، أفضل مؤشّر على طريقة العمل الواثق الذي تنتهجه قيادة البلدين. 

      من هنا تحديداً، يجب أن يعيد المهتمّون في الإقليم والعالم قراءة العلاقات الثنائية بين سوريا وإيران، قبل أيّ قراءة في تفاصيل النشاطات السياسية التي تضطرب وتعتمل في المنطقة، والتي تشتغل دمشق وطهران معاً على هوامشها المتاحة لتحقيق إنجازات سياسية واقتصاديّة مدروسة تماماً، ولا تخرج عن المصلحة العامة لاستراتيجية المحور، فيما قد تحقّق بعض الهدوء وربط النزاعات على عدة جبهات وميادين، قد يبدو أنّ المحور الآخر يستفيد منها مرحليّاً أو يحدّ من خسائره على الأقلّ. 

      وحين يركّز قادة سوريا وإيران في أحاديثهم خلال هذه الزيارة على شعوب المنطقة العربية وموقفها من القضية الفلسطينية، والهوّة الساحقة بينها وبين قادتها وحكوماتها، وهو ما تجلّى في الاحتفال بيوم القدس العالميّ، فإنّ الرسالة تعني تماماً وتحديداً الثقة بقدرة أهل المقاومة وشعبها في المنطقة على عزل كيان الاحتلال الإسرائيليّ، ورهان قادة محور المقاومة الثابت على فشل كلّ محاولات التطبيع العربية مع هذا الكيان المؤقت، أو دمجه في المنطقة ككيان طبيعي ينتمي إلى جسم الإقليم. 

      هذا الأمر تحديداً يُظهر موقف دمشق وطهران الدائم من التطبيع، ويضع حدّاً للتأويلات الجديدة والضعيفة التي برزت بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى الإمارات العربية المتحدة في آذار/مارس الماضي، وخصوصاً أنّ الرئيس الأسد أكّد في تصريح له خلال زيارته طهران أنّ مجريات الأحداث في المنطقة “أثبتت مجدّداً صواب الرؤى والنهج الذي سارت عليه سوريا وإيران منذ سنوات”، وخصوصاً في مواجهة الإرهاب والمشاريع الغربية للمنطقة. وغنيّ عن القول إنّ دمشق وطهران تصنّفان كيان الاحتلال قوّة إرهابية عالميّة مدمّرة، كما تصنّفان الجماعات الإرهابية المتطرفة أدوات لهذا الكيان وللغرب الراعي له.

      من المفترض أن يكون كل تعويل خارجيّ أو إقليميّ على كسر حلف طهران – دمشق أو إضعافه قد سقط في هذه الزيارة، كذلك المراهنات على تداعيات الحصار الغربي لسوريا، والحديث عن محاولات عربيّة لإحداث خرقٍ من خلال الانفتاح على دمشق وتعويضها اقتصاديّاً وسياسيّاً، فالاستراتيجية الوطنية السورية تعمل على مسار آخر تماماً، بعيد كلّ البعد عن المقايضات السياسية والاقتصادية، وهي ترى أنّ أيّ انفتاح عربيّ أو دوليّ عليها فرضه صمودها وقتالها المرير على مدى 10 سنوات، وإلى جانبها الحليف والشريك الإيرانيّ، وباقي الحلفاء في محور المقاومة والعالم.

      وقد كان تمتين الحلف الاستراتيجيّ بين البلدين وجميع قوى محور المقاومة الموضوعَ الرئيسيّ في هذا اللقاء، وجرى البحث في كلّ السبل الواجب اتّخاذها فوراً لتعزيز هذا الحلف، ولسدّ كلّ نقص اقتصاديّ على جبهاته الداخلية، فقد كان المسؤولون السوريون والإيرانيون يوقّعون اتفاقيات وتفاهمات اقتصادية جديدة، حين كان الرئيس الأسد يقول للمرشد الإيراني السيد علي خامئني والرئيس إبراهيم رئيسي: “إنّ ما يمنع الكيان الصهيونيّ من السيطرة على المنطقة هو العلاقات الاستراتيجية السورية الإيرانية”، وهو السياق الذي اتّبعه جميع المسؤولين في البلدين في تصريحاتهم أثناء الزيارة وبعدها.

      ولعلّ قول وزير الخارجية الإيرانيّ السيد أمير عبد اللهيان بعد اللقاء إنّ “زيارة الرئيس الأسد فتحت مرحلة استراتيجيّة جديدة بين البلدين”، وحديثه عن “العزم الإيراني السوريّ على الرقيّ بالعلاقات الثنائية وصولاً إلى أفضل مستوى لائق”، يدلان بشكل واضح على النحو الذي ستجري فيه الأمور على هذا الصعيد في المرحلة القادمة. 

      بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد هذه لإيران، هناك زيارة لأمير قطر على رأس وفد رفيع إلى طهران، وذلك بعد وقت قصير من إعطاء واشنطن أمير قطر صفة “الحليف الاستراتيجيّ”، وفي هذا مؤشّر على أنّ طهران ودمشق استطاعتا وأد جميع الرهانات التي جرى العمل عليها طوال السنوات العشر الماضية، والتي كانت تهدف إلى إسقاطهما وهزيمتهما أو عزلهما تماماً على الأقلّ.

       ومن الواضح أنّ انتصارهما وتقدّم حليفيهما الروسيّ والصينيّ على الجبهات العسكرية والاقتصادية على مستوى العالم، يدفعان دول المنطقة إلى السّعي نحو تعزيز العلاقات معهما، باعتبارهما قوّتين لا يمكن تجاوزهما بعد الآن. 

      أمّا استراتيجيّات دمشق وطهران المشتركة، فقد تجاوزت بأشواط بعيدة هوامش العلاقات والمكاسب والمصالح السياسية العادية بين الدول، وبلغت مرحلة العمل كقوّة واحدة مع الشركاء في قوى المقاومة في المنطقة، وها هي تلك الاستراتيجية تعمل بأقصى قوتها على أرض فلسطين المحتلة الآن، إذ تُكمل المقاومة الفلسطينية مهمّة رسم النظام الإقليميّ الجديد.

      إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

      President Assad Visits Iran, Meets Iranian Leaders Khamenei and Raisi

      ARABI SOURI

      Syrian President Bashar Assad paid a working visit to the Iranian Capital Tehran, during his visit, President Assad and his hosts emphasized the strong relations between Syria and Iran, its historic roots, continuous developments, and its future growth.

      During this visit, the Syrian and Iranian leaders paved the way to increase the cooperation and coordination between their two countries to the highest levels and in all fields including combating terrorism and economic aspects.

      The following report by the Syrian Ikhbariya news channel details the visit and its outcome:

      The video is also available on BitChute, and Rumble.

      Transcript

      President Bashar al-Assad made a working visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran, during which he met Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and Ibrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

      The meetings dealt with the historical relations that unite Syria and Iran, which are based on a long path of bilateral cooperation and mutual understanding on the issues and problems of the region, and the challenges they face, in addition to topics and issues of common interest and the latest developments on the regional and international arenas.

