Iran never left negotiating table; ready to achieve outcome: Spox

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Tehran has never left the negotiating table and the country has always shown its readiness to hold talks to achieve outcomes in order to secure maximum national interest.

Iran attaches importance to how the other side acts, not to what it says in media, Nasser Kanaani told reporters at his weekly press briefing in Tehran on Monday.

Referring to speculation about the exchange of messages between Iran and the United States to continue talks on the removal of the sanctions, the spokesman said the Islamic Republic has adopted a clear and fundamental approach to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the process of the talks.

Also, Iran has put on the agenda the policy of foiling the sanctions by relying on domestic capacities and relations with neighbors; meanwhile, the country has not left diplomatic procedure for the purpose of lifting unjust sanctions, Kanaani said.

The spokesman went on to say that exchange of messages and diplomatic consultations with the other sides via neighboring and friendly states continue.

Iran continues negotiating based on Supreme Leader's views, national interest, and Majlis' (Iranian Parliament) action plan for the nuclear talks, he said, adding that Tehran does ignore the Islamic Republic’s red lines.

Elaborating on President Raisi’s ongoing visit to three Latin American states, Kanaani said that South America is one of Iran's areas of interest.

Fortunately, we have common political views with most of the South American countries, which facilitates cooperation, and there are complementary economic capacities between the two sides as well.

Iran's capabilities in economy, industries, and new technologies are sought-after by Latin American states and it is a good opportunity to develop business cooperation, he noted.

As to Iran-Libya ties and determining a new Iranian ambassador to the African country, Kanaani said that this state is of importance for the Islamic Republic and that a diplomat has been selected to go to Tripoli and is waiting for the administrative procedure, so we hope to establish an official relationship with Libya soon.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the Islamic Republic and the caretaker government in Kabul have had good negotiations and have reached a consensus, which urges the Afghan side to take positive and new steps regarding Iran’s rights for the water of Helmand (Hirmand) River, and that technical measures should be done.

Kanaani also pointed to the neighborliness policy and the necessity of maintaining a positive atmosphere between the two nations as well as the existing contract between Afghanistan and Iran concerning Iranians’ water rights, saying that we expect the Afghan party to abide by their commitments in this respect and show their good faith because the water is the rights of the Iranian people especially residents of Sistan and Baluchestan, so implementing the contract can pave the way for enhancing cooperation in issues of mutual interests.

On the issue of prisoner swap between Iran and the United States, Kanaani said an agreement is within reach if the other side is serious.

“We hope to witness the exchange of prisoners because we have made all the necessary efforts regarding the humanitarian aspects of the issue,” he added.

He explained that negotiations are continuing through mediators, adding that “everything depends on the will of the other party.”

Asked about the latest developments in Iran’s relations with Egypt and Libya, Kanaani said, “Regarding Egypt, the clear position of the government and diplomatic institutions was clearly stated, and the Supreme Leader also expressed his position in the meeting with the Sultan of Oman.”

He said that President Ebrahim Raisi's administration’s priority is to develop relations with Islamic and neighboring countries.

Concerning Egypt, he added, Iran welcomes restoration of ties of the Egyptian side is willing.

Touching upon the latest developments concerning Iran-Saudi ties, Kanaani said that the implementation of consensus between the two states has had a proper pace and there have not been any obstacles in the way of carrying out their mutual agreement.

The spokesman also noted that Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister is to visit Iran in the near future, adding that the Saudi embassy and consulate in Iran will probably open.

On the resumption of ties between Iran and Bahrain, he stated that Manama has declared its readiness to this end and that Iran is keen on developing ties with all Islamic and regional nations.

According to the official, Bahrain and Iran keep on indirect negotiations; thus, it is expected that the positive trend in the region would lead to the restoration of ties between the two states.

Regarding the speculations about Iran-US negotiations in one of the neighboring countries, he said that Iran welcomes the efforts made by Oman a few weeks ago.

Exchange of messages continues and the foreign ministry uses all the facilities available under Iran's principled policies to secure national interests, he said adding that Iran has taken advantage of Oman's capacity as a friendly country.

The basis of negotiations for the lifting of sanctions is exactly the same as the signed agreement, and media speculations about a temporary agreement and similar cases that replace the JCPOA are rejected, he stated.

Commenting on Iran’s maritime coalition with some of the Persian Gulf states, he said that Iran’s principle in the Persian Gulf is collective cooperation aiming at safeguarding the regional states.

Iran believes that security should be provided by the regional countries, and the presence of trans-regional forces is a security threat to the region, Kanaani said.

Iran has always been against the presence of trans-regional forces in regional waterways, he stressed.

Regarding the repayment of part of Iraq’s arrears to Iran, Kanaani said Iran expected the debt to be repaid according to the agreement reached between the two countries, but unfortunately, that did not happen.

“On many occasions, we treated the Iraqi side, as a friendly and brotherly country, with tolerance,” he said. “One should know that adherence to agreements is necessary for the establishment and continuity of constructive relations between the two sides.”

He also said that Iran believes in focusing on mutual interests in its relations with European countries and opposes any move by European governments to make the interests of the Zionist regime a precondition for relations with Iran.

“We are ready to develop our relations with any European country that wants to have relations with us based on mutual respect,” he asserted.

Regarding Iran and Russia’s drone cooperation, he said the two countries cooperate in various fields, including defense, and these cooperations preceded the Ukraine war.

He dismissed claims targeting the cooperation between Tehran and Moscow, saying, “We once again reject the claims that are made with political motives."

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