| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

Iran says US insists on direct negotiations

US is proceeding with its negotiations and talks with Iran, including its insistence on direct negotiations with Tehran, announced Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.


Amir-Abdollahian is touring Latin America, starting in Nicaragua and then moving to Venezuela, where he arrived Friday.


Mehr News Agency reported that the FM met with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, stressing that the development of Nicaragua and the country’s energy security is of paramount importance to Iran.


Amir-Addollahian told Ortega: “Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, tried hard to impose sanctions on Iran’s oil export and bring it to zero according to his claim, but in Iran, we tried to neutralize the sanctions.”


Referring to the negotiations to lift the sanctions, the top diplomat announced that the US continued its negotiation with Iran, including its insistence on conducting direct talks.


Meanwhile, Iran rejected the US interference in its internal affairs, mocking its slogans, after House of Representatives Republicans ousted Democrat Ilhan Omar from a high-profile committee over remarks widely condemned as antisemitic, two years after Democrats removed two Republicans from committee assignments.


The Iranian news agency, Mehr, quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani describing the “parliamentary tyranny in the US to boycott voice of critical congresswoman.”


Kanaani tweeted: “Ousting Ilhan Omar, black, Muslim, and critic of Israeli Apartheid from a House Committee indicates the practical commitment of the US to the motto of women, life, freedom. A slogan for interfering in Iran’s internal affairs.”


The deeply divided House voted 218-211 along party lines to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee, with Republicans citing the 2019 remarks for which she later apologized, according to Reuters.


Furthermore, the British The Times reported that Britain’s plan to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organization has been stalled after the Foreign Office raised concerns about keeping communication channels open with the regime.


Sources told the newspaper that the Foreign Office blocked the move to proscribe the IRGC, citing the need to keep communication channels open.


Officials also raised concerns about how it would be defined as a terrorist group because it was a government agency, unlike most other proscribed bodies.


The British Foreign Office declined to comment on The Times’ report.


A source in the British government told the newspaper that the IRGC should have been listed as a terrorist organization, but that process has been suspended, which could be delayed for weeks, if not months.


According to Iran International, the report comes while UK House of Commons members unanimously voted for a motion that urges the government to proscribe Iran’s IRGC as a terrorist organization.


It is worth noting that the result of the British House of Commons vote is not binding but indicates the lawmakers’ increasing pressure on the government to respond to violence against protesters in Iran.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat