Iran, UK foreign minister discuss nuclear deal, Afghanistan crisis
Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab on Monday that the illegal sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic by the US and other Western nations must be removed.
Amir-Abdollahian told Raab Tehran welcomes any negotiations that would meet the interests and secure the rights of the Iranian people.
Iran’s top diplomat said the country’s new administration is engaged in internal consultations about how to continue the Vienna talks that is aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran and the other five remaining parties to the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and world powers in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that is, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, have held six rounds of talks in Vienna to salvage the faltering agreement by bringing the US, as the violator of the deal, back into compliance.
In quitting the JCPOA in May 2018, the administration of former US President Donald Trump reinstated the sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the accord, while mounting pressure on the country with new bans, as the other parties stood by and failed to protect Iran’s contractual benefits.
During his first televised address to the Iranian people, Iran's President Ebrahim Raeisi dismissed the idea of holding negotiations over the JCPOA revival under pressure, saying such tactics have never yielded the US and Europe any result.
The top Iranian diplomat also expressed his country’s readiness to facilitate the dispatch of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
On August 15, the government of Afghanistan rapidly collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country in the face of the lightning advances of the Taliban, following what has been censured as a hasty withdrawal of American forces from the country.
Thousands of Afghan civilians and diplomats rushed to take evacuation flights from Kabul, with the US and its allies only watching as the country’s miserable and catastrophic conditions unraveled.
Human rights activists have called on the international community to hold the US accountable for the war crimes it has committed during its 20-year occupation of Afghanistan.
The US and its NATO allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext that the Taliban militants were harboring al-Qaeda. The invasion removed the Taliban from power, but it worsened the security situation in the country.