      During his meeting with Mr. Khamenei, President al-Assad affirmed that the course of events proved once again the correctness of the visions and the approach that Syria and Iran have followed for years, especially in confronting terrorism, this confirms the importance of continuing to cooperate in order not to allow America to rebuild the international terrorist system that it used to harm the countries of the world, especially the countries of the region over the past decades, noting that the United States today is weaker than ever.

      His Excellency stressed that the Palestinian cause today is re-imposing its presence and importance more and more in the conscience of the Arab and Islamic world thanks to the sacrifices of the heroes of the resistance.

      For his part, Khamenei reiterated Iran’s continued support for Syria to complete its victory over terrorism and liberate the rest of the Syrian lands, considering that Syria is achieving historic victories thanks to the steadfastness and courage of its president and the strength and steadfastness of its people and army.

      Addressing President al-Assad, Khamenei added: We have no doubt that you will be able to liberate the rest of the Syrian lands and under your leadership, Syria will remain united, and we have to maintain the strong relationship that unites our two countries and peoples, this is beneficial not only for our two countries but also necessary for the region.

      In turn, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ibrahim Raisi affirmed that his country has the serious will to expand relations between the two countries, especially the economic and trade relations, both public and private, and that it will continue to provide all forms of support to Syria and its people, especially in light of the difficult economic conditions the world is witnessing and will remain by Syria’s side to help it overcome difficulties, considering that any suffering for Syria is suffering for Iran.

      Syrian President Bashar Assad Visits Tehran - Iran Meets Khamenei and Ebrahim Raisi - الرئيس بشار الأسد يزور طهران - إيران ويلتقي خامنئي وإبراهيم رئيسي
      From the meetings President Bashar Assad held with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi

      President al-Assad described Iran as the leadership and people of the brotherly, friend, and loyal partner, considering that the approach taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran in dealing with regional and international issues does not serve the interests of Iran and Syria only, but all the countries and peoples of the region.

      Iran’s Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian tweeted that President Assad’s visit and the high-level meetings with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Iranian President have opened a new chapter in the strategic relations between the two countries; He added: We are determined to raise the relations between the two countries to the appropriate level.

      The Iranian foreign minister concluded that “the defeat of the terrorist plot in Syria is due to the cooperation between the two countries.”

      End of the transcript.

      Despite the very strong decades-long unshaken relations and high level of agreement on most topics of importance between Syria and Iran and in the face of unprecedented challenges, the two countries are yet to achieve the needed levels of bilateral economic cooperation aspired to by the people in the two brotherly countries.

      The Syrian – Iranian relations have withstood and overcome the US hegemony and US-led wars direct invasion, terrorism, attrition, blockade, sanctions, assassinations, destabilization, and direct piracy and theft. Their joint cooperation not only foiled the US’s evil plots for the region, but they also managed to weaken the US’s ability to impose its will on the rest of the world by breaking its military might after the illegal invasion of Iraq, and by breaking up the US proxies in the region, mainly Al Qaeda and ISIS.

      The hefty price paid by the Syrian people has also saved the people of the world by absorbing the major terrorism and direct aggression shock and awe by the USA, Israel, NATO forces spearheaded by Turkey, and their proxy terrorists of Al Qaeda, and ISIS. The steadfastness of the Syrian leadership, army, and people has awakened Russia, China, and Iran to the dangers of the Western plots and allowed them to build their capabilities to come out of the cold and solidify a front against the imperial Zionist Nazi evil camp of NATO and its stooges.

      Syrians are waiting to see a payback visit by the Iranian president to Damascus, it’s been over a decade since an Iranian president visited Syria, long before the US-led war of terror on the Levantine country despite several visits paid by the Iranian presidents around the world including to countries in the region that have been in the enemy camp against Syria, like Turkey, and like Egypt during the rule of the anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood president Morsy.


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      US hints at possibility of not reaching nuclear deal with Iran

      3 May 2022

      Source: Agencies

      By Al Mayadeen Net 

      US permanent representative to the United Nations hints at the possibility of not reaching an agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

      US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield during a news conference at United Nations headquarters, on March 1, 2021 (AP)

      Washington does not rule out not reaching a nuclear deal with Iran in Vienna, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Tuesday.

      Regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Thomas-Greenfield said, some progress was made on several issues seen as pivotal for a return to the agreement, though she highlighted that there were several things that needed to be done.

      “We do not have an agreement now, and it is possible that we do not reach one,” she revealed, noting that the US would work with the international community to pressure Iran if diplomacy fails.

      The diplomat’s words came despite US State Secretary Antony Blinken underlining earlier today that returning to the Iran nuclear deal was the only way to confront the Iranian nuclear “threat” in light of the Vienna talks.

      The Vienna talks, which also include the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, have been on hold since March 11, with officials saying at the time that the final draft was virtually complete.

      The talks between major powers and Iran aim to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement and return the United States to it following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, who accompanied his decision with the imposition of harsh sanctions on Tehran.

      Iran has been stressing that its nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes, while hopes for a deal remain slim. However, Washington seeks to revive the nuclear deal, because, as state secretary Blinken said, reviving the nuclear deal is still in the interests of the US.

      Iran to pursue diplomacy until agreement is reached

      Iran will continue the path of diplomacy until achieving a final agreement in the Vienna nuke talks, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told his Irish counterpart, Simon Coveney, on Tuesday.

      In addition to developing and proposing political initiatives, Amir-Abdollahian said, Iran has shown that it has the necessary will to reach a good, strong, and lasting agreement in Vienna.

      “Now, it is the American side that has to, by adopting a realistic approach, rectify [former US President Donald] Trump’s illegal behavior and take steps in the direction of [developing] political initiatives,” he noted.

      Coveney commended Iran’s initiatives in the Vienna talks, highlighting the necessity of reaching a “good” agreement through the diplomatic process that would be capable of safeguarding the interests of Tehran as well as the other parties.

      Since April 2021, eight rounds of talks have been held in the Austrian capital of Vienna. The US has been indirectly involved in the negotiations, as it has withdrawn from the deal.

      According to Western diplomats, European officials are preparing to try and make another push to salvage the nuclear deal with Iran, offering to send senior EU negotiators to Tehran in an effort to reach an agreement.

      Enrique Mora, Brussels’ negotiations coordinator, informed his Iranian counterpart that he was ready to return to Tehran to break the stalemate, the diplomats said while revealing that Mora was yet to receive an invitation.

      One of the remaining points in the Vienna Talks was the removal of the Islamic Revolution’s Guard Corps (IRGC) designation as a terror group. The terror designation means that criminal penalties would be imposed on anyone doing business with any individual or entity connected to the IRGC.

      Iran demanded the removal of the IRGC’s “terrorist” designation before negotiations proceeded, but bipartisan opposition in Washington and anger from Israelis at the prospect of the removal of the designation prevented the US from proceeding through that.

      Mind tricks: Why resistance to Israel and imperialism are called ‘Shia causes’

      April 20 2022

      The Arab and Muslim street remains firmly opposed to western imperialism and Israel. So their Arab Sunni rulers began calling all resistance ‘Shia.’

