In a recent weekly press briefing held in Tehran, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, said that “Iran’s approach towards the United States is based on [Washington] hostile behavior. It is natural that Iran’s attitude towards the US will not change until America’s behavior changes fundamentally.”
Addressing the question of prisoner exchanges between Iran and the US, Kanaani stated that past understandings between the two nations had been mediated through intermediaries. Nonetheless, he contended that the American side had shown reluctance when it came to decision-making and implementation.
Kanaani added that the issue remains a priority for the Iranian government, with efforts being made to repatriate Iranian citizens through those wishing to play a role in the process. He said, “We must see that the American government is ready to make a final decision in this regard or not. We hope to witness such a positive event.”
Rejecting speculations on unwritten understanding with US
He dismissed the media speculations about an unwritten understanding between Iran and the United States, saying: “We do not confirm the speculations raised in the media… Iran has adhered to the negotiation process and the negotiating table.”
The spokesman also commented on the recent negotiations between chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri and senior officials from the three European parties to the nuclear deal, namely France, the UK and Germany, as well as the new meeting in Abu Dhabi and the meeting with Enrique Mora, deputy European foreign policy chief and coordinator of the Vienna talks, in Doha.
“Regarding negotiations to lift sanctions, we continue diplomatic approaches in different ways. Considering the desire of the European parties to hold a dialogue with Iran, a meeting of Iran’s chief negotiator was held with the senior officials of three European countries, and in continuation of the previous talks, a new meeting was held in Abu Dhabi and a meeting was held with Mr. Mora in Doha. In the meetings, we have various and favorite topics to discuss, which is one of the topics of the negotiation process. Iran’s positions have been clearly expressed to the European negotiating parties and we have heard their views”, said Kanaani.
Exchange of messages continue
He added, “We are using all diplomatic capacities to achieve positive results from the process of sanctions lifting negotiations…and the exchange of messages has continued.”
Sweden must free Nouri unconditionally
Kanaani also addressed topics such as the case of Hamid Nouri, an Iranian national detained in Sweden, saying that Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, had discussed the case with his Swedish counterpart in a telephone conversation.
He said, “Regarding Hamid Nouri, one of our demands is from the Swedish government to release him unconditionally, and we emphasized that his arrest, trial and imprisonment were illegal and wrong from the beginning. We still insist that the Swedish government release him unconditionally.”
Iran stance on Ukraine
On Ukraine and Iranian FM’s remarks in a telephone conversation with his Danish counterpart, Kanaani said, “We have proposed a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine, and we invited the parties to a political dialogue. Whether this is welcomed or not is related to the parties involved and those who have effective roles in this regard.”
Iranian view on recent developments in Russia
Kanaani expressed his views on recent developments in Russia. He said, “In relation to Russia, we consider the recent developments as an internal issue of this country, and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian told his Russian counterpart that Iran is against interfering in other countries’ internal affairs. This principle is emphasized by Iran, and we adhere to it regarding Russia.”
EU needs to reconsider stance on sanctions
He also criticized new sanctions by the European Union on Iran, urging Europe to refrain from following in the footsteps of the United States and reconsider its stance on imposing sanctions.