Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says the people of Ukraine have fallen victim to the evil policies of the United States, reiterating the Islamic Republic’s opposition to war.
Raeisi made the remarks in a Sunday address to a cabinet meeting, where he touched on a variety of issues including regional developments and the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine.
“The people of Ukraine, like the people of Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq, have fallen victim to the vicious policies of the United States,” the Iranian president said.
Raeisi added: “As explained by Leader [of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei]the Islamic Republic of Iran is definitely against war and the sooner this war ends, it will benefit the region and nations and cause less harm to people and cause fewer problems.”
In a television speech on Tuesday, Ayatollah Khamenei blamed the American regime for the current Ukraine crisis and called for an end to the war in Ukraine.
“The US has disrupted the country’s stability by interfering in its affairs, organizing rallies and instigating a colored coup,” he said, adding, “We oppose the killing of people and the destruction of nations’ infrastructure.”
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “military special operation” aimed at “demilitarizing” the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine, collectively known as Donbass.
The regions seceded from Ukraine in 2014 after refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government that toppled a democratically elected pro-Russian government.
Announcing the operation, Putin said the mission aims to “defend people who have been suffering persecution and genocide at the hands of the Kiev regime for eight years.”
The conflict has drawn a unanimous response from the US and its allies, and has imposed a long list of sanctions on Moscow.
Russia and Ukraine held the second round of talks on a way out of the conflict in Belarus on Friday. A third round of talks is scheduled to take place on Monday.
Iranian government ties no steps to Vienna talks, JCPOA
Elsewhere in his remarks, Raeisi outlined the latest developments regarding ongoing talks with the P4+1 group of countries in the Austrian capital Vienna, aimed at ensuring a relaunch of the 2015 Iran deal, officially dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is known, and the lifting of sanctions imposed on Tehran following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the landmark agreement.
“[Iran’s] The State Department and the negotiating team conduct the negotiations with diligence, but the administration does not and will not bind [of its] to the talks and the JCPOA,” the President said.
He added that the JCPOA does not represent Iran’s entire foreign policy, but is one of its issues.
Raeisi added that the secret of his government’s success over the past six months has been that it “vigorously pursued all issues, including issues related to foreign policy, the banking system and oil [sales]and did not make any of them dependent on the JCPOA or a possible settlement at the Vienna talks.”
The US unilaterally exited the JCPOA in 2018 and restored sanctions that had been lifted under the agreement. Washington’s European allies in the deal – France, Germany and the UK – have stuck close to the sanctions line by halting trade activities with Iran.
The Vienna talks between Iran and the remaining parties of the JCPOA began last April on the assumption that the US, under the Joe Biden administration, is ready to end former President Donald Trump’s so-called maximum pressure policy on Tehran.
Iran says it will not settle for less than a verifiable lifting of all US sanctions. It also wants guarantees that Washington will not abandon the agreement again.
In a phone call with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the Western side’s rush to reach an agreement on the Vienna talks would not make Tehran turn its eyes to its to close red lines.
“We are ready to strike a good deal immediately,” he said, adding, “But the haste and haste of the western side cannot prevent Iran’s red lines from being met.”