“The oppressive US sanctions are an inhumane act and a blatant form of terrorism against the Iranian people that must be rejected and countered by all,” Amir-Abdollahian said in a meeting with the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, in New York on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
In May 2018, former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a UN-endorsed nuclear deal, which it had signed as a member of the P5+1 group with Tehran in 2015, and unleashed a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.
In response, Iran announced remedial measures, scaling back some of its commitments under the deal, while maintaining that the moves were “reversible” depending on the actions of the other signatories.
The US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, has admitted that the maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic has “failed miserably” and “hurt US interests.”
Pointing to the ongoing humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, Amir-Abdollahian outlined relentless efforts by Iran’s diplomatic missions in the war-ravaged country in recent weeks, and called for international aid to help ease the humanitarian situation there.
“In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and despite all pressures that Iranian society is facing these days, we tried to vaccinate the displaced Afghans as much as possible, but immediate and serious international assistance is needed in this regard,” the top Iranian diplomat said.
The government of Afghanistan collapsed on August 15 and president Ashraf Ghani fled the country in the face of the lightning advances by the Taliban following a hasty and ill-executed withdrawal of foreign forces from the country. Fears of violence and poverty have caused many Afghans to seek refuge in neighboring countries and elsewhere.
The ICRC president hailed Iran’s close cooperation with the committee and its valuable efforts to host the Afghan refugees.
Maurer also stressed the importance of improving health infrastructure in Afghanistan and said humanitarian activities in the war-hit country should not be limited only to the dispatch of commodities.
Iran, Venezuela will continue joint efforts to counter US oppressive sanctions
In a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Felix Plasencia, the Iranian foreign minister said the two countries would continue joint efforts to counter the US sanctions, emphasizing resistance and a focus on domestic capacities.
Amir-Abdollahian hailed Venezuela’s resistance and victories against the United States, which he said were a testament to the fact that the will of the people is stronger than that of the hegemonic powers.
He added that the Islamic Republic has set no limit on the expansion of bilateral relations with the Latin American country.
For his part, the Venezuelan foreign minister said Caracas would do its utmost to promote relations with Tehran, adding that mutual ties have shown that geographical distance cannot hinder cooperation among independent states.
Iran keen to strengthen strategic ties with Iraq
In another meeting with Iraqi President Barham Salih, the top Iranian diplomat expressed Tehran’s readiness to improve strategic ties with Baghdad in various fields, urging the two sides to make use of their great capacities in this regard.
The Iraqi president thanked Iran for its efforts to help his country over the past years and said Baghdad is resolute on the promotion of inclusive cooperation with Tehran.
Iran ready to host joint commission sessions with Turkey
Amir-Abdollahian told Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that Iran is ready to host sessions of a joint commission with Turkey, which have been delayed for some time.
During a meeting, the Iranian foreign minister stressed the importance of holding regular consultations between the two neighboring countries especially in light of the new developments in the region.
He said Iran is in contact with all parties in Afghanistan and urged the formation of an inclusive government in the country as the only way to establish endurable peace and stability.
The Iranian foreign minister also extended to Cavusoglu an official invitation by President Ebrahim Raeisi to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay a visit to Tehran.
Amir-Abdollahian and Cavusoglu agreed that a meeting among foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan would be held in Tehran.
The Turkish foreign minister, for his part, said all unilateral and unlawful sanctions against Iran should be lifted.
He added that Iran and Turkey face common regional challenges, including the crisis in Afghanistan, and called on both sides to maintain close consultations.
Cavusoglu expressed his concern over the escalation of violence and extremism in Afghanistan and stressed the importance of the formation of an inclusive government in the country.