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Iran FM, UN human rights chief vow to boost cooperation

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) shakes hands with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk in the Swiss city of Geneva on February 27, 2023. (Photo by Foreign Ministry)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk have agreed to boost cooperation and hold talks in the future over various aspects of human rights.

The top Iranian diplomat, who is in the Swiss city of Geneva for the 52nd regular session of the Human Rights Council, met with Turk on Monday.

During the meeting, Amir-Abdollahian outlined the Islamic Republic’s principled stance on human rights issues and violation of the Iranian nation’s rights by the US through its cruel and inhumane sanctions.

Former US president Donald Trump launched what he called a maximum pressure campaign against Iran, targeting the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” sanctions, after he unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Although Trump failed to reach his goals with his maximum pressure campaign, the bans have badly hurt the Iranian population.

The sanctions, preserved under the Joe Biden administration, have restricted the financial channels necessary to pay for basic goods and medicine, undermining supply chains by limiting the number of suppliers willing to facilitate sales of humanitarian goods to the country.

Iran FM, UN chief hold detailed talks

Earlier on Monday, the Iranian foreign minister held detailed talks with UN Secretary General António Guterres on different regional and international issues, including the crisis in Yemen, the war in Ukraine, human rights, and possible ways to promote regional stability and convergence.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (2nd R) and UN Secretary General António Guterres (1st L) meet in the Swiss city of Geneva on February 27, 2023. (Photo by Foreign Ministry)

Amir-Abdollahian and Guterres also discussed the latest developments pertaining to Iran’s cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the diplomatic bids to solve technical differences between the two sides, and the diplomatic efforts to revive the JCPOA.

‘Iran gives no weapon to warring sides in Ukraine’

In a meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, the Iranian foreign minister said Tehran does not support any party involved in Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine and gave no weapons to them.

However, Amir-Abdollahian said, Western countries have been giving billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine.

Both Iran and Russia have repeatedly denied claims that Tehran has provided Moscow with drones to be used in the war in Ukraine.

The anti-Iran claims first emerged in July 2022, when US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan alleged that Washington had received “information” indicating that the Islamic Republic was preparing to provide Russia with “up to several hundred drones, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline” for use in the war.

For her part, Marsudi hailed cordial relations between Tehran and Jakarta and called for the signing of a preferential tariff agreement between the two countries.

She voiced her country’s objection to the use of human rights as a political and instrumental means against others.

Amir-Abdollahian slams Europe’s miscalculation over recent riots

In a meeting with his Norwegian counterpart Anniken Huitfeldt, the Iranian foreign minister slammed the unconstructive stance and miscalculation of some European countries over the recent riots in Iran, emphasizing the importance of dialogue to clear the misunderstandings.

Amir-Abdollahian also said Iran opposes efforts to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the war in Ukraine.

The Islamic Republic backs other countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.

The foreign minister of Norway said Iran plays an important role in the region.

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