Mar 13, 2019 16:25 Asia/Tehran

A senior aide to the speaker of Iran's parliament, has described president's trip to Iraq as very important, saying it sends a definite message to Washington, namely: Iran has close and strategic relations with neighboring countries, including Iraq.

Iran Press/Iran news: In an exclusive interview with Iran Press on Tuesday, a senior aide to the speaker of Iran's parliament and former deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian answered a slew of questions on domestic issues of importance, as well as on regional and international topics of interest.

Significance of President Rouhani's trip to Iraq 

Asked about president Hassan Rouhani's trip to Baghdad, Amir-Abdollahian said: "President Rouhani's trip is important. After Saddam's Regime was toppled, relations between Tehran and Baghdad became friendly and strategic. Friendly relations with neighboring countries is one of Iran's top priorities, particularly at a time when US president Donald Trump is trying to toughen up sanctions against the Islamic Republic, adopting a more hard-line approach."

Amir-Abdollahian added: "Rouhani's visit to Baghdad sends a very important message to Washington, namely Iran has very close and strategic ties with its neighbors, especially with Iraq."

Iran must be cautious with regards to Palermo and CFT 

Asked about Iran's possible accession to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention), and Convention on Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT), Amir-Abdollahian said: "My own personal view is that there are some international mechanisms that Iran may inevitably join, but if anyone tries to impose new conditions on Iran, or ask us for new commitments, and tries to create new obligations for the Islamic Republic, then we have to act cautiously, prudently and wisely. We must also ask the Europeans for fundamental assurances and guarantees."

Syria, a huge victory for Iran's foreign policy

Turning to Syria, Amir-Abdollahian said Syria is a huge victory for Iran's foreign policy. America and its allies wanted to break-up Syria, totally destroy the government of president Bashar al-Assad, and they wanted to change the political geography and the political landscape of this region in favor of the Zionist regime of Israel. However, despite spending huge sums of money, financing, training and supporting Daesh (also known as ISIS) terrorists, in the end, they failed to achieve their nefarious goal.

"The Americans wanted to establish a state run by ISIS (Daesh) terrorists in parts of Iraq and Syria, but they were unable to achieve this goal.

Commenting on Syrian President Bashar Assad's recent trip to Tehran, Amir-Abdollahian said: "The trip was very important. It showed Iran's rising status and importance within the region. Unlike the Americans, we will never abandon our friends and allies, we will never turn our back on our friends. Trump has turned against America's allies, something which we refuse to do."

He added: "The Syrian people though must decide the future of their country. It is only the Syrian people who can decide about their future."

Failure of US-North Korea Summit

Asked about the failure of Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said: "The excessive expectations of the Americans, led to the failure of the summit in Vietnam."

"Trump desperately wants a foreign policy success for the upcoming US presidential elections in November 2020, and he looks at North Korea with that in mind. However, North Korean officials know very well that Donald Trump does not honour his promises, and they have adopted a cautious approach towards negotiations with the Trump administration," the senior diplomat noted.  

Crisis in Venezuela:

Asked about the turmoil in Venezuela and America's meddling in the country's internal affairs, the former deputy foreign minister said our advice to Juan Guaido and Nicolas Maduro is that they should sort out their differences through dialogue and negotiations, and not allow their dispute to spill onto the streets of the country. They mustn't allow the Americans to destabilize Venezuela.



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