Iran has rejected a politically-motivated ruling by a Canadian court to seize more than USD 7 million of the Islamic Republic’s assets and properties.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Saturday that Iran was not informed about the legal proceedings, adding that the court ruling has therefore “no legal value” to Iran.
An Ontario judge in Canada recently ordered the seizure of more than USD 7 million of assets and properties belonging to Iran over some plaintiffs alleging that the Islamic Republic funds terrorist groups.
“Given the approach of the Canadian government, it is crystal clear that the verdict is politically-motivated and such rulings have no legal value,” Afkham said, reminding the Ottawa government of its international commitment to protect diplomatic properties.
Pointing to Canada’s move to sever ties with Iran unilaterally, Afkham said under international law diplomatic properties have immunity, warning Ottawa of the legal repercussions of disrespecting international regulations.
The Iranian official stated that Iran, as a victim of terrorism, has always denounced this inhuman scourge.
She warned that the double standards used by Western countries, including Canada, in the fight against terrorism will not only fail to uproot it but will also contribute to the spread of this phenomenon.
On September 7, 2012 the Canadian government closed its embassy in Tehran and ordered Iranian diplomats to leave Canada within five days.
In a statement, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird cited a number of reasons for Ottawa’s decision to sever ties with Iran, including the West’s dispute over Tehran’s nuclear energy program, the country’s support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as “threatening the existence of Israel.”
Tehran has criticized Secretary of State John Kerry and other US officials for their interfering remarks about Iran’s upcoming presidential election.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Saturday that according to the Algiers Accords, the United States has agreed not to meddle in Iran’s internal affairs.
The United States’ support of democracy is just a subterfuge and is all a show, he added.
It would be in Washington’s interest to abide by international law and to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, he observed.
But unfortunately, US officials know very little about Iran’s electoral process, the Iranian foreign minister stated.
He went on to say that the US should accept that every country has its own electoral process, which is based on the country’s laws.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian foreign minister pointed to the contradiction between Washington’s self-proclaimed concerns for people’s democratic rights and its disregard for the results of the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections and condoning of the Israeli regime’s apprehension and abduction of Palestinians’ democratically elected legislators and acts of aggressions against the Gaza Strip.
“They (US officials) will have to answer to the public opinion that to what attitude have democracy and the rights of the people in this issue been sacrificed to?”
The Iranian foreign minister also questioned the legitimacy of the US Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of former US President George W. Bush after the 2000 presidential election.
He also cast doubt on the fairness of the US Electoral College, which allows about one fourth of the states, which are the most populous, to determine the outcome of presidential elections.
Salehi’s comments came a day after Kerry criticized the Guardian Council, Iran’s highest electoral supervisory body according to the Constitution, for not approving hundreds of candidates.
The US secretary of state made the remarks during a visit to Israel on Friday.
Kerry also accused the Guardian Council of choosing candidates that represent the interests of the Iranian establishment.
Last Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Araqchi censured Washington for making “baseless remarks” about Iran’s electoral process and interfering in its internal affairs.
Araqchi was responding to US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell, who had criticized Iran’s Guardian Council over its vetting process, in which hundreds of presidential hopefuls were not approved.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says the next round of comprehensive talks between Iran and six world powers will be held in Kazakhstan on February 25, 2013.
Salehi made the announcement in his Sunday speech on the third day of the 49th annual Munich Security Conference in Germany.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — known as the P5+1 group — have held several rounds of talks with main focus on Iranian nuclear energy program. The last round of negotiations between the two sides was held in Moscow in June 2012.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear program has been diverted towards weapons production.
Zionist entity’s foreign ministry said Monday it was “surprised” by Argentina’s agreement with Iran to create an independent commission to investigate the 1994 attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish centre.
“We were surprised by the news,” foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP. “We are waiting to receive full details from the Argentines on what is going on because this subject is obviously directly related to Israel.”
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner on Sunday said that her country and Iran had agreed to create a “truth commission” with five independent judges — none of whom can come from either Iran or Argentina.
Kirchner said the agreement may allow Argentine authorities to finally question suspects currently the subject of Interpol “red notices.”
Argentina has long accused Iran of masterminding the attack and has since 2006 sought the extradition of eight Iranians, including current Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Iran has always denied any involvement in the bombing, in which 85 people died.
The accord comes after several months of negotiations — starting in October at the United Nations in Geneva — aimed at resolving the pending legal actions.
“We warned the Argentines from the start that the Iranians would try to set a trap for them and that they should beware,” Palmor said on Monday.
TEHRAN — Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Sunday that Iran will not hold “independent” talks with the United States outside the framework of nuclear negotiations with six world powers, dubbed P5+1, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
“We don’t have something to be named talks with the United States,” said Salehi when asked about the recent media reports that Iran and the United States have agreed to hold direct talks over Iran’s nuclear issue.
“We will talk (with the U.S.) within the framework of P5+1 … and we don’t have (other nuclear) talks independent from that,” he was quoted as saying.
On Saturday, the New York Times reported that the United States and Iran had agreed for the first time to have one-on-one talks over the latter’s controversial nuclear program after the upcoming U.S. presidential elections.
