TEHRAN/ WASHINGTON: Iranian President’s Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi dismissed any plan for negotiations with the US after the foreign minister of Russia expressed readiness to help Tehran and Washington hold talks.
Asked by Tasnim about Sergei Lavrov’s idea of Russian mediation between Iran and the US for direct negotiations, Vaezi said, “We have no intention of negotiating with Americans, and we have declared our stance very clearly.”
Tehran has already made it clear that the US must accept that it has made mistakes, realize that it has adopted the wrong policy of sanctions on Iran, and admit that it has made a mistake, he added.
Vaezi also noted that the Russian foreign minister has not been the only person to have proposed the idea of mediation, stressing, “Americans must return to the JCPOA and speak within the framework of the JCPOA, otherwise, no other action would yield result.”
In recent remarks at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Lavrov said Moscow was ready to hold talks with both sides to pave the way for direct negotiations between Iran and the United States, but only if both sides are interested.
He has also pointed to the US’ attempt to trigger the snapback mechanism of the JCPOA to reinstate the UN sanctions on Iran, saying that the attempts are doomed to failure.
Lavrov said Washington has lost all its rights by withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has earlier said that Iran will not negotiate with the United States of America (USA), after President Hassan Rouhani signaled talks with Washington might be possible if sanctions were lifted.
Washington withdrew last year from an international nuclear deal signed with Tehran in 2015, and it is ratcheting up sanctions in efforts to shut down Iran’s economy by ending its international sales of crude oil.
U.S. President Donald Trump condemned the accord, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed for not being permanent and for not covering Iran’s ballistic missile program and role in conflicts around the Middle East.
Khamenei was quoted as saying on his website: “We said before that we will not negotiate with America, because negotiation has no benefit and carries harm.”
Khamenei said Iran had no problems negotiating with Europeans and other countries, but added, “We will not negotiate over the core values of the revolution. We will not negotiate over our military capabilities.”
Earlier in the day, Rouhani had taken a more positive stance.
In remarks carried by state television, he said: “Whenever they lift the unjust sanctions and fulfill their commitments and return to the negotiations table, which they left themselves, the door is not closed”, “but our people judge you by your actions, not your words.” (Tasnim News Agency + New York Times)