Iran slams Western statement on its regional actions

AFP , Friday 19 Nov 2021

Tehran on Friday criticised as "illegitimate" a Western statement that assured Arab allies their security interests would be taken into account during talks aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh during a press conference in Tehran, on Februar
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh during a press conference in Tehran, on February 22, 2021. AFP

Iran's neighbours are concerned about concessions that could be made to the Islamic republic in the negotiations that are due to resume in the Austrian capital Vienna on November 29.

In a joint statement issued after talks on Thursday with Gulf states, Egypt and Jordan, the United States and the so-called E3 of Britain, France and Germany welcomed their "efforts to de-escalate tensions".

They condemned Iran's "destabilising activities in the region" including the use of ballistic missiles and drones, while affirming "their determination to continue to address broader security concerns of the region".

Iran's foreign ministry dismissed the statement on Friday.

"This spectacle of a meeting and statement are so fabricated and illegitimate that they are not worth responding to," said its spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

"The US government, which is responsible for the current situation after withdrawing from the nuclear deal, is once again trying to provoke a crisis and conduct a propaganda campaign against Iran," he said in a statement.

In 2018, under then president Donald Trump, the United States unilaterally pulled out of the deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

Trump's successor, Joe Biden, has said he is ready to rejoin the accord, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said the statement on his country's regional activities was without foundation.

"The countries that must be held accountable for their adventures and aggression in the region, including against Yemen for the past seven years, cannot make baseless accusations against others," said Khatibzadeh.

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to shore up the country's internationally recognised government after Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa months before.

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