Amir Abdollahian: UK must repay 40-year-old debt


TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and new British diplomat Elizabeth Truss met at noon on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry website, they discussed bilateral issues, the JCPOA and the situation in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, the Iranian Foreign Minister said that repairing bilateral relations required serious action, stressing the need to repay Britain’s four-decade-old debts to Iran which date back to the pre-1979 Islamic revolution.

Abdollahian noted that Iran has heard many words and promises regarding the JCPOA, but has seen no action, saying that unfortunately Britain is also part of this inaction and this approach must change.

Britain, France and Germany are European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Iranian foreign minister said the US government, with Europe’s silence and support, continues to apply its illegal sanctions and at the same time claims to want to return to the JCPOA.

“This is a clear contradiction which is carefully observed by the Iranian people.”

He added: “For the current Iranian administration, the standard of evaluation is measurable actions of the parties to the JCPOA and not their words,” he noted.
The senior Iranian diplomat added that Britain must be careful that fulfilling its obligations is the only way to rebuild relations, and Tehran will respond appropriately to any positive and constructive action.

During the meeting, consular matters, including the issue of prisoners with dual nationality, were also discussed.

Abdollahian stressed the need to pay attention to the humanitarian situation in Yemen and Bahrain.

Regarding Afghanistan, he said that forming an inclusive government that reflects the ethnic and demographic makeup of the country is the only comprehensive solution for stability and lasting peace in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, the British Foreign Secretary said her country was ready to repay its debts to Iran.

Referring to the nuclear deal, Truss said that in the case of the JCPOA, the main issue now is the attention of all parties to the timing of the resumption of the negotiation process.

The British Foreign Minister also thanked the Islamic Republic for facilitating the departure of the remaining British nationals in Afghanistan.


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