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President Rayeesi: Iran Never Surrenders to Bullying

Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi in a meeting with new British Ambassador to Tehran Simon Shercliff said that his country never succumbs to pressures and bullying of the world powers.

“The Iranian nation enjoys the spirit of independence-seeking and freedom-seeking and whenever it feels that other countries are bullying, it does not surrender to it and shows a reaction,” Rayeesi said during the meeting in Tehran on Sunday.

He also underlined that Iran seeks relations and engagement with all countries based on mutual respect.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran wants cooperation and engagement with all countries, but this cooperation must be based on mutual respect and taking into account the interests of nations, and the hegemonic powers and the dominating system must not take control of these relations,” Rayeesi said. 

The president stressed that human rights have become a political means against other countries, calling on the new British envoy to Tehran to convey the realities about Iran to its own country.

Shercliff, for his part, said that this is the second time that he is serving as a diplomat for his country after twenty years from his first mission in Iran, stressing that he has good experience and knowledge of Iran and his main goal is to try to improve relations between the two countries with a positive and constructive approach.

Shercliff pointed to the history of Iran-Britain relations, and expressed the hope that a new era of relations between the two countries would be created and that he would play his role well in achieving that goal.

Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian in a meeting with Britain’s new Foreign Secretary Liz Truss rapped London and other European states for keeping mum and indifferent to the US moves against the nuclear deal.

The meeting was held on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly’s 76th Session in New York.

The European attitude was helping “the US administration keep enforcing its illegal sanctions [against Iran], while at the same time laying claim to seeking a return to the JCPOA”, Amir Abdollahian said.

Iran has been given many words and promises alleging that the West intended to revisit its JCPOA approach, the Iranian top diplomat said. There, however, have been no actions, he added.

“Unfortunately, the UK has been part of this inaction too, and this approach should change,” Amir Abdollahian said.

“This is the obvious inconsistency that is being witnessed by the Iranian nation,” he said, adding, “For the current Iranian Administration, measurable actions on the part of the other parties in the JCPOA form the only yardstick.”

Separately, the Iranian official urged that the UK take action towards repaying its debt towards Iran.

Britain owes as much as £400m to Iran arising from the non-delivery of Chieftain tanks ordered by Iran’s former monarchical regime. An international arbitration in 2008 ruled the UK owed the debt.

Rebuilding of the bilateral ties took serious action, Amir Abdollahian asserted, urging London to note that taking such action on its obligations constituted the only means of reconstructing the relations.

Tehran responds proportionately to any positive and constructive step, he, meanwhile, pledged.

Truss, for her part, alleged that the UK was prepared to repay the debt.

Concerning the JCPOA, she claimed that the main focus currently rested on resumption of the talks.

Iran and the other five remaining parties to the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and world powers in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that is, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, have held six rounds of talks in Vienna to salvage the faltering agreement by bringing the US, as the violator of the deal, back into compliance.

In quitting the JCPOA in May 2018, the administration of former US President Donald Trump reinstated the sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the accord, while mounting pressure on the country with new bans, as the other parties stood by and failed to protect Iran’s contractual benefits.

During his first televised address to the Iranian people, Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi dismissed the idea of holding negotiations over the JCPOA revival under pressure, saying such tactics have never yielded the US and Europe any result.

“Negotiation and dialog have always been and will continue to be part of the instruments that are in the service of diplomacy. We do not balk at negotiation and dialogue,” he said, adding, “But the Americans and the Westerners are after negotiation in conjunction with pressure. This is while negotiations are there to avoid pressure.”

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