The paper said the agreement was the result of intense and secret exchanges between officials of the two countries, which began almost immediately after President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
The White House on Saturday denied the press report. “It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections,” Tommy Vietor, spokesman of the National Security Council, said in a statement.
“We continue to work with the P5+1 on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally,” he said
TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast condemned on Friday the recent terrorist bomb attack in Beirut, in which a number of civilians lost their lives and many others were injured.
Mehmanparast said that the attack was intended to sow discord among various Lebanese groups.
“This act has been done with the aim of creating rift among various factions in Lebanon,” he stated, adding, “And this act has been done by those elements who have never cared about the interests of the Lebanese people and government and do not think about anything other than their evil objectives.”
Mehmanparast called for an immediate identification and punishment of the perpetrators of the attack and sympathized with the bereaved families and the Lebanese nation and government.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman also called on all Lebanese groups and parties to prevent the realization of the enemies’ plots through demonstrating vigilance and unity.
He added that it is the Zionist regime, which is the “main enemy” of the people in Lebanon and other regional countries, that “undoubtedly” benefits from “insecurity and instability” in the region.
Condemnation of “unilateral” actions — particularly sanctions on Iran and other nations — and a demand for a greater say in UN decision-making dominated NAM talks on Tuesday preparing for a Non-Aligned summit later this week.
Foreign ministers from NAM states were holding two days of discussions to prepare the ground for the summit, which will gather dozens of heads of state and government on Thursday and Friday.
According to the Agence France Presse, other issues to be covered included a call for the creation of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, and an appeal for nuclear disarmament, particularly in the Middle East, as a path to world peace, according to draft documents before the ministers.
Combating terrorism, and upholding human rights and development were also included.
A working document made available on Iran’s official NAM website said one of the general principles being upheld was strengthening solidarity with NAM members “living under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation, and with those experiencing external threats of use of force, acts of aggression or unilateral coercive measures.”
Elsewhere, it called on members to refuse to follow “unilateral economic sanctions” on NAM states.
More than 50 foreign ministers were involved in the discussions, according to Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast. They were building on work done in the two preceding days by lower-ranking officials and experts.
Tehran’s summit is seen as a blow to US-led efforts to isolate it internationally.
The NAM is a 120-member organization founded in 1961, at the height of the Cold War, by nations considering themselves independent of the US-led Western bloc or the then-Soviet Union. It represents nearly two-thirds of the UN’s 193 member states, accounting for much of the developing world.
Overall, the NAM seeks greater accountability from the UN Security Council and a greater weight for the UN General Assembly — where it is strongly represented — in making global decisions.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon will be attending the Tehran summit, in a customary observer role, despite criticism from the United States and the Zionist entity.
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As he urged the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) members to stand against the sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi stressed that the foreign interference in the events taking place in our region was unacceptable.
“The NAM… should seriously confront unilateral sanctions of certain nations against some members of the NAM,” Salehi said in a speech opening days of preparatory meetings for the summit on Thursday and Friday.
“So far, the NAM has condemned these measures,” he noted, adding: “we take this opportunity to thank the NAM for its support to the legitimate rights” to nuclear activities.
“Regarding our peaceful nuclear program… we have always said that we are only seeking our legitimate rights” to nuclear energy as permitted under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Salehi said.
The Iranian FM called for the active role of the NAM in annihilation of the weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), saying that the Zionist entity should be forced to respect the non-proliferation of WMDs.
“Israel’s refusal to sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a hurdle to the globalization of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons,” he added.
Talking about the regional events, and especially the Arab revolutions, Salehi said the foreign interference was unacceptable.
“We have learned from the events which our region has witnessed that any forces cannot ignore the legitimate demands of people.”
“The popular uprisings and the regional events that follow it, affect the consecutive developments on the International level,” Salehi added.
“The participation of the real independent political powers in a comprehensive dialogue needs a political operation based on the internal views of a country,” the Iranian FM stressed, noting that this operation should not be away from the foreign interference.
Salehi also said that the Palestinian issue, as the most important problem in the region, should be taken seriously during the ongoing NAM meeting and the “criminal measures of Israeli regime, as the biggest threat to the region” must be taken into consideration.
The Islamic Republic offered to host a meeting between Damascus and the opposition aimed at solving the Syrian crisis.
“Iran is ready to host the Syrian opposition for dialogue with the Syrian government,” Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Arabic-language Al-Alam television on Sundy. “We believe that the Syrian issue should have a Syrian solution,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the Islamic Republic will use all its capacities to resolve Syria’s crisis and establish security in the region.
He added that the security of the region and all regional countries depends on the security of Syria and said, “We believe that in case of [adopting] an unrealistic approach towards the issue of Syria, not using influential countries with complete capacity to resolve the crisis in this country and also not taking necessary actions in various international summits to stop the violence, no result will be achieved and these summits are doomed to failure.”
Mehmanparast said grounds for dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition in an atmosphere away from foreign interference and violence must be provided so that they could make their demands clear.
The Iranian official said Tehran supported the UN-Arab League joint envoy’s plan, adding that in the current situation, the best solution to resolve Syria’s crisis is that all countries and governments also support Kofi Annan and his six-point plan.