      By Omar Ahmed

      Would Sunni Arab monarchs be able to continue conspiring with the west and Israel without labelling those who resist collaboration as ‘Shia?’Photo Credit: The Cradle

      The past several decades have seen the political ascendency of Shia Muslims in West Asian geopolitics. While initially ignited by Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979, it was the aftermath of the illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003 which accelerated this political shift by paving the way for Iraq’s Shia majority to govern.

      A year after US troops occupied Iraq and overthrew its Sunni president Saddam Hussein, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, fearing a growing influence of Iran among Iraq’s Shia majority and their regional coreligionists, coined the phrase “Shia Crescent.” This so-called ideological belt, it is hypothesized, runs from Tehran through several Arab capitals, including Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut, and later Sanaa.

      The idea has been criticized as it treats the Shia as a monolith and greatly exaggerates the extent of control or influence Iran exerts over the region.

      Tehran’s efforts to forge ties with friendly governments, powerful political parties, and militia forces are arguably based on pragmatism and self-interest rather than sectarian ideology. Among the state and non-state actors that provide Iran with its regional strategic depth – and therefore, influence – are Sunnis, Druze, Christians, Alawis, Zaidis, and other non-Shia populations. This alliance is more commonly – and accurately – known as the Axis of Resistance and its fundamental tenet is opposition to both western imperialism and the Zionist project, and a desire for self-determination.

      Axis of Resistance

      With Tehran at its nexus, this network consists of both state and non-state actors. Notable Shia factions include Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and Afghan and Pakistani brigades.

      Sunni Palestinian resistance movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad are also considered to be a part of the axis, and an armed affiliate of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Resistance Brigades (also known as Saraya), is composed of Sunnis, Maronite Christians and Druze. At the state level are the mostly Zaidi, Ansarallah-led, de facto government of Yemen and the Alawite-dominated government of Sunni-majority Syria.

      While not part of the axis per se, Sunni-majority Algeria has also consistently opposed Zionism and could strengthen its ties with Iran, especially in light of growing tensions with neighboring Morocco whose government has recently aligned with Israel.

      Traditional western-aligned Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have all expressed their own concerns about this Shia-majority, ‘Iran-led’ axis, and along with Israel have opposed the Resistance Axis. It is due to these mutual interests that there have been several proposals for a “Sunni-Jewish alliance.”

      Arab normalization with Israel

      This new public alliance tangibly materialized in 2020 with the signing of the Abraham Accords and the normalization of ties between Israel and the UAE, Sudan, Morocco and Bahrain (the latter is a Shia majority nation ruled by a Sunni royal family). Certainly, it ended years of speculation that there were indirect, covert ties between Tel Aviv and several Arab states.

      However, it is important to differentiate between the policies of these governments and the popular sentiments among their citizens. According to an opinion poll carried out between 2019-2020 by the Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), the majority of the Arab world (88 percent) opposes any normalization with Israel. This includes the Persian Gulf: “Refusal to recognize Israel is proportionally the highest in the Gulf region,” the report found.

      Nevertheless, last month’s Negev Summit ushered in an unprecedented level of security cooperation between Israel and Arab states and may be a precursor to an ‘Arab-Israeli NATO‘ equivalent intent on confronting the Axis of Resistance, especially over heightened fears of a nuclear-powered Iran, should efforts in Vienna to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) fail.

      The Palestinian issue

      After the humiliating and resounding failures of pan-Arab nationalism to liberate occupied Palestine following the Six Day War in 1967, Egypt lost its position as the leader of the Arab world. This was cemented after Egypt made peace with Israel under Anwar Sadat in 1979, the same year as Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

      As one of, if not the most pressing and long-standing Arab and Muslim issues of our time, the Palestinian cause was essentially abandoned by the Sunni Arab leadership, only to be championed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its regional allies. Symbolically, the first statesman to visit revolutionary Iran was Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat who was given keys to what was once the Israeli diplomatic mission-turned Palestinian embassy, as it remains to this day. “We shall liberate the land of Palestine under the leadership of Imam Khomeini,” Arafat declared during his historic visit.

      Significantly, during the 1990s, Iran’s support to Palestinians was not merely diplomatic but military too, as Iran has consistently been the main patron of Palestinian armed resistance factions Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), something acknowledged by the movements themselves.

      Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, itself established with the help of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has also been instrumental in assisting Palestinian factions in training and developing weapons capabilities. Early last year, IRGC Aerospace Force commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated, “All the missiles you might see in Gaza and Lebanon were created with Iran’s support.”

      ‘Iranian-backed’ doesn’t make these ‘Shia causes’

      Well before the Abraham Accords, there were signs that a regional narrative was being developed to aid Arab autocrats in breaking with the popular causes of the Arab/Muslim world, namely resistance to Zionism and western imperialism.

      Two years after King Abdullah’s ‘Shia crescent’ narrative began to be employed, the 2006 Lebanon-Israel war broke out. Although a historic ‘Arab nation’ victory against Israel was achieved that year, in a new public turn, the Arab League and the Saudis in particular were instead scathing in their criticism of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah for what they said was an unprovoked and irresponsible conflict.

      We have now reached an epoch, whereby vocal or material support for a plethora of resistance efforts in West Asia is seen as being ‘Shia’ or even ‘Persian’ rather than Arab or Muslim causes. These include the central issue of Palestine, as after all at the crux of it – that is to say armed struggle – it is only the Resistance Axis that now provides support where it materially matters.

      The Palestinian cause has not always been a ‘Shia’ cause, argues Hussain Abdul-Hussain of the pro-Israel Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, who alludes to the anti-Palestinian sentiments in South Lebanon before the rise of Hezbollah. He claims – a criticism parroted by the pro-west Sunni monarchs – that Iran “found in Palestine a good tool to undermine the sovereignty of Arab Sunni governments” and to win over support from “Arab Sunni masses.” This assessment disregards the fact that even before the revolution, under the rule of Iran’s Shah, Iran’s religious and secular opponents were popularly pro-Palestine and opposed the Shah’s support of Israel.

      Who else will oppose Zionism and western imperialism?

      In Iraq, there is a lingering threat from pockets of ISIS remnants and legitimate grievances about continuing US military presence, which is likely to continue for years to come. Both of these threats to Iraqi sovereignty have been targeted by “Iranian-backed Shia militia,” many who are an integral part of Iraq’s armed forces in the form of the PMUs. Ironically, these anti-ISIS forces were in fact initiated by a religious ruling from within Iraq, independent of Iran’s diktats.

      The world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, is in Yemen which has been bombed and besieged almost relentlessly for seven years by a US/UK-backed and armed, Saudi-led coalition. Yemen’s resistance to this foreign aggression is led by the Ansarallah movement and its allied Yemeni armed forces. Here too, the Arab Sunni monarchs’ narrative has played a nefarious role, labelling Yemen’s resistance as ‘Shia,’ where in fact they are mainly Zaidis, who are in many ways closer to Hanafi Sunnis and who pray in Sunni mosques. As Iran and its regional axis support anti-imperialism, they are naturally more aligned to the Yemeni resistance, who are almost always now labelled as ‘Iran-backed’ or ‘Shia’ for their resistance against decades of exploitation and subjugation by Saudi Arabia.

