President in a press conference: Iran seeks peace in region, not insecurity; We’re ready for negotiation
President Hassan Rouhani attended a press conference Monday evening, with domestic and international media, discussing the most important issues and the Islamic Republic of Iran's stances regarding regional and international issues Dr Rouhani referred to the enemies' plots against Iran, saying, We have handled a somewhat critical situation with our patience, wisdom and steadfastness and our enemies admit it.
Today, we can strongly announce that the plots of the United States, the Global Imperialism, Zionism and regional reactionaries to harm the Islamic Republic have ended and they all admit that we have handled the situation, he said.
He continued, Point-to-point inflation has reached 34 per cent, down from 52, and we expect the downward trend to continue until the end of the year.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is in a very stronger position vis-A�-vis political and international issues, said the President, adding, At the United Nations, it was very clear to us that all major countries around the world believed that Iran has become stronger compared to last year.
Our people were in very tough economic conditions in the past 18 months, he continued, saying, The government worked tremendously hard in these 18 months to increase indices under heavy economic sanctions.
Stating that the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under the pressures from domestic hardliners, the Zionist Regime and Saudi Arabia, he said, The Usurper [Zionist] Regime and Saudi Arabia both admitted that they had done their best to urge the US to exit the deal.
The Islamic Republic of Iran acted wisely by not withdrawing from the deal, because they wanted to use it as a pretext to take Iran's case to the UN Security Council with the aim of imposing international sanctions on Iran, so that the US would not be forced to carry the load itself, said the President.
Dr Rouhani added, Today, except for a couple of small countries, no government and country approves of the US move, and everyone is condemning it in a way, calling it unacceptable.
The five remaining countries, that is the P4+1, were supposed to compensate for the US' withdrawal, said Rouhani, adding, Relations of the Islamic Republic of Iran with Russia and China are good and they have made a lot of efforts, but unfortunately, the three European countries did not live up to their commitments and did not do what they were required to.
Dr Rouhani emphasised that the Islamic Republic of Iran's actions have been based on the interests of the great Iranian nation, saying, We began reducing our commitments every two months and the first step in reducing commitments was in the area of enrichment, which we exceeded the 300-kg limit.
Dr Rouhani added, Vis-A�-vis heavy water, we announced a plan, but we did not reach an agreement with Europe, and we finally started the second phase of reducing our commitments, which was exceeding the enrichment level over 3.6 and now enrichment is about 4.5".
The President stated that in the third step we announced that we would not observe the research and development schedules set under the JCPOA, adding, "Today IR-6 centrifuges are in operation and UF-6 injection is being done and IR-4s and IR-2s are working and soon IR-9 will start working.
Pointing out that IR-7 centrifuges work simultaneously with IR-9 and of course IR-8, and the third step was a major development that Iran has begun, Dr Rouhani emphasised, If they return to their commitments using this opportunity, we can return to full compliance and if they continue the same path, we will take the next steps in this regard.
Vis-A�-vis the latest visit by the Pakistani Prime Minister to Tehran, the President said, One of the goals of Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to Tehran was for us to discuss regional topics, and he wanted to hear our opinions before he leaves for Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Fortunately, Mr Imran Khan visited the Supreme Leader and he made some points regarding our positions, said the President.
He continued, What is important for us, and Mr Imran Khan himself seemed to have sought to resolve regional issues, including Iran-Saudi Arabia relations and the Yemeni issue, which are important".
Dr Rouhani emphasised that if a ceasefire in Yemen leads to an end to the war, one of the dilemmas in the region, including Iran-Saudi relations, will be resolved, saying, "We never wanted to have bad relations with our neighbours."
The president said that we have always been looking for good relations with our neighbours, adding, We have presented a very important project in the United Nations called the "Hormuz Peace Endeavour (HOPE) Coalition.
Announcing that the HOPE initiative has been sent to eight countries today, he said, "We are talking with the UN in this regard and we hope that this initiative can address some regional problems within the framework that Iran is proposing.
"Some believe that others should come here and solve our problems," the president emphasised, adding, We hope that others listen to us and we reach a conclusion.
