Confidence-building is not the main problem which has hindered resumption of ties between Iran and the US, Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said, reminding that hostility towards Tehran forms the essence of Washington’s foreign policy.
“Our problem with the US does not pertain to confidence-building, rather it is related to the nature (of the US),” Naqdi said addressing a Basij gathering in the Northeastern city of Mashad on Wednesday.
He pointed to the substantive differences between Iran and the US, and explained that the US has long shown a hostile attitude towards Iran and this enmity has now become an intrinsic part of the US foreign policy. “The US has committed hundreds of crimes against the Iranian nation and some people should not be pleased with (President Obama’s) Norouz message in the Persian language because the US is used to arrogance.”
“Today our economic problems are not resolved by establishing ties with the US, because our first economic problem with the West is reliance on oil and of course the westerners should realize that if the issue of sanctions is not resolved through diplomacy, we will solve it by ourselves,” he said.
In October, Senior Military Aide to the Iranian Supreme Leader Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi blasted Washington for its long track record of hostilities against Tehran, and said the American officials cannot be trusted for talks.
“George W. Bush has said in his diary book that they wanted to attack Iran after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but their military forces opposed it,” Rahim Safavi told FNA.
“This means that they had hatched plots against Iran, but the US has failed to succeed in the attainment of its strategic goals,” he added.
Rahim Safavi also referred to Iran’s assistance to the US during the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan, and said, “The Americans didn’t make any concessions to Iran and for this and other reasons, the Americans cannot be trusted.”
In relevant remarks early October, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei voiced strong support for President Hassan Rouhani’s diplomatic efforts, but meantime avoided throwing his weight behind each and every move that the president made in his recent New York visit, saying that he lacks trust in the US.
“We support the movement in government’s diplomacy, including the New York visit, since we hold trust in the … government and we are optimistic about it, but some of what happened in the New York visit were not proper because we believe the US administration is untrustworthy, conceited, illogical and unfaithful to its pledges,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing a cadets graduation ceremony here in Tehran at the time.
He reiterated his confidence in the Iranian officials, yet, he advised them “to take their steps strongly, but carefully and after thorough study”, underlining that the country’s officials should always have national interests, Islamic Republic’s exalted causes and national honor in mind.
Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated on the reason for Iran’s lack of confidence in the US administration, and said, “Actually, the US administration moves in the direction of the Zionists’ interests, and it blackmails the entire world and is blackmailed by the Zionist regime.”
Addressing the UN General Assembly meeting late September, US President Barack Obama said the US wanted to resolve the nuclear issue peacefully, and added, “We are not seeking regime change, and we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy.”
“Instead, we insist that the Iranian government meet its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and UN Security Council resolutions,” he added.
Also, in September, media reports said that the Iranian and the US presidents talked over phone before President Rouhani’s departure from New York.
The two presidents talked over the phone as President Rouhani was in a car and heading towards the New York International Airport.
President Rouhani and President Obama discussed different issues during their phone conversation.
The Iranian and US presidents underlined the need for a political will for expediting resolution of West’s standoff with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program.
President Rouhani and President Obama stressed the necessity for mutual cooperation on different regional issues.
But after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, the US president made a U-turn, and said that “we take no options off the table, including military options” which revealed the US administration’s lack of independency and decision-making power.
The United States and Iran broke diplomatic relations in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the United States’ espionage center at its embassy in Tehran. The two countries have had tense relations ever since, but have shown willingness to attend talks to help resolve regional issues, including security in Iraq. Yet, the two countries have avoided talks on bilateral issues for the last thirty years.
Washington and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.