      For the divisive case of Syria, supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state against the aggressions of hostile states has also been cast as a ‘Shia’ cause, despite the fact that Syria’s Shia community – not to be confused with the Alawites – form a very small minority in the majority-Sunni country. Yet when contextualized as an important actor in the Axis of Resistance, in particular as a transit point between Iran and Lebanon and occupied Palestine, the sectarian designation becomes apparent.

      The common denominator for these conflicts is that there is an opposing force to the Axis of Normalization and its US backer. It has become imperative, especially for the burgeoning Sunni Arab-Israeli alliance, for these forces to be deliberately cast as ‘Iranian-supported Shia proxies’ in order to dampen their own populations’ support for popular resistance.

      Arab and Muslim populations everywhere would otherwise likely support operations to purge western military interventionism and Israel’s aggressions from West Asia. But say ‘Iran,’ ‘Persia’ or ‘Shia’ and the Arab Sunni elite manage to confuse and quash mass popular resentment of their own malign behaviors.

      The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

      Iran warns of foreign ploy to sow discord with Afghanistan

      Amid the release of videos allegedly showing Afghan refugees facing abuse, Iranian officials say that a militant opposition group is behind the disparaging campaign

      April 11 2022

      (Photo credit: AP)

      ByNews Desk

      On 10 April, the Iranian embassy in Kabul issued a warning about a “foreign conspiracy” to spoil the relations with neighboring Afghanistan.

      The warning comes following the publication of several videos on social media allegedly documenting abuse against Afghan refugees in Iran.

      Using the Twitter hashtag #AfghanRefugeesInIran, the videos show refugees allegedly kept in cramped conditions, reportedly facing punishments from security officials, and being subjected to attacks from the general public.

      A majority of the videos have yet to be independently verified.

      In response to the controversy, the Iranian embassy in Kabul issued a statement denying the allegations of abuse, highlighting that “the information currently circulating is a conspiracy to undermine relations between the two countries.”

      “Despite the economic hardship and sanctions, the Islamic Republic of Iran has placed no obstacles in front of Afghan citizens seeking refuge – and continues to receive them today,” the statement went on to say.

      It added that the images being published online are staged.

      During a meeting between Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and Iranian Ambassador Bahadur Aminian on 10 April, the Taliban official said that a message should be delivered to Tehran to instruct relevant security authorities to “stop abusing Afghan refugees,” especially in border areas.

      In response, Aminian said that, following last week’s deadly stabbing attack at Imam Ali Reza shrine in Mashhad, a number of individuals launched a propaganda campaign to create division between the two countries.

      Speaking with TOLOnews a day before, the Iranian diplomat blamed an Iranian militant opposition group for the defamatory campaign.

      “We have a group called the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran, which has appointed thousands of people just to release clips… they are active in Afghanistan and Iran,” Aminian said.

      He also said his government has no intention of mistreating Afghan refugees but always seeks to build trust between the two countries, further adding that Tehran is ready to assist Afghanistan in becoming economically self-sufficient.

      “We hope the Afghan issues will be solved, a national reconciliation will be ensured and all tribes will see themselves in the government,” the Iranian ambassador told reporters.

      محاولات متجدّدة لكن فاشلة لفكّ التحالف بين سورية وإيران…


      الاثنين 28 آذار 2022

      رنا العفيف

      السياسة الخارجية الإيرانية ثابتة في مواقفها وجيدة مع دول الجوار لا سيما سورية، في ظلّ التوازنات المقبلة لقضايا المنطقة بالمجمل والتغيّرات الحاصلة نتيجة كسر العزلة العربية، فكيف إذا كانت العلاقة الوطيدة التاريخية بين طهران ودمشق، التي تتمحور حول التحركات الدبلوماسية اللافتة للأنظار، وتحديداً زيارة وزير الخارجية الإيراني حسين أمير عبد اللهيان إلى دمشق والتي لها وقع بارز في تحليل التوقيت من ناحية وما تحمله من إشارات ايجابية تقلق «إسرائيل».

      لا بدّ من النظر إلى العلاقات الطويلة الأمد التاريخية البارزة، وإلى اللقاءات الرفيعة المستوى التي تربط سورية وإيران، من خلال الأهداف المشتركة والتضحيات والمصير الواحد التي تختصر بصدّ الهيمنة الأميركية «الإسرائيلية» ومرتزقاتها بافتعال مشروع الإرهاب وترميمه بين الحين والآخر، ترك أثراً طويلاً لدى الطرفين في دحر الإرهاب المتطرف، فكان لهذا التنسيق والتعاون الاستراتيجي نتيجة حتمية لوقع الظروف ونتاج محور قوي متماسك لا يمكن لأيّ كان إزالته وكسر جداره. وقد أكد وزير الخارجية السورية د. فيصل المقداد ذلك عندما قال بأنّ سورية حريصة على أن تسود أفضل العلاقات بين دول المنطقة بما في ذلك بين إيران والدول العربية وكان من الواضح انّ هذا الحرص لا يشاطره إياه بعض العرب، والمؤشرات على ذلك ما حدث في قمة شرم الشيخ التي جمعت الرئيس المصري ورئيس الوزراء «الإسرائيلي» وولي عهد أبو ظبي، أثار جدالات واسعة لدى البعض تتجه نحو استقطاب العلاقة السورية الإيرانية التي صدرت عن وسائل إعلام غربية تريد التشويش على هذه العلاقة، فكان الردّ بزيارة وزير الخارجية الإيراني إلى دمشق والذي أكد أيضاً على وقوف سورية وإيران في خندق واحد، فكان عامل التوقيت مهماً جدا على صعيد الحرب النفسية وما آلت إليه التحولات الدولية والاقليمية من صخب واسع النطاق بين أوساط تحليلية «إسرائيلية» وأميركية دائمة الترقب في الأجواء السياسية المنفتحة على سورية وتحديداً إيران، إذ أنّ خبراء ومعلقين تناولوا رواية التشكيك والتهويل في ذلك وسوّقت «إسرائيل» لنظرة الحسود اللئي،م إذ أنّ الكثيرين تحدث عن زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى الإمارات، ومن بعدها قمة شرم الشيخ، وأخذ البعض يضرب بالمندل السياسي شرقاً وغرباً ينشر معلومات حول استقطاب سورية باتجاه ما أسماه البعض «الحضن العربي»، ولكن الحقيقة غير ذلك، وعلى خلفية اقتراب التوقيع النووي الإيراني مع واشنطن أتت زيارة وزير الخارجية الإيراني لإطلاع القيادة السورية على مجريات المفاوضات وآخر التطورات، فكانت الزيارة طبيعية من جهة ومن جهة أخرى توصل رسائل فحواها بأنّ ما يجمع بين طهران ودمشق أكبر بكثير مما تصوّره البعض، أيّ أنّ محوراً أو حلفاً كهذا القائم بين إيران وسورية واجه الضغوط الاقتصادية والسياسية وما أفرزته ضغوط الحرب على سورية، ترك بصمة وبعداً سياسياً تاريخياً يُحتذى به عالمياً، وأدى إلى طرف منتصر وآخر لا يزال يراهن على مسودات سياسية تالفة لا تصبّ في مصلحة أحد…

