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Iran knows no boundaries for international relations, urges EU not to sacrifice own interests for US policies

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani holds talks with Peter Sztaray, the minister of state for security policy at Hungary’s ministry of foreign affairs and trade, in Budapest.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister says the Islamic Republic knows no restriction for interaction with other countries, calling on European states not to sacrifice the interests of their nations for the sake of US policies.

Ali Bagheri Kani made the remarks in an interview with Hungarian media in the capital Budapest on Thursday on the first leg of his European tour.

“Iran does not place any restrictions on relations with other countries,” Bagheri Kani said. “But in a situation where the Europeans, despite having long-term contracts with the Iranian parties and only because of American pressure, have preferred the interests of the United States over the those of the European nations and sacrificed their own interests and severely reduced their economic relations with Iran, Iran will not stand idle and will pursue its interests in any possible way.”

The Europeans thought they had pressured Iran by cutting off oil imports from the country, the senior diplomat said, “But today, as the demand for Iran's oil exceeds its current production capacity, and the Europeans, due to the war in Europe and lack of energy sources, have to be looking for their energy supply through coal, it is possible that they have realized their strategic mistake in blindly complying with the US against the Iranian nation.”

Following in the United States’ footsteps, most European countries slashed their trade relations with the Islamic Republic after Washington unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Compressive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

After Washington’s withdrawal from the landmark deal in 2018, the US and its European allies levied draconian sanctions against Iran in an attempt to paralyze its economy, however, Tehran stood firm against such restrictions and eruditely managed to circumvent the bans.

Moreover, months-long sanction-lifting negotiations in the Austrian capital of Vienna faced stalemate over the US’s excessive demands and the EU’s failure to bring Washington back into compliance with the accord.

Iran strengthens multilateralism by joining SCO, BRICS

Elsewhere in his interview, Bagheri Kani highlighted Iran’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the world's emerging economies, known as BRICS.

“The international community's need for Iran's regional and international strategic capacities is the reason for an agreement on Iran's joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS group,” the senior diplomat said, stressing that the Islamic Republic, as an important and influential country in the region, strives to use all available capacities to create and strengthen peace and stability in the region.

“The Islamic Republic believes that the main cause of instability in the world is unilateralism; therefore, in order to restore peace and stability in the world today, we need to abandon the policy of unilateralism and shift to multilateralism,” Bagheri Kani said.

“The Shanghai Organization and the BRICS group are important tools and mechanisms to meet this strategic need of the current world,” he added. “Iran’s joining these two international groups can promote multilateralism,” he added.

The SCO was founded by China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan in 2001, and currently forms the world's biggest regional market with eight official members, and three observer states.

Iran first applied for membership in the SCO 15 years ago. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian announced signing a memorandum of commitments to join the SCO in a tweet in mid-September. 

The BRICS group comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The countries account for more than 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world's gross domestic product.

In late June, Iran’s then Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced that Amir-Abdollahian had forwarded a formal membership request to the group.


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