Iran says the United States and its European allies have repeatedly used unilateral sanctions as “an illegal tool” against the Islamic Republic.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Naser Kanaani speaks in his weekly press conference in Tehran, Iran, May 8, 2023. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency)

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Naser Kanaani speaks in his weekly press conference in Tehran, Iran, May 8, 2023. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency)

“Resorting to these sanctions is illegal and is a violation of the legal rights of the Iranian nation and is a violation of human rights,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said at a press conference in Tehran on Monday.

Kanaani was referring to sanctions imposed by the United States and its European allies – France, Britain, and Germany – on Iran throughout the years, especially after the US unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and employed a “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.

“We believe that three European countries failed as much as the United States did in honoring the JCPOA obligations and should be held accountable,” he said.

He said despite their violations of the terms of the agreement, they go on to make unfounded accusations against Iran and impose illegal sanctions against the country.

“Iran reserves the right to show a proportionate, balanced and serious response,” he added.


Visit of Iran FM to Azerbaijan

Touching upon the recent visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian to Azerbaijan, the spokesman said the two countries are fortunately on their way to good and constructive cooperation.

The two also agreed to get bilateral ties back to normal after the late January attack on Azerbaijan’s embassy in the Iranian capital, in which one staff member was killed and two others were injured.

In his February remarks, the spokesman underlined that Iran launched an investigation into the attack soon after it happened, adding that the attacker was arrested and his personal motives were exposed.


Arash Gas Field

Speaking about the Arash field – a joint gas field between Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia – and some news that Kuwait does not allow Iran to use it, the spokesman said the Islamic Republic is pursuing the issue within the framework of bilateral talks with the Kuwaiti officials.


Iran and Saudi Arabia appoint respective ambassadors

Iran and Saudi Arabia have both introduced their ambassadors to the other country, and the two have agreed to exchange them in due time, Kanaani said, adding that the process of relations between Tehran and Riyadh is going through the right way.

On March 10, Iran and Saudi Arabia issued a joint statement in China announcing that they would resume their diplomatic relations after seven years of tensions.


Iran-Africa cooperation

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson argued that the Iranian president will initiate his visits to Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe early on Tuesday morning, adding that Africa is the continent of opportunities and its economy has experienced growth in recent years and has attracted the attention of major countries around the globe; therefore, Iran can naturally expand its relationship with African nations on the basis of common values and economic capacities.


Iran not to recognize fact-finding committee

Kanaani pointed to the recent meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), underscoring that certain Western states’ forming a so-called fact-finding committee is a measure by certain countries to politicize human rights issues and exploit international mechanisms in this respect, so Iran always considered the formation of a fact-finding committee illegitimate and does not recognize such a mechanism.

Based on its principles and perspectives, Iran dispatched a delegation to the meeting, headed by Secretary-General of the High Council for Human Rights of the Islamic Republic Kazem Gharibabadi, with the aim of utilizing opportunities, Kanaani said, explaining that the Iranian delegation categorically rejected the committee’s report.

Furthermore, some member states of the UNHRC expressed their concerns and criticized the formation of such a committee, the diplomat added.

The probe into human rights violations in such incidents is the responsibility of governments; thus, a committee was formed to investigate the recent events by order of the Iranian president.


Albania understands the truth behind Iran’s remarks about MKO

From the beginning of the transport of members of the terrorist group of Mojahedeen-e Khalq Organization (MKO) to Albania, Tehran warned Tirana against the terrorist nature of the group, the spokesman noted adding that the activities of the MKO have cost Iran and Albania a lot.

However, Kanaani said Iran is happy to see that Albania understood Islamic Republic’s honesty about the issue.

As the recent investigation carried out by the Albanian government proved that the MKO is a terrorist and aggressive group, Tehran expects Tirana to designate them as a terrorist body.

Iran has asked many European countries to extradite the members of the terrorist group, the spokesman stressed.


Reaction to claims about Russia’s mediation between Iran and Zionist regime of Israel

Asked about some news about the mediation of Russia between Iran and the Zionist regime of Israel to exchange prisoners, Kanaani said that the Islamic Republic does not care about the Zionist media claims or the remarks made by the Zionist officials.


Objectives of trip of Iran’s deputy foreign minister to Iraq

About the recent visit of the Iranian deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, to Iraq, the spokesman said it took place to attend the fifth round of the Tehran-Baghdad intergovernmental committee to review issues of mutual interests.


US court ruling symbol of banditry

On a US court ruling over paying a segment of Iran’s assets to dissent Masoumeh Alinejad-Ghomikolayi, alias Masih Alinejad, he said that Iran does not accept the United States banditry in the face of other countries’ assets under any circumstances. The American authorities issue verdicts against other states’ assets, while they are using their own domestic laws, and then, they usurp the resources of those countries, the spokesman noted, adding that this act is completely illegal, illegitimate, and in contradiction to international laws.

Kanaani also referred to the latest situation of ties between Iran and the US, stipulating that relations between countries are based on two principles of common interest and mutual respect, and the US has never established its behavior based on transactional behavior in dealing with Iran, and that it has always committed broad and gross violations of international laws as well as the treaty of friendship, which had been signed decades ago between the two nations.

The spokesman went on to say that the cases of human rights violations by the US against the Iranian people have also a long history, and as long as Washington does not seriously change its attitude and it pursues superiority and domination in dealing with the Iranian nation, putting forward the issue of reviewing the relationship between the two sides is meaningless.


Growth of trade ties between Iran, regional countries

Kanaani said the Raisi administration has made use of the potential of multilateralism to strengthen trade relations with regional countries.

“The growth that has taken place in this period has shown the success of the administration’s policy in this matter,” he said.

“Iran’s official membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in order to use the enormous capacity of this organization for the benefit of the country’s economy is another positive step in this direction,” he added.

The spokesman also referred to the exchange of messages between Iran and the United States on the issue of prisoner exchange, saying, “We are using all diplomatic channels and opportunities, including the exchange of messages and discussions through intermediaries to secure Iran’s rights, especially in the nuclear issue, exchange of prisoners, blocking of financial resources and other issues, and our diplomatic efforts continue in this direction.”


Iran opens embassy in Libya

In response to a question by IRNA’s reporter regarding the appointment of an ambassador to Libya in order to promote bilateral relations, Kanaani argued that Libya’s role and position in the Arab world is “completely unique.”

Considering the importance of Libya’s position, “the promotion of stability and security helped us gradually return relations to a normal path,” he said.

The ambassador of Libya in Tehran was introduced and submitted his credentials to Iran’s president, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

“Iran’s diplomatic delegation has also left for Tripoli and settled in the embassy. We are paving the way to create favorable conditions. Actually, our embassy in Libya has started to work.”