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Deputy FM: Iran in Favor of Talks with Regional States, Not US

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi in a meeting with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani underlined his country's interest in talks and interactions with the regional states, dismissing again any negotiations with Washington.

“Full stability and security will be established in the region when the national security and economic interests of all countries are met,” Araqchi said in the meeting in Doha on Tuesday.

He underlined Iran’s effective role in the establishment of regional security, and said, “But the US and the Zionist regime and the countries which accompany them should account for the consequences of tension.”

Araqchi rejected again any possibility for talks with the US, but meantime, stressed that Tehran has always prioritized negotiations with the regional states.

“We can facilitate the path for building confidence and constructive interactions among the neighboring states by mechanisms like formation of an assembly for regional talks in the Persian Gulf and signing a non-aggression pact,” he said.

Al-Thani, for his part, voiced concern about the hard conditions in the region, calling for continued consultations and talks between the two countries.

His comments came after Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi reiterated the remarks by his boss, Minister Javad Zarif, in response to the US president’s softened tone for talks, and stressed that Tehran is waiting for Washington’s change of behavior in action and not just in words.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran pays no specific attention to words and rhetoric. Change of approach and behavior is important to us. We will decide based on what we see and their reflections on us and our region,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi told reporters in a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.

He underlined contradictions in Trump and the US ruling system’s words, and said, “Change of approach and finally, change of behavior is important to us.”

Mousavi further rejected media speculations that certain countries are mediating between Iran and the US, and stressed that Tehran is in no talks with Washington and sees no perspective for such negotiations.

“We do not have any negotiations with the US. We were in talks (i.e. in line with implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal). The US was in the talks but they ended it through their illegal withdrawal. We do not see any perspective for negotiations,” the spokesman said.

Asked by reporters about media speculations about mediation of certain countries for talks between Iran and the US, he said, “The tensions between Iran and the US are rooted in (the US) economic terrorism and sanctions. Different countries with different incentives and God willing, good will, monitor the developments. We are not now in the mediation stage.”

“No special message was given to Iran by the friendly states’ officials who visited Iran and we did not have a message either and these visits were only aimed at an expression of views,” Mousavi stressed.

In relevant remarks on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, had also highlighted that there are enormous disparities between what the White House is saying and what it does in dealing with Tehran.

Zarif said, in a tweet on Monday, that Trump has to prove in action whether he seeks to fall into line with the league of anti-Iran domestic and regional officials.

The Iranian top diplomat said, “B-Team’s Economic Terrorism is hurting the Iranian people and causing tension in the region. Actions—not words—will show whether or not that’s Donald Trump’s intent.”

According to Zarif’s earlier tweets in April, the B-Team is made up by US National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The top diplomat reminded that the markedly hostile foursome have themselves admitted to targeting the Iranian people with economic terrorism.

The Iranian diplomatic chief separately reiterated absence of whatever intention on the part of Tehran to pursue nuclear arms, reminding how Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the country’s highest authority, has categorically prohibited the weapons.

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