US 'Iran Action Group' runs counter to intl. law

TEHRAN, Aug. 20 (MNA) – Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ghasemi said Mon. that the formation of ‘Iran Action Group’ by the United States follows Washington’s hostile policies toward Iran and runs counter to international law.

Bahram Ghasemi made the remarks in his weekly press conference on Monday, in response to a question about Iran’s countermeasure toward the formation of the ‘Iran Action Group’ as announced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday.

“Such measures won’t get US anywhere,” said Ghasemi, adding that people’s resistance and some already drawn-up strategies are enough to render the measures ineffective.

Ghasemi described the IAG as nothing more than a psychological warfare, noting its coinciding with the CIA-led 1953 coup in Iran, which “reflects the history of our relations with the US and the country’s hostile behavior toward Iran in the past decades.”

Foreign Minister Zarif said on Sunday that the creation of the 'Iran Action Group' follows Washington’s dream to repeat the CIA-led 1953 coup scenario “through pressure, misinformation and demagoguery.” He underscored that such a dream would not be realized this time.

Elsewhere, Ghasemi noted the ongoing talks between Iran and EU with regard to the nuclear deal after the US withdrawal, voicing dissatisfaction with the “slow” progress made in the EU’s package of proposals, saying it is mostly due to the holiday season in European countries.

“We want these countries to pick up the pace, but I’d say the whole process of cooperation and proposed suggestions has been positive,” he added.

About German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent remarks on Iran’s missile program, Ghasemi stressed that the missile program bears no relations to the nuclear deal; “our missile program is a domestic issue and related to our defense and military sector. It’s nonnegotiable and we will not allow anyone else to make decisions about it,” he said.

About Iran’s participation in Syria’s reconstruction process, Ghasemi said “I believe that Iran will stand by the Syrian side during the reconstruction period, and I hope that we will be able to participate with our private sector.”

On Aug. 17, a deputy minister of roads and urban development said Iran and Syria would soon sign a long-term strategic agreement on economic cooperation during the reconstruction period in the war-torn country.

The agreement was reached during Amir Amini’s visit to Damascus to take part in a business forum with Syrian economic delegation.

Under the strategic economic agreement reached between the two sides, Iranian companies will contribute to the reconstruction of at least 30,000 residential units, located in already liberated or about to be liberated provinces in Syria, that have sustained damage in the eight-year war, according to Amini.

The agreement also includes cooperation on reconstruction of damaged infrastructure such as transportation, water pipes and power lines, as well as reconstruction of historical sites.

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