No JCPOA talks with U.S.: MP

TEHRAN – A senior Iranian lawmaker has ruled out any negotiations with the United States over the 2015 nuclear deal.

The lawmaker, Vahid Jalalzadeh, chairman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said Iran is not conducting any talks with the U.S. over the tattered nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“We do not trust the Americans. According to the instructions of the Supreme National Security Council, we have negotiated within the framework of the release of financial resources and the exchange of prisoners,” he said in an interview with Al Alam, according to the IRIB NEWS.

He said that the talks over the unfreezing of Iran’s funds and the release of American prisoners had nothing to do with the nuclear program.

He also said that former U.S. special envoy for Iran Rob Malley suddenly quit the talks with the Islamic Republic nearly two years ago when the two sides were negotiating a return to the JCPOA. This disrupted cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to Jalalzadeh.

The lawmaker also addressed a variety of regional issues.

Commenting on the re-establishment of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Jalalzadeh said, “Establishing relations with neighboring countries, especially Muslim countries, has been one of the policies of the Islamic Republic after the Revolution. Iran and Saudi Arabia are among the countries that influence the behavior of the countries in the region. The events in Yemen and Iraq and the emergence of ISIS in the region caused the cut-off of our relations. Iran and Saudi Arabia were interested in repairing and rebuilding these relations, which happened and was very much noticed by Muslim and even non-Muslim countries. Everyone was waiting for the fruits of this relationship at the regional level.”

He added, “We had relations with Saudi Arabia at different levels before the severing of relations (in 2016). We had good relations in the economic and security fields. Due to the events that happened in the region and the world in the last few years, Iran and Saudi Arabia came to the conclusion that they should rebuild these relations.”

The lawmaker noted, “The Iranian Chamber of Commerce has also announced its readiness to be present in Saudi Arabia. Saudi businessmen have the same situation and Iran's investment market in the region is second to none and is exemplary. We will definitely have security talks.”

He also addressed the importance of Iran-Syria relations. “The Supreme Leader has described Iran-Syria relations as vital. The situation in Syria is special and parts of it are in the hands of foreigners. Turkey has occupied a part and America has occupied another part of Syria. The rich areas are in the hands of Türkiye and Americans. The Islamic Republic of Iran is against the occupation of Syria by Türkiye and America.”

Jalalzadeh also pointed to the crisis in Lebanon, saying that “our relations with Saudi Arabia have had a positive impact on the political conditions of Lebanon.”

Referring to the recent trip by the members of the parliamentary committee to Syria and Lebanon, Jalalzadeh said, “We followed up on the agreements reached between Iranian and Syrian authorities during Mr. Raisi's trip to Syria a few months ago. We will follow up on the removal of existing obstacles to the implementation of agreements. Caesar's sanctions have made the situation difficult for the Syrian people. The issue of electricity and fuel is very important for Syria. The sanctions on Syria have been imposed so that what they could not do against Syria in the terrorist war, they can achieve in the economic war.”

Source: Tehran Times

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