      إذن أسباب الزيارة والتحركات الدبلوماسية المباشرة هي أنّ غالبية الأطراف راهنت على أمور معينة وخسرت، وعلى سبيل المثال تركيا في ما يتعلق بدعمها السياسي وغير السياسي لجماعات متطرفة لا يمكن أن تحقق ما كانت تصبو إليه، وبالتالي عادت إلى السياسات الواقعية حتى في موقعها بالحرب في أوكرانيا، وفي ما يتعلق بقضايا الأمة العربية كانت إيران حاضرة بقوة كدور هامّ وبارز في الإقليم ولا تزال تبحث عن معالجة الفجوات الموجودة التي قد ينفذ العدو منها لتغلق ثغرات الهواجس على أسس عدم التدخل في الشؤون الداخلية، وعلى جميع الدول وبالأخصّ السعودية أن تدرك ذلك الأمر من مبدأ احترام السيادة والاستقلال بعيداً عن التبعية…

      وبالنسبة للمحاولات «الإسرائيلية» التي تحاول دقّ إسفين في العلاقة بين البلدين فهي فاشلة قولاً واحداً، كما فشلت حليفتها واشنطن، خاصة أنّ ما تريد تحقيقه ليس خافياً أبداً وقد توضح خلال وزير الحرب «الإسرائيلي» عندما قال: «لو انخرطت سورية في محور السلام مع «إسرائيل» لما شُنت عليها الحرب الكونية»! إذن… هذا الامتعاض هو عبارة عن قلق كبير ينتاب «إسرائيل» من هذه العلاقة السورية ـ الإيرانية، وعلى بعض الدول وليس فقط «إسرائيل» أن تفهم أنّ هذا الحلف مستعدّ للتضحية وتقديم المزيد في سبيل تعزيز الأمن والاستقرار، وفي ذات الوقت هي تريد أن تفتح الحوار والتعاون الجدي بهدف أن يكون الإقليم والدول العربية أكثر استقلالية، وكذا العلاقة الخليجية التي يسعى بعضها لفك الارتباط السوري ـ الإيراني كما تمّ تسريب معلومات عبر وسائل الاعلام، وعبّرت «إسرائيل» عن استيائها في تسريب معلومات تفيد بأنّ إيران كانت الحاضر الأكبر في النقاشات وخصوصاً في ظلّ اقتراب واشنطن وطهران من إعادة إحياء الاتفاق النووي، متجاهلة في محاولتها جمع حلف جديد هدفه الأساسي مواجهة إيران المنفتحة على المجتمع الدولي من أوسع بوابه، ليبقى السؤال المركزي هو هل «إسرائيل» ستنجح في تكوين حلف، أم ستفشل مثلما فشلت أميركا بكلّ ما أوتيت من إمكانات سياسية وعسكرية واقتصادية، وماذا عن إيران التي لم تتجاوز طاقة الحصار؟

      ماذا قال عبداللهيان للحلفاء في بيروت؟

      الإثنين 28 آذار 2022

       ناصر قنديل

      تذكّرت الشخصيات السياسية والإعلامية التي استضافتها السفارة الإيرانية في بيروت للقاء صباحيّ مع وزير الخارجية الإيرانية حسين أمير عبد اللهيان، يوم الجمعة الماضي، مع نهاية زيارته الى بيروت، مضمون كلام عبداللهيان الذي تحدّث لأكثر من ساعة عن مفاوضات الاتفاق النووي وحواراته مع المسؤولين اللبنانيين والحوار مع السعودية، بعد ساعات على اللقاء عندما بدأت تطورات الأحداث تكشف خلفيات كلام عبد اللهيان، سواء مع زيارة الممثل الأوروبي في مفاوضات فيينا انريكي مورا الى طهران، ومن بعدها إعلان عبد اللهيان عن التوصل لمسودة للاتفاق بتوافق إيراني أوروبي روسي صيني ينتظر الموافقة الأميركية، أو مع جولة التصعيد الشديدة القسوة على جبهة الحرب بين اليمن والسعودية، والإعلانات المتبادلة عن مبادرات لوقف النار، ليصير الانطباع المشترك على كل الأصعدة، أن المنطقة على موعد مع تحوّلات كبرى قريبة، وربما قريبة جداً.

      يرتكز عبد اللهيان في أحاديثه الى خبرة دبلوماسية تعينه على تغليف المواقف الواضحة التي يريد إيصالها بلغة ومفردات وسرديات بقدر من التورية والغموض وإمكانية التأويل، بما لا يصيب مهمته كدبلوماسي بالأذى، ولا يشعر محدثه بأنه يسمع كلاماً تقليدياً يمكن قراءة مثله في الصحف، ويلقي على عاتق المتلقي مسؤولية الاستنتاج الذي يريده عبد اللهيان أصلاً، لكنه لم يقم بقوله، وعبد اللهيان الذي يختزن خبرة ثلاثين عاماً في وزارة الخارجية الإيرانية منذ تعيينه خبيراً سياسياً في الوزارة عام 1992، ثم نائباً للسفير الإيراني في بغداد عام 1997 قبل أن يصبح نائباً لوزير الخارجية لشؤون الخليج، فيصير شبه متخصص بالملف العراقي الذي سيتولاه من مواقعه المتعددة كمساعد خاص لوزير الخارجية في ملف العراق عام 2003، أو كنائب للوزير لشؤون الخليج والشرق الأوسط عام 2006، او كرئيس لقسم العراق في الوزارة، ثم كنائب لوزير الخارجية لشؤون الدول العربية والإفريقية، ليجمع منذ العام 1998 الى علاقته الخاصة بقائد فيلق القدس في الحرس الثوري خبرة خاصة بالعلاقة مع فصائل المقاومة، خصوصاً مع الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله، وقد تولى عام 2007 إدارة الحوار الإيراني الأميركي العراقي بتكليف من الجنرال قاسم سليماني، بعدما طلب الأميركيون من سليماني عبر وسطاء عراقيين، تحت عنوان تأمين العراق تحت مظلة الأمم المتحدة لصيغة جيران العراق والدول الدائمة العضوية في مجلس الأمن الدولي.

      بنى عبد اللهيان سرديته للملفات التي تناولها، على استعادة محطات من ذاكرته كنائب لوزير الخارجية وما تخللها من لقاءات مع الشخصيات ذاتها أو الحكومات ذاتها التي تدور حولها الملفات، فهو يستذكر كلامه مع وزير الخارجية السعودي الراحل سعود الفيصل ليشرح مضمون موقف طهران من العلاقة الثنائية، ومن فرضيات التعاون الإيراني السعودي في لبنان. ويستذكر حواراته مع الأميركيين ومع الأوروبيين لشرح مضمون موقف طهران من التفاوض حول الملف النووي، وتمييز الأساسي من الأقل أساسية، والثوابت من مواضيع التفاوض، ويستذكر كلامه مع رئيس الحكومة نجيب ميقاتي قبل عشر سنوات ليُعيد تأكيد أن جهوزية إيران لدعم لبنان كانت وستبقى مفتوحة المجالات والسقوف، إذا تجرأ لبنان!

