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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Zarif, South Korean official to review seizure of ship, Iranian frozen assets

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Jan 11, IRNA -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the visiting South Korean deputy foreign minister are to hold talks later in the day on the seizure of the ship and the Iranian frozen assets, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday.

He made the remarks at a weekly press briefing.

Khatibzadeh told reporters that the South Korean official has conferred with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi on the above -mentioned issues on Saturday.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) seized South Korean Hankuk Chemi vessel in the Persian Gulf for contamination of environment and violation of the International Law of the Sea protocols concerning the environment.

Meanwhile, Iran has held several rounds of talks with South Korean officials requiring the Seoul Government to release the Iranian assets at a time when Iran has to pay for the expensive cost of national campaign against COVID-19 pandemic.

Iran as a responsible government follows up the case within the framework of technical questions; meanwhile, Tehran does not let the issue be politicized, he added.

Ukraine's passenger plane which was moving very close to a sensitive military spot belonging to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) crashed shortly after taking off from Iran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on January 8, 2020. All 176 aboard were killed.

A week after the crash, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that human error has caused it.

Those who were guilty for the crash are arrested, the spokesman said noting that Iran has held several rounds of talks with Ukraine on the issue; meanwhile, Kiev has not declared a set time for the next round of talks which had been slated for Nov, 2020.

About the technical report on the crash, Khatibzadeh said it was formally issued on December 29, 2020.

"These countries have 60 days to give their opinions; then Civil Aviation Organization can complete its report and present it."

However, it seems that some countries and political elements are not seeking settlement of the issue, but, they are politicizing it, the spokesman underlined.

Criticizing the political pressures over "the sad air disaster," the official said Iran has proposed the issue of compensation, but the Ukrainian side did not give any idea.

Iranian cabinet members agreed in a session in late December to allocate 150,000 dollars or its euro balance to each family of the victims of the Ukrainian plane crash.

Turning to the issue of 20 percent enrichment, the spokesman said that all and the Europeans know that Iran's measures are under and within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"Iran's measures are for preserving the agreement."

The three European countries know better that what happens now is an indication of a sickness; the sickness of violating the JCPOA by the US and those European states over and over, the spokesman stressed.

He added that Iran's measures are reversible quickly; meanwhile, if they want to see the reversal, they should fulfill their promises.

"Effective measure in return for effective measure."

Asked about remarks made by an Iranian lawmaker about International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) inspectors that will be expelled as of February 21, the spokesman said Majlis (Parliament) strategic laws are completely clear.

If the other side is not loyal to its commitments, the commitments beyond the IAEA Safeguards will end, but it does not mean that the IAEA inspectors will be expelled, he stated.

Speaking about US move to sanction Faleh al-Fayyaz, cheif of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), the spokesman said Iran condemn such moves.

He said that the US forces are concerned about being expelled from Iraq.

Asked about the anti-Iran accusation made by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Iran has chemical weapons, Khatibzadeh said the United States is the one which tried to introduce the victim of the 1988 Halabja chemical attack as the guilty, while it well knew that what kind of crime the then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein committed against Iran and the Kurds.

The outgoing US president is trying to damage the realities during last days of his tenure, Khatibzadeh said.

About the recent event occurred in the US when the Congress was to review confirmation of Joe Biden's presidency, the spokesman said "The most shameful US government is being driven out of the White House by the most shameful method."

What happens in the US indicates that Iran resisted to what kind of regime, he concluded.

Recently, supporters of US President Donald Trump swarmed into the building where the lawmakers were to confirm the victory of the president-elect Joe Biden after the November 3 presidential election.


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