President elucidates Iran's stance on the regional, int'l issues  

In a joint interview with three French media of with FRANCE 24, Le Monde and France Culture on Thursday, President Hassan Rouhani explained Iran's stance on the regional and international issues and expressed hope that the achievements of his trips to Italy and France be to the benefit of the three countries and help establish peace and stability in the region.

Sun 31 - January 2016 - 08:52

He also elucidated Iran's stance and viewpoints on Tehran's relations with Rome and Paris, and international relations.

Some parts of the interview are as follows:

Q: Until a few months ago, many Western countries have been maintaining that Iran is isolated and excluded from playing any of its roles in world community. Is not it for the mercy of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that Iran has fully returned to the community today?

A: It was my pleasure to visit two important countries of the European Union such as Italy and France and talked with their high ranking officials on bilateral, regional and international issues; but in response to your question I have to reiterate that neither before the (nuclear) agreement, nor after it Iran has never been isolated in the international community, because when I was attending the United Nations General Assembly meeting in 2013 and proposed to the meeting "a world without extremism and violence (WAVE)", the proposal was approved. It was on the sidelines of that assembly that the European countries' leaders in meetings with me expressed dissatisfaction with the anti-Iranian sanctions and emphatically said that that path was not the right one. I think it only some countries in the world which are putting pressures on others to go to the way they want.

We have faced many problems in our economic relations with others because of the sanctions, but today after the JCPOA, things are changing.

Q: Mr. President: Iran has nowadays exchanged prisoners with USA and the two countries' officials have recently had some continuous meetings recently. Is not it a sign of gradual restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries?

A:  In the course of the past 70 years Iran and the United States have always had countless disputes. I must say that resolving all these problems in the short run is naturally a very tough job. I have said from the beginning of my victory in the presidential elections that we wish to decrease the level of tension with the United States. Although the tensions has somehow reduces and we have a long walk to solve the problems which are a little bit complicated and practically irresolvable. Anyhow, these problems will someday be settled because these are not permanent ones. But the complicated nature of the very issues implies not to be solved in short term.

Q: Do not you think US is nowadays favoring Iran to Saudi Arabia in the region? Do not you feel any turning in US relations with Saudi Arabia to Iran on regional issues?

A: Anyhow, the deal has eased some already very complicated issues. We well witnessed US has played an active role in the nuclear talks.  The United States was at the same negotiating table as Iran [during the nuclear talks in Vienna], which was something unimaginable only a few years ago. It is a positive point that we could solve the complicated problems with G5+1. Iran and America are also today sitting around a negotiating table to solve the Syrian issues, a new condition which have not been experiencing in years. So obviously the situation has changed.  It is very important that US officials nowadays maintain that it is Iran which has the will and ability to fight terrorism. As Iran's influence and its effective measures done in the region is growing and some countries well know and see that Iran has democratically hold all its elections during the past 37 years without any delay of intervals, these has help Iran to improve its image in world interactions. Since some the regional nations do not know election and they have never experience any ballot boxes of election. So, Iranian people's situation is not comparable to that of some regional countries.

Q: You may mean Saudi Arabia. As Iran and Saudi Arabia's has cut their relations for some events, so what can you do to normalize the relations?

A: 'What happened was very unpleasant from our point of view. A prominent Shi'a scholar who had critical viewpoints about the Saudi rulers' conducts, their racists approaches was executed, which was an illegal, anti-Islam and inhuman act of Saudi regime. Saudis had committed an action which was previously asked by many world officials including by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon not to be done.  The execution of that scholar led to surprise protests in many countries and was condemned worldwide, even in the Western countries. As it was condemned by all, naturally Iranians sentiments were aroused. Meanwhile, the Saudi Embassy incident was not pleasant for the Iranian government, nor was it done based on the will of the government. I, as the president, was the first person to condemn that incident and I also asked the country's security apparatus to identify and arrest the culprits involved in that act. We condemned this action. Our responsibility was to find the culprits of the attack. We have found them, we arrested them. They are in prison

 In fact the Saudis' reaction to that incident was also an inappropriate one. Their reaction was like an action of a loser or somebody who is ashamed of what he/she has already done, and now tries to justify the action or conceal it. We do not favor intensification of tension in the region as the people of Saudi Arabia are our neighbors and our religious brothers. We believe the issues must be settled through its right channel and logically,' he added.

Q:  What do you mean by "logically"? What do you expect from them to restore the ties?

A: Iran's priority is to restore diplomatic ties Saudi Arabia, but it is up to Riyadh to take the initiative. Saudi Arabia’s moves to cut diplomatic ties were not proportionate to the incidents. The Gulf monarchy was “muddling the game”. They will not be happy in future with what they have done before. We did nothing to be ashamed of it and try to compensate it. What is certain is that the country that broke off our relations must be the one to try to restore them.

Q: Many allegations are raised against Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom is financially supporting the terrorist group of Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Do you have and document proving that Saudis are supporting the terrorist?  

A: The terrorist related issues in the region are not that much concealed. One can easily deduce from the tunes of the people and the stances they take for the regional events to see who is in favor of terrorist groups in the region. You can ask the question from the regional countries, as well. In how, there exists governments in Iraq and Syria.

news id: 91709  

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