      في الملف النووي تبقت أربع نقاط عالقة، منها الضمانات الاقتصادية التي شرحها عبد اللهيان للمرة الأولى أنها تعني ضمان مواصلة تنفيذ العقود التي تكون الشركات الغربية والعالمية قد وقعتها مع إيران خلال فترة الاتفاق، حتى نهاية مدة العقود، إذا تم الانسحاب مجدداً من الاتفاق. وتبدو هذه هي النقطة التفاوضية الوحيدة التي تحتمل الأخذ والرد، حيث أشار عبد اللهيان إلى أن الأميركيين وافقوا على منح الشركات في هذه الحالة مدة سنة، ثم سنتين ونصف السنة، أي حتى نهاية ولاية الرئيس الأميركي الحالي جو بايدن، بينما طلبت إيران أن تشمل الضمانات طيلة مدة العقود، معطياً مثلاً عن شركة سيمنز التي كان لديها عقد لا يمكن إنهاؤه قبل سبع سنوات، والبحث عن تسوية في هذا البند يبدو مفتوحاً بخلاف بند العقوبات على الحرس الثوري وبندين آخرين لم يحدد مضمونهما، لكن يبدو أنهما يتصلان بالعقوبات أيضاً، من خلال إشارته إلى أن أحدهما خط أحمر إيراني، وربما يكون بينها العقوبات الأميركية على مرشد الجمهورية الإسلامية الإمام السيد علي خامنئي، وربما يكون محسوماً قبول الأميركيين بالطلب الإيراني في هذا المجال لعلمهم بحساسية الأمر، إذا تم التفاهم حول الضمانات الاقتصادية العالقة. وهذا ما يعني أن الصيغة التي تم التوصل إليها تفاوضياً مع انريكي مورو تطال الضمانات، ما فتح طريق الاتفاق الشامل.

      في العلاقات الإيرانية السعودية، ينوه عبد اللهيان بالاهتمام اللبناني الاستثنائي بهذا الملف، ما يجعل بيروت المكان الوحيد الذي يطرح فيه السؤال باهتمام بالغ حول هذه العلاقات، لكنه يلفت الانتباه الى أن الاهتمام السعودي يضع اليمن أولوية، مستذكراً أن سعود الفيصل الذي اقترح عليه ان يكون لبنان أولوية دعاه الى تثبيت تعريف لبنان كمساحة للترفيه والسياحة، متابعاً أن إيران تنظر الى لبنان باعتباره مساحة صنعت مكانتها المقاومة، داعيا آنذاك سعود الفيصل لتحييد النظرتين الإيرانية والسعودية لصالح مساعدة اللبنانيين على التلاقي لصناعة نظرتهم المشتركة. أما حول الأولوية اليمنية لدى السعودية بحسابات اليوم فإيران تتمسك بشروط اليمنيين لوقف العدوان ورفع الحصار، لكن في اللغة والنبرة تغيير واضح من الجانب الإيراني لصالح الاستعداد للمساعدة في صناعة الحل، استعداد كانت حدوه السابقة حتى في أيام حكومة الرئيس الشيخ حسن روحاني الإصلاحي، وقد قالها الوزير محمد جواد ظريف في لقاء جمعني به قبل سنة، بأن سقف ما يمكن لإيران تقديمه هو تسهيل اللقاء بين السعودية والجانب اليمني، فيما يذهب كلام عبد اللهيان الى أبعد من ذلك إذا نضجت المقاربة السعودية لصالح التسليم بأن وقف العدوان ورفع الحصار من اولويات أي سعي جدّي للحل.

      مقاربة الملفين النووي واليمني لا يغيب عنها الحضور الوازن لمتغيرات الحرب في أوكرانيا، حيث تأكيد إيران لتمايزها عن الموقف الروسي من مبدأ الحرب، والتمسك بالحل السلمي التفاوضي، لكن مع شرطين يجعلان القرب من موسكو والتطابق مع بكين يغلبان على النظرة الإجمالية، لا للحرب، لكن لا للعقوبات، مع إضافة لا بد منها، أن استفزازات واشنطن هي التي تتحمل مسؤولية التصعيد الذي دفع بموسكو للخيار العسكري، وبما أن الحرب قد وقعت وصار الموقف منها تسجيلاً لموقف مبدئيّ، والعقوبات مستمرة متمادية والموقف منها سياسي وعملي، لم تسمح إيران ولن تسمح بتعريض العلاقة بموسكو للاهتزاز، ولا بالاستثمار الأميركي على التمايز. ومن نتائج الحرب وتداعياتها، قراءة إيرانية بفرص أفضل للاتفاق النووي بشروط أقرب لما تريده إيران، وبداية ظهور لقراءة إقليمية واقعية تعترف بصحة الدعوة الإيرانية لدول المنطقة بعدم الوقوع في أوهام الحماية الأميركية، وبالتالي استعداد للانفتاح على التفكير بحلول لمشاكل المنطقة بتعاون دولها وشعوبها. وهذا معنى تشجيع إيران للانفتاح العربي عموما والخليجي خصوصاً على سورية.

      في الشأن اللبناني، عناوين اقتصادية، تتركز على استعداد إيراني عالٍ للمساعدة، بمعزل عن مصير الاتفاق النووي والعقوبات، وعتب شديد على ربط الأمرين ببعضهما من الحكومات اللبنانية المتعاقبة بخلاف حكومات أخرى في المنطقة أكثر قرباً من أميركا كالعراق وتركيا وباكستان حصلت على استثناءات أميركية من العقوبات وتشتري من إيران الكهرباء والغاز، بينما الحكومات اللبنانية تخشى مجرد التفكير بطلب الاستثناء، وترهن أي تعاون برفع العقوبات الأميركية. وهو ما نقله عبد اللهيان عن الرئيس ميقاتي في رده على العرض الإيراني القديم المتجدد بالاستعداد لبناء معملين لتوليد الكهرباء بطاقة ألف ميغاواط لكل منهما، بالإضافة للاستعداد لتقديم حل سريع بصفة مؤقتة لحين جهوز المعامل عبر بيع الكهرباء للبنان بوساطة الاستجرار عبر شبكة الربط الكهربائي مع العراق فسورية فلبنان، ضمن مهلة لا تتعدى بضعة شهور، وعن عملة التعاون التجاري يجيب عبد اللهيان أن إيران مستعدة لاعتماد الريال الإيراني والليرة اللبنانية لتعاملات البلدين، مضيفاً تأمين الغاز والمازوت والطحين والدواء للبنان ضمن صيغ التعاون الممكن، إذا تجرأ لبنان شارحاً بلغة الخير تفاصيل كل من هذه العناوين، فهو يعلم أن إيران تحول قمحها طحيناً وتبيعه لدول الجوار، وان إيران تنتج ثمانين الف ميغاواط كهرباء، وأن أسعار الدواء الإيراني واحد من عشرة من الأسعار العالمية، وأن الأمر يحتاج إلى استكمال شروط التسجيل القانونيّ.

