0309 GMT December 09, 2021
Iran’s foreign minister said the Islamic Republic has, at a global level, demonstrated its determined commitment to dialogue and diplomacy by its active participation in different international assemblies to address myriads of challenges, including by taking part in Vienna negotiations to revive a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers over the past few months.
Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in an address to the Midterm Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held online, IRNA reported.
“Our determination has been manifested despite Europe’s abject failure in fulfilling its economic pledges to our people in the aftermath of Washington’s illegal withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan if Action (JCPOA) and the new US administration’s reluctance to abandon the failed policy of ‘maximum pressure,” he added.
Iran signed the JCPOA with the P5+1 in July 2015. However, in May 2018, the US withdrew from the agreement in pursuit of the so-called maximum pressure policy against Tehran in a bid to bring the Islamic Republic to the negotiation table and hammer out a new deal.
The withdrawal was under the administration of former US president Donald Trump, who was a vocal critic of the JCPOA, signed under his predecessor Barack Obama. In response, Iran used its rights under the agreement to retaliate by ramping up its nuclear activities in gradual steps, the latest of which was a plan to produce enriched uranium metal, Press TV reported.
Following Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election, which saw Democrats return to the White House, the US showed interest in returning to the JCPOA, leading to negotiations between the parties to the accord in Vienna with the aim of bringing Washington back into compliance.
However, three months after the beginning of the Vienna talks, the US is still declining to remove all the sanctions that were reimposed after the former administration pulled out of the deal, and has failed to provide assurances that it will not exit the deal again, while keeping the “maximum pressure” in place.
The sanctions had been lifted when the JCPOA went into effect in January 2016.
Slamming Washington’s unilateral measures, Zarif said multilateralism has been weakened and its promotion is being threatened by certain powers’ unilateralism and bullying moves, noting that the US extreme unilateral adventurism is the most important challenge “we all are in a way faced with”.
The continuation of the present situation will weaken the rule of law and threaten peace and stability across the globe, he added.
While some states are threatened by economic terrorism and military aggressions, other countries tolerate the pressures resulting from the US protectionist policies, Zarif said.
“To defend multilateralism, it is necessary that any potential interest or advantage of resorting to illegal and unilateral measures be repudiated and banned and any pressure in contradiction to international law and the UN resolutions be vetoed.”
At present, he added, NAM is more than ever duty-bound to form a united front to reject unilateralism and promote multilateralism in an effort to collectively address all complicated challenges the movement is currently faced with.
“[Addressing] the large number of the global challenges we are currently faced with has heightened the need for more collective measures at the international level. As a matter of fact, multilateralism is no longer deemed a conservative alternative; but the sole appropriate response to the world’s severe crises.”
Iran’s top diplomat stressed that NAM, as a prominent intergovernmental platform, can provide an appropriate opportunity for promoting and increasing global participation on the international scene in an era when unilateralism and protectionism is increasing.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest test of global solidarity different generations have ever been faced with.
“The disease reminded us of the extent to which we are dependent on each other and how determining and important international cooperation aimed at protecting the collective health as well as our prosperity and security is.”
The FM emphasized that like other cases, the pandemic is in need of a coordinated and strong international response in a way to immediately increase all countries’ access to diagnostic tests, treatment and vaccines.
He said the Islamic Republic of Iran has constantly displayed its commitment to multilateralism as a powerful foreign policy.
“Likewise, we still continue to defend the prospect of collective, cooperative and sustainable security in the West Asia. To this end, we are actively cooperating with the United Nations in efforts to establish peace in Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan. We proposed ‘Hormuz Peace Initiative’ and also ‘Tehran Dialogue Forum’ in the Persian Gulf as comprehensive approaches toward cooperation and resolving disputes.”