Dr Rouhani said, "We have no problem with the resolution of regional problems with regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, through dialogue.
The President noted, "What happened in the Red Sea when our tanker was targeted has caused problems that hopefully our investigations will soon reach a conclusion. What is certain is that a regime has done this with the help of some countries, how and when is not clear yet and we are finalising the investigations.
Commenting on Iran-UAE relations, Dr Rouhani said, "There have been communications between Iran and the UAE in recent months. Some UAE officials came to Iran and some Iranian officials went there. Relations between Tehran and the UAE have been better in recent months, and the trend is towards better relations.
Dr Rouhani stated that the toughest sanctions have been imposed on Iran and that the government's work and efforts should be adapted to the current situation, saying, In these circumstances, in my opinion, the government and the nation did a great job together, which we did not anticipate.
The President went on to say that Iran sent two clear messages to the world at the United Nations, saying, One message was that Iran is seeking peace in the region, not insecurity, chaos and war, and that message was accepted. The other message was that we announced to the world that we are not afraid of negotiation, and this message was heard by everyone as well.
Stating that we were ready to hold a P5+1 summit in New York provided that we could make sure it was a P5+1 meeting, not an electoral campaign for Mr Trump, he said, "If we could make sure, we would have this meeting.
I told the heads of the European countries that I had to make sure that the interests of the Iranian people are met at the meeting, and the burden is lifted off people's shoulders, but that I had to be sacrificed and I accepted it, said Rouhani.
The President emphasised, Whenever I believe that any meeting will solve the Iranian nation's problems and serve the interests of the Iranian nation I will do so, and I am ready to sacrifice myself and resist, and I am proud to be sacrificed for national interests and my people.
In response to a question regarding Trump's impeachment and readiness to negotiate with a new potential US president, Dr Rouhani said, "Basically, the problem here is not meeting with the US President or negotiation.
"The problem is whether our nation's issues, problems, interests and wishes are met in a negotiation or is it just a show, he said.
The President continued, "We do not care who the US president is.
The president said, "Of course, Mr Trump's characteristics are such that he says a different thing every day.
Dr Rouhani said, "Anyone who wants to talk with the United States cannot predict properly what will happen tomorrow. Almost all the leaders we meet and talk with have this problem, not just Iran.
"As we have made it clear, any time sanctions are lifted and the conditions for a genuine P5+1 negotiation are ripe, we are ready to attend that meeting, no matter who the US president is," the president said.
Responding to a question on the impact of the Turkish offensive against northern Syria on the Astana of peace talks, Dr Rouhani said, "Today, we are facing an incident in northern Syria that is not pleasant for the region and for us, the Kurdish people and the Syrian government. We should all strive to maintain the Astana Process.
The president said that the Astana Process was the best solution so far for Syria, adding, "We should all try not to harm this process, so that the three countries that are mainly responsible for this process can do their job".
Dr Rouhani continued, "Turkey has got concerns about northern Syria that we understand; any country may have security concerns. In principle, we have no problem with Turkey in this goal.
"The Turkish government is our friend, but the way they have chosen is not good, and we believe there are better ways," the president said.
Referring to the fact that he has made this clear in Ankara and even in a press conference with the Turkish President, Rouhani added, "The solution to Turkey's security concerns about northern Syria is the presence of the Syrian army in the region and we must all help the Syrian army deploy in the northern part of the country.
The way Turkey has chosen is to enter the Syrian soil, he said, adding, The Turkish government has always promised us that it respects the territorial integrity of Syria and leaves the Syrian territory.
The president said, "We are worried about this situation and the results have not been good so far," noting that previously, parts of the western Euphrates were occupied, and now the eastern parts are going through problems.
He continued, This means that some have been killed and a new number have been displaced and many problems have arisen.
The president added, "On the other hand, there was hope that with the arrival of Turkey, the United States would leave Syria, which has not been achieved. Therefore, we have not seen any good so far and we hope that the Turkish government will not continue this process based on its intelligence and the interests of the region.
Dr Rouhani emphasised, "Our main goal in Syria should be to pursue the fight against terrorism and the return of Syrians to the country and free elections".
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamic Republic of IRAN