UK must end hostility toward Iran in order for ties to be resumed: Tehran

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi

Press TV -(Tue Aug 13, 2013) Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi says the potential resumption of the diplomatic ties between the Islamic Republic and the UK can only occur if the British government does away with its hostile policies toward Iran.

Speaking at his weekly press briefing in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Tuesday, Araqchi said that Iran’s Majlis had already downgraded the bilateral ties between the Islamic Republic and the UK to the level of charge d’affaires before Britain unilaterally broke off the diplomatic relations, and therefore, even if the relations between the two countries are reestablished, they will be at the noted level. 
The UK government will need to drop its hostile policies toward Iran in order for the ties to resume even at such a level, Araqchi emphasized. 
“Considering the various signals from the British side for the resumption of the relations, we hope to begin technical negotiations on the issue in the due time,” he added. 

Situation in Iraq 

Commenting on the current developments in Iraq, Araqchi condemned the violence and expressed regret over the persisting terrorist attacks in the country. He added that attempts are being made to destabilize Iraq. 
He also said it was unfortunate that bombings were carried out during the holy month of Ramadan and on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr. Araqchi denounced the inhumane and anti-Islamic nature of those responsible for such attacks. 
Araqchi urged all political blocs in Iraq to exercise patience and vigilance to maintain national unity. 
The Iranian official also called on the international community and all the regional countries to condemn terrorism in all its forms. 

Turkish pilots abducted in Lebanon 

Araqchi said Iran condemns the recent abduction of two Turkish pilots in Lebanon, adding that Ankara has contacted Iran and has requested the Islamic Republic’s help to find the Turkish nationals. 
On Friday, Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said gunmen had kidnapped two pilots working for the Turkish Airlines in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. 
“Iran condemns the acts of hostage-taking and abducting people no matter under what circumstances or with what intention or where… they occur,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
He added that Iran would not withhold any assistance it could offer in finding the Turkish pilots if the Islamic Republic had such capacity.
Lebanese authorities have launched an investigation into the abduction. Security forces have also been deployed near the scene of the incident.
Commenting on the fate of the Iranian diplomat abducted in Yemen, Araqchi said Sana’a has not yet issued visas for the Iranian delegation commissioned to travel to the Arab country in order to investigate the issue.
The Iranian official added that the Foreign Ministry is “solemnly pursing the issue.”
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has already summoned the Yemeni chargé d’affaires twice to express Tehran’s grave concern over the fate of the diplomat and to remind the Yemeni government that it is responsible for Nour Ahmad Nikbakht’s safety.
Nikbakht, an administrative staff member of the Iranian embassy in Sana’a, was travelling in the city’s diplomatic quarter on July 21 when armed men blocked the road, forced him to get out of his vehicle and took him to an unknown location. 

India-Pakistan tensions 

Commenting on the recent escalation of border skirmishes between India and Pakistan, Araqchi expressed regret over the development and urged both sides to exercise restraint.
He further expressed optimism that issues between the two nations would be resolved peacefully and through negotiations. 

Iran-P5+1 talks 

Responding to a question about the comprehensive talks between Iran and the P5+1, the Iranian official said that no new developments had occurred and that “no developments will occur before the new [Iranian] administration is entirely in place… and decisions are made about [Iran’s] nuclear negotiators.” 

Developments in Egypt 

On the recent developments in Egypt, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Iran regularly monitors and assesses regional developments, particularly those of Egypt, which the Islamic Republic regards as very important.
He added that what may befall Egypt and concerns the international community is the possibility of the polarization of the society and a move toward a civil war, “which will turn into a regional disaster.”
He further emphasized that the conflicts in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon “will only benefit the Zionist regime,” expressing optimism that regional leaders, especially those of Egypt, would wisely confront foreign plots and maintain the country’s national unity.
Araqchi also invited all sides in the African country to exercise restraint and engage in talks in order to resolve outstanding issues. 

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