US needs to change policies to set ties with Iran

US needs to change policies to set ties with Iran
Tue Jul 16, 2013 16:42:53

Iran says establishment of any ties between Tehran and Washington requires “serious changes” in US policies.

“Nice words and pleasing statements alone do not suffice… What constitutes the criterion for us to change our view of the interaction [between the US and Iran] is the United States’ actual behavior,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi said during his weekly press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.

Iran is “awaiting practical measures and serious changes in policies as well as the adoption of new approaches” by the US, the Iranian official added.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman also described as “a positive matter” the willingness of many countries, including Western and European ones, to hold talks with Iran.

Commenting on the recent remarks by former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw regarding his willingness to travel to Iran to help restore Tehran-London ties, Araqchi said, “Mr. Straw has not submitted an official request; but, since Iranians are famous for hospitality, we would be glad to receive anyone interested in travelling to Iran.”

“Ties with Europe, resolving the existing tensions and confidence-building are among the general policies of the Islamic Republic, and this also applies to the British government.”

Stating that Iran had not favored the cutting of its diplomatic ties with the UK, Araqchi said London should be the side to take the initiative in resuming relations with Tehran in case measures are to be taken to reestablish the ties.

On July 4, Straw welcomed the election of Hassan Rohani as Iran’s new president and said, “What I have been urging the government is that we do our best to reengage with Iranians, because there is a chance now that we can.”

Responding to a question about the ongoing unrest in Egypt, Araqchi said Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is holding talks with regional officials with regard to the matter.

“Dr. Salehi held useful talks with the former Egyptian foreign minister during the presidency of Mohamed Morsi as well as interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei.”

Araqchi expressed hope that unrest in Egypt would be resolved peacefully.

On July 3, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of Egypt’s army, announced that President Morsi was no longer in office. Sisi also dissolved the Egyptian constitution.

Since then, rival clashes have intensified between the supporters and opponents of Morsi.

Remarking on the proposed Geneva talks over the crisis in Syria, Araqchi reiterated that no decision has yet been adopted on the date, agenda and participants of the conference “and serious differences remain between the parties [involved.]”

He added, however, that if the Islamic Republic gets invited to the summit, “it will play a constructive role in it.”

Responding to a question on a recent plea for a ceasefire by the foreign-backed Syrian opposition, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman emphasized that the idea of a ceasefire is positive and we recommend that the opposition entirely lay down their arms and begin negotiating with the Syrian government.

He noted, however, that when a ceasefire proposal was made by Damascus last year, the opposition continued to wage war.

“So, we hope the opposition comes to the conclusion that the military option is useless in Syria and the best choice would be to enter talks with the government.”

Responding to a question on US ‘concerns’ about the expansion of ties between Iran and Argentina, Araqchi said that both Tehran and Buenos Aires have enjoyed friendly relations and expansive economic cooperation over the years.

However, he added that the AMIA issue caused bitterness in relations between the two nations for several years while the different aspects and the details of the case never came to light “and we believe the key reason behind it was the intervention of the Zionists in the case.”

On January 27, 2013, Iran and Argentina signed a memorandum of understanding for the two countries to shed light on the 1994 bombing on the AMIA building in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and wounded 300 others.

Araqchi further reiterated that expression of anger by other countries on this issue is not justified and suggested that they not intervene in the relations between Iran and Argentina.


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