TEHRAN — Speaking in his first live TV interview on Saturday night, President Ebrahim Raisi stated that Iran is not opposed to the principle of negotiations, however, negotiations under pressure is meaningless.“Negotiations is an option as a tool for diplomacy, but negotiation under pressure and threats is not acceptable at all,” the president insisted.
He added that dialogue has already been tested but it has not worked, referring to the “maximum pressure” policy that Donald Trump exercised against Iran during his presidency.
“Americans and Europeans have experienced that dialogue with pressure don’t go together,” he noted.
One year after Trump quit the 2015 nuclear deal and returned sanctions Iran started to gradually remove cap on its nuclear activities.
Raisi underscored that the issue of nuclear talks is still on the agenda, but negotiations must be fruitful.
“The focus of our talks is the interests of the Iranian people and the complete lifting of sanctions, from which we will not take a step back,” the president highlighted.
“We will not hesitate to talk and negotiate in any way, but what Westerners and Americans want is dialogue under pressure. Does that mean dialogue? If pressure is to be on the side of dialogue, what kind of dialogue is this?” he asked.
“American presence is a threat to security”
On the status of the Iranian government’s position on the ongoing developments in Afghanistan, the president said, “Afghanistan has really suffered a great deal. With the invasion of Afghanistan by the Americans and foreign countries, this country has been oppressed for years and Afghan children got injured and disabled every day.”
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban regime in 2001 for hosting Osama bin Laden whom Washington considered the chief architect behind the September 11 terrorist attacks. However, after 20 years the U.S. was forced to leave the country in disgrace last month.
President Raisi said during these 20 years of occupation international bodies have announced that more than 30,000 Afghan children have been injured or maimed.
Many homes have been destroyed and the people of Afghanistan have been severely affected, the president added, referring to the real culprit of these sufferings, the United States.
“Today, in Iran alone, we host more than 3 million Afghans who have been displaced from their homeland,” he underlined.
Raisi continued by saying that the issue of Afghanistan has shown that the presence of the Americans not only does not create security anywhere, but also undermines security.
“The United States has committed human rights abuses in Afghanistan and actions that definitely need to be analyzed and pursued (by human rights experts),” he remarked.
The president added that the solution to the Afghanistan issue is the establishment of a government “based on people’s vote.”
According to Raisi, the Islamic Republic has always favored the establishment of peace in Afghanistan, to stop the bloodshed and fratricide in Afghanistan and to the point where the will of the people would rule in this country.
“We support a government that is based on the will of the people of Afghanistan, and this is a requirement of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic (of Iran). The government that emerged from the popular vote in Afghanistan can certainly have very good relations with the Islamic Republic,” he said.
Raisi stated that “Afghanistan’s security is Iran’s security” and Iran considers not only Afghanistan but also the security and peace of all the neighboring countries as its own security.
The president also highlighted his slogan of promoting ties with neighbors. “Strengthening relations with the neighbors is a focal issue and priority of Iran’s foreign policy.”
The president said that in the period since the beginning of the official activity of his government, he has had more than 50 meetings and talks in person or over the phone with the leaders of different countries. “In all these talks, I have always emphasized the interaction of Islamic Iran with different countries as the most central point.”
Raisi continued that Iran hopes that peace will prevail in Afghanistan as soon as possible and that the people of Afghanistan will feel that a government based on their vote has been formed “based on the views of all groups and ethnicities active in Afghanistan.”
Regarding interventions by foreigners in the affairs of Afghanistan, Raisi warned them not to seek to “infiltrate” Afghanistan.
“Foreigners want to oppress the Afghan people again. Everyone must allow the people of Afghanistan to decide their own destiny,” Raisi insisted.
Iran to import 100 million doses of vaccine
The president also said in his talks with foreign leaders he has sought to address the fundamental and serious concerns of the people, such as the issue of coronavirus and the vaccine import.
“We will continue this interaction with different countries,” the president said.
Ayatollah Raisi added that the import of 40 million doses of vaccine has been finalized and they will be fully imported by mid-September.
“The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been mobilized to provide the vaccine needed by the people quickly,” he said.
Ayatollah Raisi pointed out that very good work has been done in the field of domestic vaccine production and the government’s program is to support domestic production.
“Estimates show that we need 100 million doses of vaccine, which domestic production alone cannot suffice,” he explained, underlining the importance of importing vaccine as soon as possible.
The president said the closure of businesses, schools, and universities which have followed the Covid-19 pandemic have created many problems for the people.
“Any action to resume activities, including the reopening of schools and educational centers requires the completion of the public vaccination program.”
He also noted that full compliance with health guidelines and avoiding unnecessary gatherings should be taken seriously by all people.
Tourism and maritime economy must be activated
Referring to his visit to Sistan-Baluchestan, Raisi pointed out that the government’s goal is to activate tourism and maritime economy in the province.
The president also encouraged Iranian expatriates to invest in Makran coasts.
“I would like to inform the dear Iranians abroad that the ground for investment is fully prepared there and the government agencies are ready to provide Iranian investment preparations with priority,” the president underlined.
Stating that interaction with neighboring countries is Iran’s priority, Raisi said, “Today, the conditions are ready for investing in Iran.”
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/464751/Negotiations-and-pressure-don-t-go-together-Raisi