EU Tehran office ‘unlikely to open’ anytime soon
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson has said no Egyptian official would visit Tehran, rejecting media speculations on possible visit by country’s oil minister.
Bahram Ghasemi addressed a press conference in Tehran on Monday. The most important issues touched upon by FM spokesperson was opening of an EU office in Tehran which Ghasemi believed was hinging upon bureaucracy governing such political arrangements, and was unlikely any time soon.
He said FM diplomatic efforts addressed release of 21 crew of an Iranian fishing boat in Indian Ocean waters near where pirates roamed the sea; “Somalia severed ties with Iran, since the country follows no specific foreign policy and has tied its policy to that of Saudi Arabia; however, the situation is complex since pirates defy any diplomatic efforts; we will wait lest the situation is exacerbated further, as different bodies in the Foreign Ministry are working on the case,” he told the press. “A number of fishers have been released and returned to Iran.”
On prospects of an EU office in Tehran, spokesperson said that administrative difficulties ruled out the opening of an office of the EU in Tehran; “as to the EU Parliament statement on Iran, we believe it was unique in making important points clear on EU-Iran relations, albeit harboring negative and positive ideas; Iran and the EU will continue talks, however this is not to say that difficulties have been addressed and resolved in bilateral ties.”
The criticism of Foreign Ministry that it had been quite lax and an onlooker about the difficulties Iranians travelling abroad face when applying for a visa was also voiced by the press, where Iranians should pay inordinate amounts to buy embassy appointment dates for European destinations; a complex and time-consuming process effectively impede the visa issuance process and Iranians had been on a loss when embassies handle their case with contempt and humiliate Iranians, which Mr. Ghasemi admitted as accurate account of the embassies’ conduct.
On dual nationals, he rejected the second nationality of Iranians having two passports; “thus, we think that such Iranians should not and could not file lawsuits in foreign courts against their home country; no such verdicts of compensation for dual nationals is recognized as genuine,” he told the press.
Ansari also denied that an Egyptian official, notably and reportedly, country’s oil minister would arrive in Tehran; “no such issue has been received by the Foreign Ministry and we believe this would be a media speculation of little value and that the accounts of the visit, inaccurate; no request has been filed with the Foreign Ministry for visit of their oil minister to Tehran,” he said.
Ghasemi told the press that Mr. Zairf would be the first Iranian visiting Lebanon since the country succeeded in election of a new president after almost 2 years of political deadlock, where he would meet heads of different political parties and Mr. Michel Naim Aoun, the new president. “Foreign Minister Zarif will then depart for easten Europe countries of Czech, Romania and Slovakia,” added Ghasemi.
He denied a response to questions that who in the White House would be better for Iran; “this is an issue remaining with the American people and we would not comment about that; our policy is not to interfere in others’ internal affairs and expect others to understand the policy,” Ghasemi retorted.
Ghasemi reiterated a dominant theme of JCPOA, the US violation of its commitments under the deal; “we believe the US should have done better in terms of its commitments and easing of sanctions which the country recognized under JCPOA,” he said, turning to Iran-Egypt relations; “Egypt is a cradle to a great civilization and an influential country in the Middle East; we welcome the country as a possible partner; but it has a long way to come to improve ties with Tehran; however, recent Lausanne round of Syrian talks has been effective in Cairo’s change in its view of Tehran, as we demanded that Egypt, along with Iraq and Jordan, be a participant in talks,” he concluded.