Iran’s President Sees Sanctions Removal as Prerequisite to Any Deal

Iran’s President Sees Sanctions Removal as Prerequisite to Any Deal

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi made it clear for the parties involved in the negotiations on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal that the termination of sanctions against Iran will pave the way for the achievement of any kind of agreement.

Speaking in his fourth live televised interview after taking office, President Raisi on Tuesday night referred to his recent visit to Russia and his administration’s foreign policy, saying, "Many activities and efforts have been made in international policies in the Islamic Republic, but many areas have not been as balanced as political areas."

"The government is pursuing a kind of balance in its international policies. Iran's trade and economic interaction with Tajikistan has tripled since my visit and we are eliminating the shortcomings," he stated.

The president also referred to the imbalance in the international policies, and added, "For example, as the country's political relations have been promoted in the international field, economic and trade relations and interactions have not been considered, and we have a kind of backwardness in this regard."

"Enormous trade and economic capacity can be established with our country's 15 neighbors," he noted.

"As a result of the agreements reached during my visit to Tajikistan, the economic and trade relations between the two countries have tripled," Raisi added.

"Also during the visit to Turkmenistan, apart from the swap discussion, transit relations were established between the two countries and good trade-economic relations were established," he said, according to the President’s official website.

The president added, "As stated in the news today, our country's relations with the Republic of Azerbaijan have been developed, and today, some shortcomings are being compensated, as well as our relations with Russia."

"Iran's trade capacity with Russia is not what we see today," he noted, adding, "The volume of over $3 billion dollars of trade relations between the two countries today could easily reach $10 billion. We can import many goods from Russia, and we also have many agricultural products and goods that can be exported to the Russian market."

President Raisi stated, "In the field of oil and gas, given the technology that the Russians have, there is a good capacity for cooperation, which can lead to the growth of economic interactions between the two countries, as well as our economic growth."

"There is cooperation with the Russians in the fields of transit, transportation, energy, agriculture, industry, aerospace and various other fields," he added, noting, "There are many capacities in both countries and these capacities can be exchanged. We have advantages in our country that Russia needs, and there are advantages that can be used by us."

In response to a question regarding a balanced policy in the foreign policy, the president said, "Negotiations have begun and the government's foreign policy in various fields is active, but there is no such thing as saying that negotiations solve everything. We negotiate, but not everything is negotiation.”

"The government operates in two areas. One; Neutralizing sanctions, and two; Lifting sanctions. One of the ways to neutralize sanctions is to have relations with our neighbors, and Russia is one of Iran's great neighbors, so we cannot ignore having economic, trade, and many relations that we can have with each other as an independent and capable country," he emphasized.

"The basis of our work is interaction with the whole world. I announced this in the election campaign and I will follow this, we will interact with all the countries of the world that want to interact with us, but the countries that want to oppose us, naturally we will resist them. But what we have in our foreign policy program is interaction with all countries," he stated.

"Regional issues, including the developments in Syria and the Caucasus, were also among the topics discussed with the Russian President, which was pursued in line with the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran," he noted.

In response to a question on how the Vienna talks are going forward and on America's request for direct talks, the president stated, "This request is not new. This request has been made for a long time. Many of these countries that come to visit us carry a message that the Americans have sent to speak directly. This has been the case for a long time, maybe in previous administrations and in our administration, but so far there have been no negotiations with the Americans."

President Raisi added, "We have announced -and we will announce again- that if the parties are ready to lift the oppressive sanctions against the Iranian nation, there is opportunity for any kind of agreement".

Referring to the construction of 4 million houses in Iran in 4 years, the president noted, "The construction of 4 million houses is the need of the country, our promise and the law."

Commenting on the taxes next year, he said, "Unfortunately, in previous years, we have seen unprecedented inflation, but the government is building to control inflation. The signs that are coming today from the Central Bank, the Statistics Centre of Iran and economic sectors is that the government has been successful in controlling inflation, but reducing inflation needs a lot of work."

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