Iranian Ambassador to Greece: "We do not recognise a country named Israel" - The Nuclear Deal and China

Iran Ambassador to Greece Ahmad Naderi

On the eve of the 43rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution (11/2), the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Greece, Ahmad Naderi, gave an interview.

He spoke about the prospects for US-Iranian relations, what will be born of the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, the basis of Iran-China relations, and Iran's informal meetings with Saudi Arabia.

"The issue of the complete lifting of US sanctions in order to benefit Iran from the financial aspects of the JCPOA is very basic and is the 'red line' of the Islamic Republic of Iran," the ambassador stressed.

"Five years after the restoration of democracy in Greece and the overthrow of the colonial regime, the great Iranian people began their revolution led by Imam Khomeini against the monarchy.

"We do not forget that in those days the friendly Greek people supported the Iranian revolution with marches and demonstrations.

"Fortunately, the revolution prevailed with the dynamic presence of people on the scene and our country gained real independence after years of dependence on world powers.

"The Iranian revolution was a socio-political movement with significant results and implications on various political, economic, cultural, scientific, and social dimensions."

"It proposes sustainable political independence, the creation of a state based on religious democracy, balanced foreign policy, maximum people participation in determining their fate by participating in electoral processes."

The ambassador also stressed the "amazing progress in the field of science."

"Nanotechnology is one of the most important sectors and Iran is now the sixth leading power in the world in the field of nanotechnology products," Naderi explained.

"Aerospace is another area that Iran has developed since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in recent years. It has made significant progress," the ambassador added.

According to the prestigious global institute Photon, he emphasised, "Iran is one of the emerging powers in the field of aerospace technology and the eleventh country in terms of developing this technology."

While, "in the field of stem cell technology, Iran is one of the countries with specialisation in the field of pluripotent stem cell research (ISP), one of the top 10 countries in the world, and is in first place at the regional level."

"According to the UN Human Development Report, Iran had the highest global growth from 1980 to 2016," Naderi said.

"Life expectancy in Iran in 1979 was 55 years and in 2016 it reached 76 years. The number of infant mortality decreased from 2016 in 1990, to 25 in 2015," he highlighted.

"[One of the] most important achievements of the Islamic Revolution in Iran is the increase in the role of women in the last four decades," the ambassador continued.

He stressed the increase of women candidates in the Parliament by 21%, the establishment of 14 parties by women and that 27% of university professors are women.

This in addition to the participation of female students being "at a rate of 52% in higher education" and "at a rate of 49%" in medicine.

"It's just a part of the great achievements of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in the field of women," summarises the "introduction" that the ambassador makes to us before the interview begins.

The interview with the ambassador of Iran:

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has said that the United States had not made any proposals that could lead to the revival of the JCPOA or the drafting of a new agreement during the five-party talks in Vienna.

What is your relationship with the United States? Are Tehran-Washington talks expected to resume?

As you mentioned, for several weeks now, the Iranian group has been negotiating the revival of the JCPOA with the necessary guarantees, of course, that the American side will not withdraw from the agreement.

The information we have from the latest results of the talks shows that relatively good progress has been made and if the other parties, especially the Americans, show the necessary goodwill and abandon their excessive demands, it will certainly be possible to reach a good agreement in the coming days, weeks or years.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, despite the non-fulfillment of its commitments and the breaches of the agreements by the other side, has so far shown the necessary goodwill to reach a good agreement and expects the other parties, especially the American side, to take the necessary decisions, recognising the legal rights and requirements of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Obviously, the issue of the complete lifting of sanctions in order to benefit Iran from the financial aspects of the JCPOA is very key and is the "red line" of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The JCPOA parties should not expect the cost of catastrophic and erroneous decisions, including Trump's illegal withdrawal from the deal, to be paid for out of the pockets of the Iranian people.

Therefore, in order to reach a good agreement, the western side must gain the trust of the Iranian people and return from the wrong path it has taken so far.

What is the current state of Iranian-Israeli relations?

Basically, we do not recognise a country by the name of Israel.

It is an occupying power that has occupied the Palestinian territories with violence, aggression and apartheid, while for several years they have been ignoring the demands of the international community and the UN resolutions for the evacuation of the occupied territories.

Instead of being held accountable in an international tribunal for decades of crimes, genocide and state terrorism, as well as for the production of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, the illegal Israeli state is unfortunately appearing as a plaintiff threatening the people of other countries, like the great people of Iran.

If the occupying Israeli regime had the strength and courage to attack the Islamic Republic of Iran, it certainly would have done so by now.

The apartheid regime in Israel is well aware that the slightest attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran will bring a decisive and catastrophic response.

Recently, according to leaks, there have been informal meetings between Tehran and Saudi Arabia. Is it true? What exactly was the topic of discussion between the two sides?

Iran and Saudi Arabia are two important Islamic countries in the Middle East and friendship and cooperation between them can make a significant contribution to peace, stability and security in the region.

We have repeatedly stated our readiness to re-establish contacts, hold talks and resolve existing problems and disputes. The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in a conversation with the Iraqi Prime Minister, also welcomed the talks with Saudi Arabia.

We therefore welcome the diplomatic mobilisation and the efforts of the government and people of Iraq to promote a culture of dialogue to expand cooperation in the region, and in particular the positive role of Iraq in the negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh.

And we are ready to continue these talks with Saudi Arabia in the context of the previous talks in Baghdad because we consider this dialogue in the interest of not only the two countries, but also of the whole region.

We have stated our readiness, but the date and time of the next round of talks depends on Riyadh's will. Whenever this will is done, we will be in Baghdad.

It is natural to discuss the various points of difference and convergence between the two countries, either in bilateral relations or in regional and international issues, and efforts are being made to bring the positions of the two countries closer.

China's Ministry of Commerce, after signing the 25-year cooperation agreement with Iran, announced that Beijing will try to safeguard the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and defend the legitimate interests of Sino-Iranian relations.

How far has Beijing moved in this direction and in what areas is the cooperation between the two countries focused?

The relations of the Islamic Republic of Iran with China are strategic and have depth.

China, as a major Asian country, as well as a major world power, has had very good and strategic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran for many years.

From an economic point of view, China is considered Iran's first trading partner and has carried out many projects through investments or financing in Iran.

On the other hand, the positions of the two countries converge significantly at the international level, and a clear example of this is the opposition of the two countries to the policy of unilateralism and the use of diplomacy of coercion against countries.

Therefore, based on this long history of good relations, a comprehensive strategic document was signed last year between the two countries entitled: "25-year comprehensive cooperation plan."

The rationale for this memorandum is to create a roadmap for long-term cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People's Republic of China and to upgrade their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

The memorandum includes the economy, culture, politics, parliament, justice, etc., and after the recent visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to China, its implementation was announced.

We hope that the implementation of this program will open new horizons in cooperation and strategic relations between the two countries.

What is the current position of Iran in the regional situation in Syria?

We have repeatedly stated that the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria must be respected and recognised by all countries.

Twelve years ago, a number of Western interventionist forces, along with Israel, some of their regional allies, and a number of terrorist groups affiliated with these forces, sought to destabilise Syria and overthrow the country's sovereign government.

After 12 years of war, bloodshed and the destruction of the country's infrastructure, although they failed to change the political system of this country, they nevertheless caused enormous damage to the people of Syria and the region.

The consequences will remain for many years to come.

We believe that the solution to the Syrian crisis is possible only through non-intervention, but also taking into account the reality of Syria, recognising the legitimate government of the country.

This is in addition to dialogue, consultations and compromises between the various Syrian groups in order to reach an agreement between them.

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