Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says threats of military action and re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran will harm efforts for the restoration of trust between Iran and six world powers. “These sardonic remarks are indiscreet slogans and jokes that would harm the process of confidence-building,” Rouhani told British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Tehran on Monday.
The Iranian president was reacting to US officials’ repeated threats of action against Iran in case the Islamic Republic’s nuclear standoff is not resolved within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached in July between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will abide by all voluntary commitments entailed in the JCPOA because our firm decision has been not to seek [nuclear] weapons and our [nuclear facilities] remain under supervision of the [International Atomic Energy] Agency (IAEA),” Rouhani said.
“The parties to the [nuclear] negotiations will realize in the future that the choice of interaction with Iran instead of confrontation has been the right path,” the Iranian president added.
Rouhani also said Iran’s nuclear agreement with the world powers is the “beginning of a move towards creation of better circumstances in regional and international relations.”
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries - the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany - finalized the text of the nuclear agreement called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna, Austria, on July 14.
Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans, against the Islamic Republic.
Rouhani further pointed to the reopening of the Iranian and British embassies in London and Tehran, and underscored the importance of boosting political ties to an “acceptable level” and building mutual confidence.
The Iranian and British embassies resumed work in London and Tehran on Sunday four years after the two countries severed diplomatic ties.
“Iran and Britain should consider the shared interests of the two nations and the region, and in the light of the industrial and economic capabilities of Britain and the capabilities of Iran, upgrade their trade ties to fruitful and bilateral economic relations,” said Rouhani.
Fight against terrorism, extremism
Rouhani also stressed the importance of fighting against terrorism and extremism in the world, saying, “The Islamic Republic of Iran opposes the killing of innocent people in the world and urges cessation of this trend.”
He added that Iran aims to help stop killings, bloodshed, discord, violence and extremism across the globe.
Rouhani noted that Iran and Britain can boost cooperation and make joint efforts to find political solutions to ongoing crises in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen.
Vienna agreement, step forward
The British foreign secretary, for his part, said the nuclear agreement would allow Iran and Britain to take steps forward in their ties.
The Iran-P5+1 agreement will change age-old and cultural ties between Tehran and London, Hammond said, adding that the reopening of the embassies would lead to effective and trust-building talks between the two countries.
He emphasized that Britain would remain committed to its promises within the framework of JCPOA.
Hammond expressed Britain’s readiness to upgrade diplomatic ties with Iran to the ambassadorial level.
Iran and Britain are currently represented in each other’s capitals by charges d’affaires.
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