US Hostility Must End for Talks to Begin

US Hostility Must End for Talks to BeginUS Hostility Must End for Talks to Begin

Iran will not negotiate with the United States unless it abandons its abhorrent regime change agenda and stops its threats and acts of bullying, says a former foreign minister.    

"The end goal of the US pressures is obvious, and that is regime change in the Islamic Republic. So long as no change is seen in US objectives and it does not stop threatening and bullying the Iranian people and (ruling) establishment, Iran will not begin talks with the US and will continue its resistance," Kamal Kharazi, head of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, said during a speech at Beijing International Studies University, ISNA reported on Tuesday.

Tensions between Iran and the United States soared after President Donald Trump pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran in May and re-imposed sanctions.

In July, Trump said he would be willing to meet President Hassan Rouhani without preconditions to discuss ways to improve relations, a proposal that was rejected by senior Tehran authorities. Last week Rouhani said Washington continually sends messages to Iran calling for negotiations.

  Intimidating Other States

Kharazi said it is unacceptable that the overtly-hostile Trump administration resort to illegal means, including sanctions, to build pressure on Iran and is setting deadlines for other countries to comply with the illegal US sanctions.  

He was referring to reports that Washington has told third countries they either cut of imports of Iranian oil from November or face tough financial penalties.

"We are sure that we will succeed in withstanding these threats through the steadfastness of the Iranian people  and assistance from friendly countries," the former diplomat said. He did not name the friendly nations that would be willing to support Iran against the mounting US pressures.

The policy that Trump is pursuing in other parts of the world is similar to its approach on Iran, Kharazi said,  noting that the Americans are desperately trying to regain their former power and prestige on the global stage.

"They regard Iran, China, Russia and even their European allies a threat to US global power. In their opinion, other countries' political and military activities and their regional influence should not be a hindrance to US hegemony."

That is why Iran is keen on cooperating closely with other countries, particularly Russia, China, India and European powers, to confront US policies, he said.

  Strategic Ties  

Kharazi added that there is great potential for expanding Tehran-Beijing ties in key areas.

The comprehensive strategic partnership agreement between the two countries should serve as a basis for further collaboration, he said, noting that Iran can ensure China's long-term energy supplies.

The cooperation agreement, which was announced in 2016, outlined a roadmap for developing bilateral ties in different areas, including politics, culture, security, judiciary, defense and energy.

"It is necessary that Iran and China take strategic steps regarding energy production and supply as well as investment in this sector," the former foreign minister was quoted as saying.

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