(Persia Digest) – President Hassan Rouhani said Wed. that Iran will not allow anyone to cause disturbances in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, also noting that the country has no intention to sit at a ‘capitulation’ table in the name of negotiations.
“We are fully ready to have fair, lawful and dignified negotiations to settle problems. Yet, we have no intention to sit at a ‘capitulation’ table in the name of negotiations,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Mehr News reports that Rouhani noted his administration has never lost and will never lose an opportunity for fair and lawful negotiations.
His remark was in response to the US’ call for holding talks with Iran in spite of Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the re-imposition of economic sanctions on Tehran.
Rouhani maintained that his administration has always made efforts to break political stalemate on the international stage and possible agreements.
The president then lamented the damage done to the nuclear deal (JCPOA) in the wake of US' withdrawal and lack of effective measures by the European sides to the agreement, saying that the JCPOA was a major and effective factor in the fight against smuggling.
Rouhani blamed Saudi Arabia, Israeli PM Netanyahu, as well as American hardliners for Donald Trump's decision to leave the nuclear deal, saying their undermining measures proved that the JCPOA had been a hard pill to swallow for the Israeli regime and reactionary countries in the region.
Talking about Iran's decision to reduce commitments to the JCPOA, Rouhani said Iran waited one year after the US' withdrawal because it could still export its oil as much as it needed; "but after the US began on a full-fledged approach to sanction our oil, it led to a new situation," said Rouhani.
"We are in contact with the European side and other countries in the world, but their proposals have not been satisfactory for us. We will continue the process of political talks, but if we don't reach a desirable conclusion by the end of the second 60-day deadline, we will definitely begin the third stage," in Iran's cuts to its JCPOA-related commitments, the president added.
Stressing that the security in the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz is of utmost importance to Iran, President Rouhani said "we will not allow anyone to cause disturbances in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. At the same time, we are not seeking tension or military confrontations, and everything we have done so far was proportionate to the violations of the other side."
His remark was in reference to IRGC's downing of a US drone that had violated the Iranian airspace, as well as the seizure of a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz that was said to have been in violation of international rules and regulations.
"I do believe that the whole world should be grateful to IRGC for preserving security in the Persian Gulf," Rouhani maintained.
"We are not seeking to continue tension with certain European countries. If they are committed to the framework of international rules and stop their wrongdoings such as the one they committed in Gibraltar [by seizing the Iranian oil tanker], they will receive an appropriate response from Iran," Rouhani promised.