No direct talks with U.S., says foreign ministry

TEHRAN— Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani once again reiterated that no direct talks will take place between Iranian and American officials during President Ebrahim Raisi’s trip to New York to address the 77th United Nations General Assembly.

Speaking at his weekly press conference on Monday, Kanaani explained that the president and the accompanying delegation’s trip is to New York to attend and address the 77th United Nations General Assembly. 

“The presence of Mr. Bagheri (Kani), the Political Deputy Foreign Minister and chief negotiator of Iran in this trip is to accompany Iran’s high-ranking delegation and there is no predetermined program to discuss the sanctions removal negotiations within the framework of this trip,” he noted.

According to the information obtained by the Tehran Times, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, top negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, Political Deputy to President Mohammad Jamshidi, and Head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian parliament Vahid Jalalzadeh will accompany President Raisi on his trip to New York.

It is worth mentioning that Raisi and his delegation left Tehran for New York Monday morning.

Kanaani however didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of a meeting regarding the resurrection of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA) in the United States. 

“Naturally, international meetings are always a good opportunity for political meetings and sideline negotiations between the officials of the countries, and it is an opportunity to exchange views on bilateral, regional and multilateral and international issues of interest. I do not rule out the possibility that there will be talks on the nuclear issue on the sidelines of the meeting, and Iran naturally uses every opportunity to express its views on matters of mutual and international interest,” the spokesman stated.

He then reminded the press that Iran has never left the negotiation table, never sidelines diplomacy and considers constructive negotiations as an appropriate, logical and reasonable way to resolve disputes. 

“It is a possibility that on the sidelines of the meeting, talks with the negotiating parties regarding JCPOA revival talks will take place. Political dialogue, as well as using international multilateral frameworks are the right way to solve cases,” the diplomat opined

Iran will use every opportunity to express its constructive and logical views and the United Nations General Assembly is one of the suitable opportunities, the spokesman underlined.

Kanaani then reiterated that Tehran will not have any sort of direct talks with the American officials.

“No bilateral meeting at any level will take place between Iranian and American officials in New York. The president was very clear about that. I reiterate that Mr. Bagheri’s trip is not related to bilateral talks between Iran and U.S. officials,” Kanaani underscored.

Tehran’s position regarding geopolitical changes in borders is clear

Elsewhere in the presser, Kanaani faced some questions about border clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, to which he responded, “The clear position of Iran regarding the developments in the South Caucasus region has been officially expressed many times by different officials and there is no ambiguity in this regard. Unfortunately, since last Tuesday, we witnessed the beginning of new border conflicts between the two countries of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia, which has led to the death and injury of a large number of soldiers from both sides.”

Iran, based on its neighborhood policy and principled policy of trying to help constructively to resolve regional crises, took action and made political efforts as soon as possible, Kanaani noted, adding that Iran, as before, did not spare any help to create peace and end the conflicts since the beginning of the crisis and acted quickly in this regard and tried diplomatic efforts to establish a ceasefire. 

The spokesman added, “Iran’s fundamental positions are clear. We believe in the necessity of using political approaches and solutions to end conflicts and reduce tension and enter into political dialogues to resolve border disputes between the two countries.”

The diplomat stated that Iran’s policy regarding change in geopolitics of the region and international borders is very clear, stating, “We believe that what can help resolve these disputes is the existence of political will in both countries is to initiate dialogue and use regional frameworks and joint efforts of good neighbors to help end conflicts and resolve disputes. Iran has friendly and close relations with both sides based on its neighborhood policy, and is still ready to help end tensions and resolve disputes.”

According to the spokesman, Tehran has used all its political capacities based on the neighborliness policy and good and close relations with the two countries until now. 

“Iran has supported regional and multilateral frameworks to enter into all issues of interest to the countries of the region, including the 3+3 framework, and good talks have been held in this framework in the past. In recent days, Iran has exchanged views on holding this meeting and will continue this effort,” Kanaani stated.

The spokesman also said that Tehran looks at the developments in the South Caucasus and especially the conflicts between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the framework of its principled and declared political view. 

“The escalation of tensions and instability in the South Caucasus will not serve the interests of any of the regional countries, the conflicting countries and neighboring countries. The thing that will solve the crisis is the joint dialogue between the two countries and the use of regional capacities to reduce tension and the formation of political frameworks to stabilize stability and security in the region,” Kanaani stated.

He then once again reaffirmed that a geopolitical change in the region will cause instability, noting, “For us, regional frameworks are a principle and we believe that any party that wants to comment in the region should try to create peace and stability in the region.”

He added that Tehran considers inciting tensions neither in the interests of Azerbaijan nor Armenia, nor the interests of the region. 

“Peace, stability and security in the region are necessary for economic development and the expansion of regional relations and cooperation and the prosperity of economic and commercial relations. This is Iran’s principled policy and we consider any approach outside of this to be provocative and we do not accept escalation of instability in the region in any way,” the diplomat opined.

Violence won’t help bring peace to Afghanistan

Responding to a question about the recent developments in Afghanistan, the spokesman stated that violence is not the solution to bring peace to Afghanistan.

“Iran’s policy regarding the developments in Afghanistan is clear. Since the departure of the occupying forces from this country in the past year, Iran, as one of the most important countries in the region, established its relations with all Afghan parties and with the view of helping to establish peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the spokesman stated.

Iran’s fundamental approach was that what can be in line with the interests of the Afghan nation is a political approach and avoiding Afghan-Afghan conflicts and the formation of an inclusive political framework in Afghanistan for the formation of a unified and inclusive government, the diplomat added, noting, “Iran is in close contact with the interim governing body of Afghanistan and other Afghan parties.”

Iran does not support any military approach and Afghan-Afghan conflicts inside Afghanistan, according to the spokesman.

“We consider killing from any side inside Afghanistan as a loss for the Afghan nation, and the military approach hinders the formation of the political process for the formation of a unified and comprehensive government in Afghanistan. Therefore, our relationship with the Afghan parties is in place and Iran’s political positions in relation to the internal developments of Afghanistan and the events that are happening in this country are based on helping to create stability and peace and preventing Afghan-Afghan conflicts,” Kanaani noted. 

The general interest of Afghanistan is a principle for Iran, the diplomat stated, adding, “Our political positions will be defined in this framework, and we will continue our political efforts in this regard.”

Iran’s relations with Lebanon are cordial

Regarding the issue of Iran helping Lebanon deal with the energy crisis, the spokesman said that Iran and Lebanon share cordial relations.

“We have friendly relations with the Lebanese government and we are trying to help them in the framework of friendly and constructive relations and the development of bilateral cooperation with this country at various levels. Iran has held discussions with the relevant ministries regarding helping Lebanon overcome its energy crisis,” the spokesman said.

He then went on to note that supporting friendly governments and helping solve their problems is on the agenda of Iran’s foreign policy. 

“Iran is definitely ready to help solve Lebanon’s problems according to its capacities and in accordance with Lebanon’s capacity regarding mutual interests and benefits. This is the general and principled policy of Iran, and with the negotiations ongoing between the two countries, the ground for more economic assistance to Lebanon will be prepared,” the diplomat stated.

Kanaani rebuffed speculations about Iran giving free fuel, noting that there is no discussion of giving free fuel.

“Our talks in the field of economic relations and energy supply, both regarding oil and electricity supply are being negotiated in the form of an aid package, and the issue of giving away for free is out of the question. Helping solve Beirut’s energy problems both in the field of fuel and in the field of electricity is on our agenda and we hope that with further negotiations between the two countries, the Lebanese people would be able to see some of their needs met,” Kanaani concluded. 


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