Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi says protecting the rights of nations based on mutual respect forms the main priority of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy under the new administration.
Raeisi made the remarks in a Monday meeting with visiting Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in Tehran, during which the two sides discussed the available grounds for Tehran-Dublin cooperation in various sectors, including energy, science and technology, industry and agriculture.
“The main priority of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy under the new administration is to protect the interests of nations and showing mutual respect” for other countries, Iran’s chief executive said.
“The issue on which we emphasize during the ongoing negotiations [on the revival of the 2015 Iran deal in Vienna] is that sanctions [imposed on Iran] must be removed in a real way and the rights of the Iranian nation must be respected,” Raeisi said.
Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally left the Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.
In May 2019, following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of a non-performance by the other side.
The US administration of President Joe Biden says it is willing to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Raeisi pointed to cordial and constructive relations between Iran and Ireland, saying that the two countries have great capacities to strengthen and improve relations in various trade and economic fields.
He noted that making use of bilateral potentialities will be beneficial to the two countries’ further development and progress.
The Irish foreign minister, for his part, said his country attaches special significance to enhanced ties with Iran and believes that mutual relations currently stand at a strategic level.
Coveney noted that that Dublin seeks expansion of mutual ties in all areas and is determined to reopen its embassy in Tehran.
Ireland’s foreign minister said disillusionment of the Iranian nation in the face of the US government’s violation of its promises is quite understandable.
Ireland believes that necessary guarantees must be given to Iran during the ongoing Vienna talks so that the agreement could be restored, Coveney emphasized.
Addressing a joint press conference with his Irish counterpart earlier in the day, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said it is possible to reach a good agreement on the JCPOA revival if the United States and the European signatories to the agreement — Britain, France and Germany — are serious about returning to full implementation of their commitments.
He added, “We believe that if the American side and the three European countries [that are signatories to the JCPOA] are serious about returning to the full implementation of their commitments as per the JCPOA, achieving a good agreement will be possible in short term.”