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Velayati Rejects Europe’s Interference in Tehran’s Regional Role

Velayati Rejects Europe’s Interference in Tehran’s Regional Role

Monday, 23 October, 2017 - 10:30
Ali Akbar Velayati, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s top adviser on international affairs, listens to questions from the media during a news conference at the government palace in Beirut May 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)

Iran’s Foreign Policy Adviser Ali Akbar Velayati warned on Monday European Union countries against interfering in his country’s regional role and missile program.

“The Europeans, like the Americans, have no right to interfere in our defense issues nor in our presence in the region,” Velayati told reporters on the sidelines of his meeting with the deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, Saleh al-Arouri.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump decertified the Iranian nuclear deal, asking the Congress to address the “many serious flaws” in the international agreement.

He went on to threaten to terminate the deal with Iran, if the Congress failed to make the necessary amendments.

Following a closed-door meeting last week, EU foreign ministers appealed to the US Congress to maintain the nuclear deal with Iran and avoid a return to the sanctions option. However, they stressed the need to dismantle Iran’s missile program.

In response to a question about the European position on keeping the nuclear agreement and tightening the missile program, Velayati said: “The nuclear agreement is not related to other issues. The missile issue is linked to the decision of the regime and we do not ask permission from anyone to defend ourselves.”

In remarks on Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Tehran would commit to its 2015 nuclear deal with international powers as long as the US Congress did not impose sanctions against his country.

However, he threatened to “shred” the agreement if the United States pulled out.

On the European stance regarding the Iranian role in the region, Velayati said: “Iran is part of the region and naturally supports its allies in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria,” adding: “We must ask Europe and America, what do they want from our region?”

Velayati revealed that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi was expected to visit Tehran during the next few days, describing the visit as “critical” and comes under “sensitive conditions that go beyond mere diplomacy.”

On a different note, Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Bahram Qassimi said on Sunday that his ministry has submitted a report to the country’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee regarding developments over the last three months in implementing the nuclear agreement.

The Iranian foreign ministry said that the US president’s rejection to certify the nuclear deal was an “internal American affair” but at the same time, warned of its impact on America’s obligations to lift sanctions on Iran in accordance with the international agreement.

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