      بدلاً من جواب يائس على فرص التعاون بداعي تبعية الحكومات للسياسات الأميركية أو مراعاة المعنيين للضوابط الأميركية، تتوقع إيران من الأصدقاء أن يمارسوا الضغوط لصالح التعاون طالما أنهم يرونه مصلحة لبلدهم، لأن ليس لدى إيران مصالح تجارية او سياسية في ذلك، وهي تعرض التعاون عبر الحكومة اللبنانية، وليس عبر الحلفاء ليقال إن في الأمر سياسة!

      Amir-Abdollahian to Al Mayadeen: We will not accept any Israeli influence in the Gulf

      March 25 2022

      Source: Al Mayadeen

      By Al Mayadeen Net 

      Al Mayadeen Network CEO Ghassan Ben Jeddou interviews Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the wake of Yemen’s seven years of war, Vienna talks, Lebanon’s economic crisis, and the path of the Gulf-Iranian relations.

      Al Mayadeen Network CEO Ghassan Ben Jeddou interviews Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (Al Mayadeen)

      In an exclusive interview with Al Mayadeen’s CEO Ghassan Ben Jeddou, Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian assured that Iran’s foreign policy is stable in terms of its political independence from both the West and the East.

      Amir-Abdollahian stressed that President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration pursues smart diplomacy, openness, and effective cooperation with all countries, adding that “our foreign policy has steady tenets, but there may be differences in approaches between one government and another”.

      “The Arab countries are an important part of the Islamic world, and we extend the hand of cooperation to various neighboring countries, most notably the Gulf countries,” he added.

      Iranian-Saudi rapprochement: Ready for the 5th round of talks

      On the Iranian-Saudi issue, Amir-Abdollahian told Al Mayadeen that relations with Saudi Arabia are not good, but Iran is not responsible for that, and has expressed its readiness for the fifth round of dialogue.

      “Some contradictory and inappropriate behavior on the part of Saudi Arabia affects relations, including the execution of 81 Saudis,” he noted.

      Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Saudi Arabia was the one to initiate cutting ties with Iran, confirming that Iran’s relations with most Arab countries are brotherly and good, including relations with Kuwait and the UAE.

      “The Saudis do not want good relations with us, while we do not forget the martyrdom of 460 Iranian pilgrims in the Mina incident,” he said.

      The top Iranian diplomat made it clear that despite Iran’s criticism of Saudi policies, it didn’t sever its relations with the kingdom.

      The affairs of Yemen belong to the Yemeni people

      Regarding the aggression on Yemen, Amir-Abdollahian confirmed to Al Mayadeen that Iran told the Saudis that the affairs of Yemen belong to the Yemeni people, affirming that linking everything that is happening in Yemen to Iran is erroneous.

      “The Yemenis’ defense of their sovereignty is a matter of their own, but we welcome the cessation of the war and the lifting of the sanctions, and we won’t neglect to work towards this direction,” he added.

      Vienna talks: The ball is in the US’ call

      On the developments in Vienna Talks, Amir-Abdollahian said that all parties in the region will win if an agreement is reached in Vienna, adding that “we are approaching the point of consensus in the nuclear talks, but what is important for us is how sanctions will be lifted as well as guarantees.”

      “In recent weeks, there have been the many US attempts to negotiate directly with us on the pending issues,” he stressed.

      Amir-Abdollahian made it clear that if the Biden administration is serious, it must show goodwill before considering direct negotiations.

      He went on to assure that Iran has informed the Western side that the US should prove goodwill by lifting one of the sanctions imposed on Iran.

      Elsewhere in his remarks, he mentioned that he has traveled to Moscow and met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to obtain clarifications regarding the Russian demands, emphasizing that Moscow informed Tehran that it will support the nuclear agreement the moment it is reached.

      “The ball is now in the Americans’ court with regard to the nuclear agreement,” he said.

      The top Iranian figure added that the US was thirsty for a regional agreement in 2015 after the nuclear agreement was signed, stressing that all parties in the region will win if an agreement is reached in Vienna.

      Egypt’s potential influential role

      On the Iranian-Egyptians relations, Amir-Abdollahian said that Egypt has a position in the Arab world that allows it to have an influential regional role.

      He divulged that Iran was not very happy with what happened in Egypt following the “Arab Spring”, however, he assured that the Iranian policy is set on strengthening relations with Egypt on solid and balanced foundations.

      “We do not forget Egypt’s stance towards the Syrian issue, but there are common points with Egypt upon which we could build,” he added.

      Regarding the Sharm el-Sheikh tripartite meeting, Amir-Abdollahian told Al Mayadeen that Iran considers any meeting with any Israeli official a betrayal of Al-Quds and Palestine.

      “The meeting of Sharm El-Sheikh taking place immediately after President Al-Assad’s visit to the UAE was not a good sign,” he said.

      He added that the Arab countries’ recognition of their wrong policies towards Syria is important.

      “Zionist entity is in a very weak position”

      The top Iranian diplomat stressed that Iran will never forget its red lines regarding the Palestinian cause in the framework of its good ties with the UAE.

      “We will not accept any Israeli influence in the Gulf, and the peoples will reject normalization,” he added.

      He went on to say that the Zionist entity is in a very weak position now and suffers from many issues.

      Amir-Abdollahian told Al Mayadeen that the battle of Seif Al-Quds is a major turning point that has proven the weakness and fragility of the Israeli society.

      Iran is ready to provide all aspects of assistance to Lebanon

      Commenting on the economic crisis in Lebanon, Amir-Abdollahian reiterated Iran’s willingness to provide all aspects of assistance to Lebanon and its people to overcome the ongoing difficult crisis.

      “We presented proposals to Lebanese officials to establish two power plants in the south and north, and to supply Lebanon with Iranian gas,” he added.

      He went on to say that “we informed our friends in Lebanon that the US will not help them and will not allow others to help them”.

      Regarding his meeting with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the top Iranian diplomat divulged that he informed Sayyed Nasrallah of the latest developments in the Vienna Talks and the matter of lifting sanctions.

      FM Lavrov presser after talks with FM Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (Iran)

      March 16, 2022

      https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1804343/

      Ladies and gentlemen,

      We have held talks with my colleague, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. The talks were held in a traditionally friendly atmosphere and were frank, concrete and useful.

      We discussed the further development of our broad and multifaceted bilateral cooperation in accordance with the agreements reached by President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi during his visit to Moscow on January 19-20, 2022. We are continuing to work on a new, big interstate treaty at Iran’s initiative. We expressed mutual interest in signing this basic document as soon as possible. It will reflect the current state and development prospects of the entire range of Russian-Iranian relations. We reaffirmed the principles of our interaction on the international stage.

      We highlighted our trade and economic cooperation and noted the steady growth in our mutual trade despite the illegal sanctions and the pandemic. In 2021, it increased by nearly 82 percent, to more than $4 billion. We agreed to continue working to build up our business ties and enhance their quality, including at the interregional level. We confirmed that no illegal sanctions would hinder our consistent progress.

