President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday Iran is ready to expand its trade, economic and political relations with European Union and described the bloc stance toward the Iran nuclear deal as ‘firm’.
In a meeting with new Belgian ambassador to Tehran, the president expressed hope that “Iran’s relations with EU members in economic fields and regarding the JCPOA, as well as regional issues further deepen,” president.ir reported.
He was referring to the official name of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal; the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the US abandoned in May despite its allies and international organizations attesting to Iran’s compliance with the deal’s requirements.
“We believe that some oppose deep Iran-EU ties and have plans to sabotage these good relations, which must not be allowed to be advanced,” Rouhani continued.
The president did not mention any specific issue, but Belgium has recently charged an Iranian diplomat and three other individuals over what it calls planning to bomb a meeting of a terrorist group residing in France in June. Iran has vehemently denied the accusations.
Véronique Petit, for her part, described JCPOA a very great success in the international stage and said that the EU and Belgium would do whatever they can to safeguard the deal.
Rouhani received a number of other new ambassadors to Tehran, namely Japan, the Netherlands, Senegal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Qatar.
In a meeting with the new Japanese ambassador to Tehran, Rouhani highlighted the importance of development of cooperation and joint ventures by companies and the private sectors of the two countries.
He also called for the development of relations and cooperation between Iran and Japan in various fields like business, economy, energy, petrochemicals, machinery, health, environment and tourism.
“Long-standing Iran-Japan relations have always been friendly and the two nations have special respect for each other”, Rouhani said.
“Iran and Japan have close viewpoints on many issues, and the meetings of the two countries' officials in various avenues, especially on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, have always been positive and in line with the development of relations,” he continued.
Mitsuo Saito, for his part, said that “the Japanese Emperor and government are willing to develop amicable Tehran-Tokyo relations and cooperation”.
Referring to the historical and friendly relations of the two countries in various fields, he stated, "despite the US pressures and sanctions, the Japanese government and companies continue to maintain relations with Iran and they will stay in Iran, because Japanese traders and officials trust in the future of Iran”.
Iran is an important supplier of oil to Japan, accounting for about 5 percent of its crude imports, according to a report published by Reuters last month.
This is while the US has demanded that nations cut all their Iranian oil imports when sanctions on the country’s petroleum sector over Tehran’s nuclear program are reimposed on Nov. 4.
Touching on the ongoing war in Yemen, Rouhani again called for the end of the US-backed Saudi-led coalition wreaking havoc on the poorest Arab nation since 2015.
"We believe that the war and killing of people in Yemen must end and that problems and issues should be resolved through a political solution," the president said, adding that the Islamic Republic has never sought tensions and unfriendly ties with other countries, especially its neighbors.”
Rouhani emphasized the efforts to accelerate the transfer of humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people, referring to the need for the development of Iran-Japan consultations to resolve regional and international issues.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a deadly military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Yemen’s former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back to power.
The aggression has killed some 15,000 people and injured thousands. More than 2,200 others have died of cholera and the crisis has triggered what the United Nations has described as the world's worst humanitarian disaster.
In a meeting with the new ambassador of the Netherlands to Tehran, Rouhani referred to the Netherlands-based International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ruling against the US vs Iran nuclear sanctions case and called for Washington to stop its ‘illegal acts’ against Iran.
“I hope that the interim ruling of the International Court of Justice prevents the United States’ illegal acts, including anti-human sanctions,” he continued.
In a victory for Tehran against Washington, the ICJ has ordered the United States to halt the unilateral sanctions it recently reimposed on "humanitarian" supplies to Iran.
The Hague-based court, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, announced its ruling on Oct. 4 regarding the July lawsuit brought by Tehran against Washington's decision to reimpose unilateral sanctions following the US exit from the JCPOA.
Jacques Werner, for his part, said that “The government of the Netherlands fully supports the nuclear deal’s implementation”.
“Along with the EU’s strengthening of financial institutions, we are determined to further develop our banking relations with Iran to not let sanctions have any effect on economic relations between the two countries,” he continued.
In a meeting with new ambassador of Qatar to Tehran, Rouhani called for furthering of bilateral relations between the two sides.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always considered Qatar a friendly, brotherly country and we believe that closer ties between the two countries are beneficial for both nations and the region,” he said.
“Today, in different fields, especially in regional issues, the two countries have closer approaches and we should further accelerate this trend.”
Tehran wants full peace and security in the region and the Persian Gulf, he said, adding, “Some countries’ interference in the internal affairs of their neighboring countries is not acceptable and we believe that the people of Qatar are brave and great, and the Qatari authorities run their country with wisdom”.
Saudi Arabia, alongside the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar and imposed a land, air and sea blockade against it on June 5, accusing it of supporting "terrorism". Doha denies the charge.
Iran rushed to the help of the besieged Arab state, delivering food cargoes and giving its airspace to the besieged nation.