Power, diplomacy should go hand in hand: Rouhani

TEHRAN, Aug. 26 (MNA) – President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran should make use of both instruments of power and diplomacy at the same time to reduce the country’s problems.

“Those who think that only one of these instruments is enough are wrong. We should use power – economic, cultural, and military power – and also use political power, and we should talk and reduce problems,” he said on Monday in an event in Tehran which marked the Government achievements in the development of rural infrastructures.

He went on to say that Iran has resisted in the face of the most severe sanctions imposed on the country during the past year, adding, “We are also adopting retaliatory measures; we are reducing our commitments [to JCPOA]. While we have reduced commitments in two stages so far and may introduce another cut in the future but we always put two months of time in between to give a chance to diplomacy.”

Pointing to Sunday’s surprise visit of Foreign Minister Zarif to France’s Biarritz and meeting with French President and FM, Rouhani added that “Foreign Minister [Zarif] goes to Paris and returns and consults with us and then again goes to Paris. After today’s meeting, we will also discuss the issue with responsible authorities. We may say that a certain path would 100% lead to success but we should do our job. When the chance of success is not 90% but stands at 20% or 10%, we should try and move forward. We should not miss the chance.”

Zarif’s visit to Biarritz came at the official invitation of his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to continue consultations on the recent initiatives proposed by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mousavi.

Zarif was in Paris only last week, meeting with Macron about the future of the 2015 nuclear deal in the wake of US’ unilateral withdrawal from the agreement and the re-imposition of sanctions against Iran. Zarif described the talks as “constructive and good”.

Tensions initially built up between US and Iran after President Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 Nuclear Deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and imposed severe sanctions against Tehran. Trump administration insists that they are ready for talks with Iran but Tehran says it will resist in face of all pressures and that there will be no talks with a party which has already violated many international agreements.

Macron has led the European effort to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, after Trump pulled out in 2018, rendering the agreement practically ineffective as sanctions targeted Iran’s foreign trade, as well as banking and energy sectors.

One year after the US withdrawal, Iran announced cuts to its JCPOA commitments after other signatories to the deal failed to comply with their obligations. Iran is asking other signatories to shield its economy from US unilateral sanctions which were imposed after Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018.

MAH/ 4702122

News Code 149314

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