Window of talks on JCPOA with EU not closed: Rouhani

TEHRAN, Feb. 22 (MNA) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed that preserving JCPOA is necessary for all, saying the window of the negotiations with EU is not closed.

“We are interested in developing political and economic relations with the Netherlands,” said President Rouhani in the meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok on Saturday.

“Our foreign policy is based on constructive engagement with countries, and we are keen to strengthen relations with the European Union,” he added.

Referring to the imposition of unilateral and unlawful US sanctions on Iran, Rouhani said, “The US cruel sanctions even affect the Iranian people's medicine and food, and we expect the freedom-seeker nations of the world to condemn these illegal sanctions loudly.”

“We believe that the nuclear deal was in the best interest of the region and the world and that the US action was to the detriment of all, and even the American people themselves,” noted Iranian President, adding, “Unfortunately, in the last 21 months since the Americans withdrew the JCPOA, the European Union, has failed to make an effective step towards its bilateral relations and its commitments to the JCPOA.”

The president also acknowledged that the US is the root of insecurity in the region, saying, “The Iraqi parliament has voted to expel US troops from the country and the presence of US troops in Syria is against the government's demands, and in other countries, including Afghanistan, people are opposed to the presence of Americans in their countries.”

He went on to say, “If the US abandons its terrorist acts and wrongdoing, our region will naturally be safe.”

“The principle of our policy is that the security of the region must be maintained by the countries of the region themselves and we do not consider the presence of foreign forces in the Persian Gulf as different coalitions to be beneficial to the regional security,” Rouhani added.

Stating that Iran is fully ready to negotiate with the European Union about the region's issues, he said, “Given that the Netherlands hosts the world's great lawyers at the Hague Tribunal, we can talks logically and lawfully on regional security.”

Dutch foreign minister, for his part, emphasized the development of relations between the two countries in all fields, including economic relations.

Referring to his meeting with representatives of Dutch companies in Tehran, he expressed hope that his country would be able to play a more active role regarding INSTEX.

"We have clearly and privately told Americans that withdrawing the JCPOA was not the right decision," said Blok, stressing the need to preserve the JCPOA as an international agreement.

Stating that his country would work to preserve the JCPOA, the Dutch foreign minister said, "We need to continue the negotiations on JCPOA which can be the solutions to problems and disputes."

MNA/IRN 83686150

News Code 155909

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