      We had a constructive discussion on current international matters. We have a common stand on the promotion by our Western partners, led by the United States, of the “rules-based order,” which they want to take the place of international law. This rules-based order is the epitome of injustice and double standards, alongside the afore-mentioned illegal unilateral sanctions, which are targeting ordinary people.

      We spoke up firmly in favour of making international life more democratic, based on all countries’ strict compliance with the UN Charter and its principles, and on the strengthening of the UN’s central role in international affairs. We decided to continue strengthening our effective cooperation within the framework of the UN, where our positions are traditionally very similar or coincide.

      We expressed support for the decision taken at the 21st SCO summit in Dushanbe in September 2021 to launch the procedure to grant the status of full member to Iran. Tehran plays a major role in Eurasia and has been working closely with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation for a long time. This interaction will now be given a new, comprehensive quality.

      We facilitate a negotiating process that was launched in November 2021 to conclude a full-scale free trade agreement between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union. We are convinced that the liberalisation of customs tariffs will positively influence the development of Russian-Iranian trade and economic ties.

      We held a detailed discussion on the current situation with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding the Iranian nuclear programme. We support the soonest possible resumption of the full implementation of the agreement, which was formalised by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, based on a balance of interests initially stipulated by it. We are expecting the United States to return to the nuclear deal’s legal framework and to cancel the illegal US-imposed sanctions that have a painful effect on Iran, its people and a number of other countries.

      We exchanged opinions on the military-political and humanitarian situation in Syria. We expressed our mutual striving to closely coordinate our actions to further attain a lasting peace and improve the humanitarian situation in this country. We agreed to continue to work together for these purposes within the framework of the Astana format, which has proven effective and which includes our Turkish colleagues.yem

      We coordinated our positions on other important regional matters, including the situations in the Caspian region, the South Caucasus, Afghanistan and Yemen.

      We touched on the situation in Ukraine and around it. We thanked our Iranian colleagues for their objective and well-thought-out position and for understanding Russia’s security concerns, which were caused by the destabilising actions of the United States and its NATO allies. Once again, we noted that our actions are to protect the people of Donbass from the military threat posed by the Kiev regime and to facilitate the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine in full compliance with the values contained in the UN Charter and within the framework of documents, approved at the top-level.

      I believe our talks were very productive. We have agreed to maintain contact on all issues under discussion.

      Mr Minister has kindly invited me to pay a reciprocal visit to Tehran. We have accepted the invitation, and will coordinate the dates soon.

      I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate our Iranian friends and, in their person, all those celebrating the springtime Nowruz holiday in the approach to this bright event.

      Question (translated from Farsi): They say Russia has demanded written guarantees from the United States at the talks in Vienna, so that any sanctions against Moscow would not affect its relations with Tehran. Can this prevent agreements from being reached? Or will the American side’s illogical demands lead to this?

      Sergey Lavrov: We have received written guarantees. They are actually included in the text of the agreement on the resumption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear programme. All projects and areas of activity envisaged by the JCPOA have been protected, including the direct involvement of our companies and specialists, including cooperation on the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, which is a flagship cooperation project, and in the context of all existing plans associated with it. The Americans try to accuse us of slowing the agreement process almost every day. This is a lie. Certain capitals have yet to approve the agreement, but Moscow is not one of them.

      Question (translated from Farsi, addressed to Hossein Amir-Abdollahian): Yesterday you spoke on the phone with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba. He wanted to give you a message for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. How would you comment on this?

      Sergey Lavrov (adds after Hossein Amir-Abdollahian): During our meeting, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian spoke to me about the phone call he had with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister. He conveyed to me Dmitry Kuleba’s wish that we need to “stop the war” as soon as possible. This is exactly what we are doing – we are stopping the war that the Kiev regime has been waging against the population of Donbass for the past eight years or more. This war must stop. Especially now, when once again we can see the true face of the radical nationalists in Kiev. Yesterday, they used Tochka-U systems to fire cluster munitions at the centre of Donetsk killing 20 and injuring even more civilians. All these facts are being hushed up in the West, which continues to whip up hysteria by spreading patent fake news.

      We have handed over some materials to our Iranian friends (we are distributing them to all our counterparts). They contain concrete facts to show what the current Ukrainian government is like, what approaches Ukrainian officials (starting with the president) express, and how they treat their obligations under the United Nations Charter, UN resolutions, the OSCE and the Minsk agreements. They signed the Package of Measures and then ignored it with the connivance (or even encouragement) of our Western colleagues.

      The negotiations are ongoing on Ukraine’s neutral military status with security guarantees for all participants in this process; Ukraine’s demilitarisation to prevent any threat to the Russian Federation from its territory ever; and the termination of that country’s nazification policy supported by a number of Ukrainian legal acts, including the abolition of all discriminatory restrictions imposed on the Russian language, education, culture and media in Ukraine.

      Question: Russia has repeatedly said that there is no alternative to the JCPOA. There are some reports that the United States may suggest a new agreement without Russia’s participation. Does Moscow have any counter proposals?

      Sergey Lavrov: This is yet another attempt to lay the blame at the wrong door. We have never made any excessive demands. All our rights in cooperation with Iran on JCPOA projects are reliably protected. If the Americans have not yet made a final decision on resuming the JCPOA, they probably want to shift the blame for this on somebody else. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that at this point, the obstacles are being created by the US’s excessive demands.

      Question: The nuclear deal could unfreeze Iran’s oil exports. Would this affect Russian oil exports? Is there any mechanism to smooth over such consequences in relations between Moscow and Tehran?

      Sergey Lavrov: The nuclear deal is bound to unblock Iran’s oil exports. We enthusiastically supported this important part of the agreement.

      As for the impact of Iranian oil on the world market, this will affect all exporting and importing countries. There are mechanisms to prevent volatile surprises. First, there is OPEC+, of which Iran is a member. When new amounts of hydrocarbons appear in the world market, it drafts an agreement on an optimal distribution quota. I am sure that constructive work lies ahead as soon as all issues linked with Iran’s oil on the world market are settled.

      Question: Having cited considerable evidence, Russia raised the issue of bio-laboratories in Ukraine. Is the international community interested in this issue? Is it ready to talk about this? Will Moscow return to this issue?

      Sergey Lavrov: I would not describe the reaction of the international community as “interest.” The reaction is sooner a negative surprise and wariness. The revealed facts point to the enormous scale of the US’s unlawful activities on spreading its military bio-laboratories all over the world. There are hundreds of them, including almost 30 in Ukraine. Many of them have been established in other former Soviet states right along the perimeter of the borders of Russia, China and other countries.

      We will demand that this issue be reviewed in the context of the commitments assumed by all participants in the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction. We will do all we can to force the Americans to stop blocking our proposal from 20 years ago on the need to create a special mechanism for verifying any alarming reports on the appearance of substances that may be used to develop biological weapons. They are against this mechanism because it would make any bioactivity transparent. They do not want transparency because they find it more expedient to do everything under their own control, as they have been doing up until now.

      I am convinced that the international community has realised (and will realise again) that such activities are unacceptable and fraught with lethal threats to civilians on a massive scale.

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