US sanctions like coronavirus; panic more than reality: Rouhani

TEHRAN, Feb. 23 (MNA) – Stating that the US sanctions are like coronavirus, which the panic it makes is more than what it really is, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, "The European Union is expected to stand up to US’ illegal actions.”

Speaking with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria on Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani described Tehran-Vienna relations very good and friendly and said, "The two countries have good potentials, especially in economic fields, for cooperation and we hope that Austria disregards the Americans’ illegal pressures in developing its cooperation with Iran."

"We believe that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) can still be saved," he said, adding that the nuclear deal does not just belong to Iran, Europe or the P5+1, but it can contribute to regional and global peace and security.

Emphasising that the nuclear deal could have been a good basis for building new trust between us and the West, including the European Union and the United States, Rouhani said, "Iran has been committed to the deal for its own part."

Referring to US’ food and drug sanctions against the Iranian people, the president said, "Implementing these sanctions is a terrorist act and we expect the European Union to fulfil its humanitarian duty."

Rouhani further emphasised that the security of our region should be protected by the countries of the region, saying, "Today, the security of regional waterways has decreased compared to the past and many countries of our region such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan are not in good security conditions."

The President stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran has proposed Hormuz Peace Endeavour (HOPE) initiative with the aim of establishing peace and security in the region, and it has been welcomed, adding, "All issues that our region is facing are because of the United States’ illegal interference in regional issues."

Rouhani emphasised, "We believe that the security of this region is important for the security of Europe, as well as the security of the energy transfer routes for the whole world and Europe."

The President expressed hope that Iranian-Austrian cooperation in bilateral and regional fields would be further expanded and that the Austrian Foreign Minister's visit to Iran would contribute to a positive development in bilateral relations with the European Union.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria Alexander Schallenberg, for his part, delivered the warm greetings of his country’s President and Chancellor to the Iranian President and described the two countries’ relations friendly and long-standing.

He also emphasised more efforts for the development of relations and cooperation between the two countries, especially in trade and economy.

Schallenberg also referred to Vienna’s hosting of Iran-P5+1 nuclear negotiations, describing the JCPOA a turning point in building confidence in the region and the world, adding, "Protecting the nuclear deal is our and EU’s main policy, and we will do our best in this regard."

The Austrian Foreign Minister emphasised, "We believe that the region has an important role to play in maintaining peace and stability in the region and that Iran also plays an important role in establishing stability and security in the region."

Schallenberg described Hormuz Peace Endeavour (HOPE) as the roadmap for peace and security in the region and the Persian Gulf.

"In our view, the HOPE Initiative can be a roadmap for peace and stability in the region, and Austria welcomes the initiative for building confidence and is keen to play a positive role in this process," he continued.


News Code 155945


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