Iran reserves all rights to respond to cargo ship attack

TEHRAN, Mar. 15 (MNA) – Teran says it reserves the right to take any measure to respond to a recent terrorist attack on an Iranian cargo ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

Speaking his weekly presser on Monday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh referred to last week's terrorist attack on the container ship belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRIS) Group, saying that the incident is under investigation.

Referring to the possibility of identifying perpetrators behind the attack, Khatibzadeh said, “Given the geographical location of corruptive attack it is possibile that this terrorist act was carried out by the Zionist regime.”

The spokesman noted that "Whenever the region moves toward peace, this [Israeli] regime tries to create unrest for a clear reason,” and that is that it sees all its life and death in crisis and insecurity, and thinks chaos can help prolong its existence.

He said Iran reserves the right to use all its options to respond to the attack once the perpetrators are identified.

An IRIS cargo ship was damaged after it was targeted by a terrorist attack en route to Europe in the Mediterranean Sea last week.

The vessel’s hull sustained slight damage, but those aboard were unharmed. A small fire broke out in the aftermath of the explosion, which was quickly put out by the crew members.

IAEA should stay impartial

Khatibzadeh also referred to the recent comments by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, and said the UN nuclear watchdog should observe impartiality in commenting on technical issues about the Iranian nuclear program to ensure mutual cooperation.

Noting that Tehran has provided the IAEA with required access under the Safeguards Agreement, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "Monitoring Iran's nuclear activities is a technical issue. Iran has provided required access under the IAEA Safeguards Agreement. We gave other accesses in the framework of Additional Protocol which was halted with parliamentary legislation.  We made also a three-month agreement opening a diplomatic window.”

Regarding the next meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, he said the timing is not scheduled yet.

Khatibzadeh also pointed to a tripartite meeting in Doha on Syria and said Iran would support any initiative that helps the Syrian peace process.

MR/FNA13991225000230

News Code 171119

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