Regional talks to secure interests of Persian Gulf nations: FM spox

Tehran, IRNA – Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has hailed the “positive atmosphere” created in the region, saying dialogue between regional countries will secure the common interests of all Persian Gulf nations.

“With the positive atmosphere we are witnessing in the region, we are on the path of dialogue and exchange of views, and the next steps can provide the basis for the formation of such dialogues, which can lead to securing the common interests of all parties in the north and south of the Persian Gulf,” Nasser Kanaani said at a press conference in Tehran on Monday.

Pointing to a recent visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian to Saudi Arabia, Kanaani said trade issues and the resumption of agreements between the two sides were discussed during the trip.

“It was agreed that the meeting of the joint commission for economic cooperation between the two sides will be activated as soon as possible,” he said, expressing hopes that both sides make progress in this regard.

He also said the Saudi side reiterated Saudi King Salman’s invitation to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to visit the kingdom, noting that there is a mutual understanding that the trip will be made at the right time.


‘Iran at forefront of fighting terrorism’

Elsewhere in his remarks, Kanaani pointed out that Monday marks the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, saying, “The Iranian nation is also regarded as a major victim of the sinister phenomenon of terrorism.”

“Iran is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism in the region and the world, and the IRGC is, according to the Supreme Leader of the [Islamic] Revolution, the largest counter-terrorism organization in the world,” he added.


Iran’s blocked assets in South Korean banks

Regarding Iran’s blocked assets in South Korean banks, he said that the necessary agreements and negotiations have been made with the South Korean side, and the implementation process has begun, adding that the Iranian government is doing its best to defend the rights of Iranians and is pursuing this matter seriously.

The release of Iran’s assets in South Korea is taking place despite attempts by the United States to block Iranian properties and assets in other countries through unilateral sanctions; however, through diplomatic and legal efforts by the Iranian government, the United States has had no choice but to comply with Iran’s rights, Kannani said.


World Mosque Day

Kanaani also referred to World Mosque Day, August 21, saying that the Al-Aqsa Mosque – in occupied Al-Quds – as the first Qibla of Muslims is of great importance among Muslims.

He also mentioned World Mosque Day, which falls on August 21, and highlighted the significance of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Al-Quds.


Iran reacts to Quran desecration

The chargés d’affaires of Sweden and Denmark were summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iran due to repeated insults to the holy Quran in their countries, Kanaani said, adding that Iran has announced that it will not accept a new ambassador from Sweden in protest of the desecration and the lack of serious action by the Swedish government.

The spokesman stated that these countries cannot claim to be peace-seekers while challenging the peace-seeking attitude of religions, noting that they have told Iranian authorities that they are following up on the issue, but Iran will not consider their words as a real determination until it is assured that deterrent measures have been taken by the governments.

The diplomat warned that burning the Quran under the slogan of freedom of expression is not justifiable at all and that the Quran is the deepest and most beautiful expression, so desecrating it under the pretext of freedom of speech is not acceptable by any means.

Iran believes that if there is determination, such insults can be prevented even within the framework of existing laws and these countries are pitching themselves against Muslim countries, he said.

On the basis of resolutions ratified in an extraordinary session of foreign ministers and the missions assigned to the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha, the issue of desecration of the holy Quran will be pursued in a serious manner, Kanaani said, adding that Iran also raised the issue in a conversation with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.


No direct talks with US: Kanaani

On negotiations between Tehran and Washington, Kanaani said the two sides recently held indirect talks on the issues of the exchange of prisoners and the release of Iran’s frozen assets.

However, he made clear that there is no plan for “a direct dialogue between Iran and the United States on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting or anywhere else.”


‘Iran ambassador to Riyadh to begin mission soon’

In response to a question from IRNA’s foreign policy correspondent on the beginning of the missions of Iran and Saudi Arabia’s ambassadors, the spokesman said it will happen soon.

The Iranian ambassador will leave Tehran to start his mission in Riyadh in the coming days, he said.


‘US forces escalating terrorism in Syria’

Kanaani also censured the illegal presence of foreign forces in Syria, saying the presence of American troops in Syria has led to the escalation of terrorist activities in the Arab country.

“We have repeatedly announced that the presence of American forces in Syria is illegal, and the government of [Syria] has also said that the presence of those forces amounts to occupation and has no legal basis,” he added.


Necessity of frequent visits of Iranian technical delegation to Helmand River

The Foreign Ministry spokesman commented on Iran’s Technical Delegation’s recent visit to the Dehrawud Hydrometric Station in Afghanistan’s Helmand River, saying that the visit demonstrates Afghanistan’s commitment and is part of the agreement on Helmand water.

Kanaani stated that Iran sees this as a first step in good faith and added that to accurately assess the amount of water behind the dam, such visits should be made monthly, as per the agreement between the two countries. This will help determine the average water input.

He also said that negotiations will continue, and it is expected that Iran’s water rights in this region will be measured and granted.


President Raisi’s visit to South Africa for BRICS summit

The spokesman also commented on President Ebrahim Raisi’s upcoming visit to South Africa to attend the BRICS summit, saying that Iran’s cooperation with BRICS and its membership in the organization is important to Tehran, and President Raisi’s attendance at the summit is in line with this goal.

Kanaani also stated that Iran has submitted its request for membership in the BRICS organization and also mentioned that Iran is one of the few countries that has dialogue and cooperation with all BRICS members.


Iran reacts to oil theft by the US

The Foreign Ministry spokesman commented on news stories about Iran’s oil being offloaded near Texas, saying that he has seen such news in the media, but he has not received any confirmed information on the matter.

The official stated that there is a general principle that Iran will not remain passive in the face of any attack on Iranians’ rights and will cut off the hands of the invaders.

Kanaani warned those who plan such plots to remember Iran’s response to similar cases in the past, adding that invading tankers carrying Iranian oil is a clear instance of piracy.


Regional states moving towards convergence

The spokesman further mentioned that regional security can be provided without the need for foreign forces, adding that while regional convergence is increasing, the US administration is trying to increase its military presence in West Asia, which is seen as a provocative act.

Kanaani cautioned that the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy will professionally and lawfully deal with any illegal actions based on its own capabilities.

Regarding Iran’s relationship with Lebanon, he said that Iran’s Assistant Foreign Minister for West Asian and North African Affairs, Mehdi Shushtari, recently visited Beirut, and the two sides discussed the latest political situation in Lebanon.

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