|Iran dismisses Persian Gulf Arab states’ interference claim||
TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has rejected the claim made by Persian Gulf Arab states that Iran is interfering in their affairs, saying they are “escaping from realities.”
According to Reuters, Persian Gulf Arab states demanded Iran end what they called interference in the region, in a statement on Tuesday at the end of a two-day summit of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council in Manama.
The PGCC is made up of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait.
Mehmanparast said, “Shifting the responsibility for the internal problems of the regional countries is an escape from the existing realities, and attributing the problems to outsiders or using oppressive methods are not the right way to respond to popular demands.”
In reference to another part of the statement, the Iranian official said that the three Persian Gulf islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs are “inseparable” parts of Iran’s territory, adding, “Repeating baseless claims will not change the reality on the ground.”
The UAE has repeatedly questioned Iran’s sovereignty over the three Persian Gulf islands and urged Tehran to agree to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague or engage in direct negotiations.
Bushehr nuclear plant meets highest international safety standards
Commenting on the Kuwaiti emir’s call for increased cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mehmanparast said that Iran’s nuclear program is meant for peaceful purposes and complies with international regulations and conventions, particularly IAEA regulations, adding, “Unfortunately, certain regional countries are moving in a direction that creates tension in the region.”
He also said that the Bushehr nuclear power plant meets the highest international safety standards.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has several times invited regional countries to visit the plant to show its goodwill,” he said.
Kuwait urged Iran on Monday to cooperate more with the United Nations nuclear watchdog to allay Persian Gulf Arab states’ concerns about the safety of the Bushehr plant that lies just across the waterway from the emirate, Reuters reported.
Kuwaiti Emir Sheik Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said a recent shutdown at the plant indicated that Tehran had to work with the IAEA to ensure the safety of the facility.
The Bushehr plant, a symbol of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, was shut down in October for the removal of nuclear fuel as part of a normal procedure.
On November 30, a spokesman for the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom), which built the power plant, said the fuel discharge had been a planned removal for safety testing. He denied a Reuters report that the shutdown had been because of safety concerns after stray bolts had allegedly been found under fuel cells at the plant.
Bahraini FM’s remarks are worthless
On the Bahraini foreign minister’s recent remarks about Iran, Mehmanparast said that the remarks are not worth responding to.
According to Reuters, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa told reporters on Tuesday that Iran posed a “very serious threat.”
“Politically, (there is) lots of meddling in the affairs of (P)GCC states; an environmental threat to our region from the technology used inside nuclear facilities; and there is of course the looming nuclear program,” he said, referring to Iran’s nuclear activities.
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