Baghdad Meeting to Review Regional Challenges

Baghdad Meeting to Review Regional ChallengesBaghdad Meeting to Review Regional Challenges

The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said a three-way meeting between foreign ministers of Iran, Syria and Iraq due to be held in Bagdad in the next few days will provide a valuable opportunity to negotiate and decide on the challenges facing regional countries.

Marzieh Afkham made the remark in her regular press briefing on Wednesday, IRNA reported.

She said the meeting will stimulate collaboration among the parties, especially on implementing the agreements not brought into force yet. She did not provide more detail on the nature of the talks.

Commenting on the recent UN-sponsored peace talks on Yemen, which were held in Geneva on June 15-19 without a breakthrough, she noted, “Although the negotiations at this stage failed to bear fruit, efforts like this need to be continued.”

Voicing support for organizing the next round of talks aimed at addressing the Yemen crisis, she reiterated the call for a political solution as the sole way to resolve the ongoing conflict in the impoverished country.

Afkham expressed regret over Saudi Arabia’s refusal to halt airstrikes on Yemen despite numerous requests by the international community, hoping a ceasefire would come into effect in the crisis-hit country during the holy month of Ramadan (started June 18). She also called the continuation of airstrikes as “unacceptable.”

A Saudi-led coalition started its airstrikes against Yemen on March 26 without a UN mandate to help reinstate the former government pushed aside by the Houthi movement’s advances.

  Unhelpful Bill  

Asked about a recent bill approved on Tuesday by Parliament requiring the negotiating team to preserve nuclear achievements in negotiations with the major powers on Tehran’s nuclear work, she said the Foreign Ministry does not believe that the bill is useful.

However, she said if the bill receives the final approval of the Guardians Council, the ministry will be committed to it and respect the views of the legislators.

The text of the bill, overwhelmingly approved by 213 lawmakers, makes three points binding on the negotiating team to consider in the nuclear talks, namely ensuring the lifting of sanctions at once on the day the deal comes into force, providing the UN nuclear agency access only to nuclear facilities for inspection based on conventional procedures and rejecting demands for restrictions on the nuclear research and development program.

The spokesperson thanked the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for backing and trusting the nuclear negotiating team, terming the support an “invaluable asset” which is a determining factor in the talks.

She described the current round of negotiations as “highly intensive” and said the talks are passing through a difficult phase, adding discussions will be finalized once all aspects are worked out at expert, deputy ministerial and ultimately ministerial levels.  

The official noted that the negotiations are currently underway at the level of experts and deputy ministers, but no date has been set yet for holding a meeting between foreign ministers of the negotiating parties.

She said the negotiators will observe the redlines set by the Leader.