Iran’s Foreign Ministry says the newly-released documents on US involvement in a 1953 coup against a popular Iranian government reveal no previously-unknown information and do nothing to fade Washington’s crimes.
Speaking at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Abbas Araqchi said that the release of the recent documents 60 years after the coup “neither adds anything new to what we already knew, nor does it lessen the American crimes.”
The Iranian official noted that the declassified documents do not belong to the Central American Agency (CIA) – contrary to what has been claimed – and that Iran expects the American spy agency to release its actual documents on the issue.
Araqchi also underlined the British role in the 1953 coup and noted that although the coup of August 19, 1953 is generally viewed as an American ploy, we should not lose sight of Britain’s behind-the-scene role in planning the coup and the subsequent violence and hostility it perpetrated against Iran prior to and in the course of the coup.
On Monday, the CIA published a document, which officially conformed for the first time Washington’s role in the 1953 coup d’état against the democratically-elected administration of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq.
“The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front Cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy,” read a brief segment from an internal report by an in-house CIA historian in the mid-1970s.
The document, published on the National Security Archive website, was initially released in 1981, but most of it was blacked out at the time, including an entire section on the coup.
Responding to a question on the future of Iran’s comprehensive talks with the P5+1 group of countries and whether the talks will be handled by Iran’s Foreign Ministry or Supreme Council of National Security, Araqchi said that, regardless of which body would pursue the negotiations, Iran’s principles on its nuclear energy issue will remain unchanged.
He further noted that President Hassan Rouhani has not yet decided which of the aforementioned bodies will undertake the task of the negotiations with the P5+1.
The P5+1 countries comprise the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -China, France, Russia, UK and the US – plus Germany, which are involved in comprehensive talks with Iran, mainly over its nuclear energy program.
Responding to a question on reports about the “reduction of Iranian nuclear reserves” in the run-up to the next round of talks between Iran and the P5+1, Araqchi stated that the rate of Iranian nuclear production and reserves will be based on our needs and consumption in the field of energy and other fields such as agriculture and medicine and is not a political issue.
Inspection of Iranian aircraft by Iraq
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman censured the move by Baghdad to intercept Iranian airplanes heading to other countries via Iraq, saying such an action was an “unfriendly move” inconsistent with neighborly ties.
Araqchi said Tehran has expressed its objection to the Iraqi government over the issue.
However, he added that Tehran understands that pressure is being exerted on the Iraqi government.
“Although the Iraqi move to intercept Iranian planes was illegal and unfriendly, we are glad that it at least belied the claims” against Iran, as “nothing was found on any of the intercepted planes but humanitarian and medical aid,” Araqchi said.
In April, Baghdad checked Iranian aircraft for three consecutive days. The searches found humanitarian aid and commercial goods.
On July 13, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Iraq has been conducting random checks on Iranian planes bound for Syria since September 2012.
The Iraqi foreign minister added that these checks had only found “non-lethal aid like medicines and food.”
Trip by Azeri Navy commander to Iran
Referring to the reports about the cancelation of Azeri Navy Commander Shahin Sultanov’s trip to Tehran, Araqchi said the visit was not canceled but was postponed due to several reasons, mainly the change in Iran’s administration following the June 14 presidential election.
Iran’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak-Ayeen said on August 17 that Sultanov was planning to travel to the Islamic Republic on an invitation by Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari.
Crisis in Syria
In response to a question about the turmoil in Syria, Araqchi said UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi had contacted Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to discuss the issue.
Araqchi added that Zarif had reiterated Iran’s readiness to cooperate with the UN and Brahimi himself in order to resolve the crisis.
According to Araqchi, Brahimi stressed Iran’s influential role in the region particularly with regards to Syria, reiterating the necessity of Tehran’s presence in international meetings over Syria and the upcoming Geneva conference.
Iran has repeatedly voiced its opposition to any foreign interference in the internal affairs of Syria.
Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
Responding to questions about Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in southern Iran, Araqchi said it will most likely be ready for full function and be inaugurated within the next several weeks.
He reiterated, however, that the plant has long been producing electricity while undergoing experimental stages, which is a common practice that takes place at nuclear power plants from the time when their construction is completed by the contractor to when their handling is entirely relayed to the possessor country.
The Foreign Ministry official described the Bushehr NPP as a case jointly handled by Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency and the Foreign Ministry, adding that it has been one of the nation’s key foreign policy issues in the past 20 years.
Fate of Lebanese Shia cleric Imam Musa Sadr
Regarding the latest developments about the fate of senior Lebanese Shia cleric Imam Musa Sadr, who was kidnapped 35 years ago while on an official tour of Libya under its slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the Iranian official said the former’s case remains a major issue of the Muslim world.
Araqchi added that Iranian officials are continuing their cooperation with Lebanese and Libyan authorities to find further information about the fate of the highly-revered Muslim scholar and leader.
“His case is still open although we regretfully have not found any substantial clues about it,” Araqchi said.
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