The 7th Iran-G5+1 Joint Commission session ended in Vienna after three hours of discussion on controversial issues, including disloyalty of the US and Iran’s purchase of 950 tons of yellow cake. Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi and Deputy Foreign Minister for Euro-American Affairs Majid Takht-Ravanchi as well as Helga Schmid, the Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), were present in the Tuseday meeting. That was the first session of the commission since the new US administration has come to power. Bilateral talks between the Iranian team and some countries of the G5+1 are underway. The previous session was held on January 10, 2017, ten days before end of the former US President Barack Obama’s presidency and on a call by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that no military solution is envisaged for the crises in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, and said the West Asia region is paying a heavy price for the world powers’ hegemonic policies. “The conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain don’t have a military solution”, Zarif wrote in the Kuwaiti al-Rai al-Youm newspaper on Sunday. He said that the regional crises need political solutions based on the views of all the major parties, excluding the extremist and terrorist groups. Noting that the West Asia region has paid a heavy price for the world powers’ hegemonic policies, Zarif expressed the hope that other regional powers would accompany Iran to avoid domination or beind dominated. In relevant remarks earlier this month, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini rejected a military solution to the Syria crisis following a US missile strike against the country. “As for Syria, it was reaffirmed during the Brussels conference organized last week that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria”, Mogherini said at a news conference in Algiers. “For this issue, the European Union is very clear and very firm, there is no possibility for a military solution to the crisis”, she added. Mogherini said the United States is a friend of the EU, adding the bloc hopes the US can agree with the EU on a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday recommended his US counterpart Rex Tillerson to learn form the country’s past statesmen’s failures in pushing forward antagonistic policies against Iran and said that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is result of his predecessors’ revision of US totally wrong policies against Iran and region. ‘US statesmen should know that they have not and will not achieve result by speaking in the language of sanctions and threat and using hostile rhetoric against Iran and Iranians,’ he said, recalling that US predecessors were not successful in implementing their unrealistic and wrong policies with regard to Iran. US foreign minister one day writes to Congress that Iran has complied with it commitments under JCPOA while the other day in contradictory statements accuses Iran of nuclear ambitions and described the deal as the one to bribe Iran. As to the repetition of empty and untrue claims of Tillerson and other US officials on Terrorism and Iran’s missile tests, he said, ‘We believe that Iran and other regional and global countries’ interests are contingent upon curbing unraveling terrorism which has unfortunately gone out of control due to US’ miscalculations and Imprudence as well as its regional allies’ instigations. No doubt that Iran as an advanced country in the fight against the evil phenomenon of terrorism is in the frontline of struggling for establishing peace and security in the region and world, in defiance of the US unwise policies, Zarif said. Reiterating the peaceful nature of Iran’s missile defense program, he described it as Iran’s legitimate and natural right which is not in contravention with any international regulations. Recalling the fact that how a dictator imposed a destructive war on Iran for eight years (former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein), Zarif said that Iranians will never allow the bitter experience be repeated again and the country’s missile program does not pose any threat to any country and is a totally rational policy.
Mr. Zarif called Mr. Angelino Alfano, Italian counterpart Wednesday to discuss latest situation in bilateral relations as well as matters of mutual interest. Zarif rejected unilateral US missile attackg on al-Shayrat airfield purportedly to respond alleged Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians in Idlib province earlier this month; “this is totally unacceptable that a country hits a target in a sovereign nation on the conjectural matter that Assad had used chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhoun, a speculation many observers still cast doubt as to the certainty of the incident”, Mr. Zarif said in the phone call. Both sides shared the view that a fact-finding committee should look into the issue to provide to the international public some enlightenment on the disaster. Syrian government says an old depot of chemical weapons belonging to the rebel fighters was hit by airstrike and poisonous gases from the depot polluted the air in Khan Shaikhoun, Idlib province. Among the victims young people and children were detected. Opposition groups and western media had implicated President Assad in the incident while the Syrian government had totally given up its chemical weapons under UN control and confirmation.