Speaking in a cabinet session on Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani said, “One of the efforts of the government from the beginning of its term has been to break the stalemate in the political stage and possible agreements”.
“Negotiations that had been happening during eight years before this government took office did not have considerable results, and would never reach a tangible upshot,” he said, adding that the enemies of the Iranian nation used to impose new restrictions against our country.
He continued, “The first thing that the 11th government did was to break the political stalemate in the international stage and the government could remove the obstacles in its first 100 days as promised, leading to the Geneva Agreement”.
Dr Rouhani added, “Saudi Arabia and the usurper Zionist Regime spared a lot of effort to prevent the final agreement from happening,” stating that the government continued its path with determination.
“Based on this agreement, a great deal of our country’s money was unfrozen and the goods that were seized in foreign customs entered the country,” said the President.
He continued, “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was an effective factor for fighting smuggling”.
Dr Rouhani added, “The United States withdrew from the deal, believing that Iran would do the same the day after, which would lead to the re-imposition of all international sanctions against our country”.
“Recently, Saudi Arabia and the Prime Minister of the Zionist Regime announced that they played a part in the United States’ withdrawal from the JCPOA, not to mention the extremists inside the US. Of course, their actions proved that the JCPOA was heavy for Zionists and the regional reactionaries to bear,” he continued.
After the US’ withdrawal from the JCPOA, we gave an opportunity to the world so that the two sides could live up to their commitments, and that the other side could fill up the vacuum of US’ exit, said the President, adding, “We waited for a year, which was a very strategic, historic patience”.
The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran also went on to say, “We acted cautiously towards the US’ withdrawal until we could sell our oil to the amount we desired, but since they began their fully-fledged sanctions against our oil, we are in new conditions; therefore, we made firm decisions to reduce our commitments under the new conditions”.
The President pointed out, “In the first 60 days, although the other side made some moves, we did not see enough, so we later abandoned two other commitments. In the meantime, many efforts and proposals were made by various countries to stop us from reducing our obligations, and they made some moves, but their proposals were not balanced enough in our opinion, and undoubtedly if their actions were enough, we would accept them”.
Dr Rouhani added, “As we have repeatedly emphasised, the reduction of our country's obligations is temporary and if they fully comply with their obligations, we are able to return to the previous situation, and if the other party takes the right and balanced action, and a ceasefire in the economic war is announced, there will be an opportunity to talk to each other and to come to a conclusion. Of course, there are countries as intermediaries, and there are correspondences and calls underway, and everyone should know that we will never miss the opportunity for negotiation”.
He reiterated, “We consider surrendering not right, and the Iranian nation and constitution will not accept it, but we are always ready for a fair, respectful negotiation, and we are ready now”.
Dr Rouhani said, “We are in contact with European countries and other countries in the world, but we have not reached the desired point until now, because the proposals were not balanced, but we will continue the political process, and if we do not come to a conclusion and the second 60-day opportunity is over, we will surely take the third step”.
Underlining that the security of the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz is very important for Iran, he said, “Along with maintaining the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, the Islamic Republic of Iran works for the safety of other waterways in the world, including the Bab-el-Mandeb and the Indian Ocean”.
"The Strait of Hormuz has a very important location; it’s not to be taken as a joke or for a country to ignore international regulations, and enter the region in the wrong direction and disregard the IRGC’s warnings, who are responsible for the security of the Strait of Hormuz," he said.
Dr Rouhani added, “The main responsibility for protecting the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf is mainly with Iran and neighbouring countries, and is not the others’ business, and the Iranian nation has always been the protector of the Persian Gulf”.
Praising the brave work of the Revolutionary Guards, the President said, “The IRGC courageously seized the British ship because it had refused all the orders and warnings. They did a very accurate, professional and right thing and I believe that the whole world must be grateful to the Revolutionary Guard for ensuring the security of the Persian Gulf”.
Dr Rouhani said, “We will not let anyone to lack discipline in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, but we are not looking for a military tension; the actions we have taken so far have been in accordance with the violations of the opposite side, as the case of the intruding drone proved".
Emphasising that the Islamic Republic of Iran has never sought tension and conflict, he said, “We are not going to continue tensions with some European countries and if they are committed to international frameworks and abandon some actions, including what they did in Gibraltar, they will receive a proper response from Iran”.
Dr Rouhani also praised the valuable work of the intelligence and judicial system against the intelligence system of the US and the CIA in recent days, saying, “Our country's intelligence and judicial systems have done a great deal of work against the American intelligence system, which shows that when we are all together, everything will go well”.