Iran responds to attack on Israeli ship: We monitor Israel’s behavior

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Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiee gave long and rambling responses to a series of questions on Tuesday. Among other topics, he addressed the Iran nuclear deal, the Israeli ship that was reportedly targeted by the Iranians and the Islamic Republic seeking a 25-year economic agreement with China.

Tehran “does not allow Israeli invasions and monitors their behavior in the region,” he said.

This would appear to mean that Iran is seeking to “secure the open seas,” as Rabiee said, suggesting a potential threat to Israeli ships. He did not admit Iran’s involvement in the attack on the MV Helios Ray, a cargo vessel bound for Singapore that was hit with an explosive device in the Gulf of Oman over the weekend.

Rabiee focused primarily on potential meetings with the US and European countries. Since the US left the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iran nuclear deal, it would only be a guest at such a meeting, he said.

Tehran has apparently torpedoed talks unless Washington gives up on sanctions.

Rabiee touted what he said were the Iranian regime’s successes.

“In the last eight years, the government has been creating a calm atmosphere in domestic politics and expanding the facilitation for the social action of the people, as well as strengthening the economy… while trying to grow and develop,” he said.

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Foreign policy is linked to domestic policy because Iran is essentially Clausewitzian in how it operates. That means war is an extension of its policy making.

“We have always believed that the fundamental goal of foreign policy should be to help achieve these goals,” Rabiee said. “This belief in the government has been a reflection of our people’s choice to enjoy a safe, prosperous and healthy life based on what they deserve.”

The nuclear crisis was “fake,” he said, adding that Iran had sought the deal in 2015 to avoid foreign pressure.

“The Trump regime, by being deceived by those who saw the events from the first days of the Iran deal summit as a blow to their evil desires for the Iranian people, chose an evil path that ultimately resulted in the isolation of the United States,” Rabiee said.

He criticized former US president Donald Trump for having “unconventional, irrational and cruel behavior [that] imposed heavy costs on our people’s economy. [But] he did not have the slightest success in breaking the backbone of our national independence and endurance, which rises from the will to determine the fate of an ancient civilization.”

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Since “maximum pressure” failed, the Biden administration must return to the Iran deal, Rabiee said.

“Like many other nations, we believe that there is no other way but diplomacy to resolve the current dispute,” he said. “But diplomacy cannot begin without goodwill and honesty.”

The United States must make the first move, Rabiee said, adding that the US government has so far refused to take the slightest step to indicate confidence-building efforts.

“Last week, in agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, we implemented the law passed by the parliament in such a way as to respect the law and assure the international community that our nuclear programs continue to be legitimate,” he said.

This translation of his remarks is from Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency, and similar comments were reported by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.

Rabiee rambled on with numerous other statements about how Iran has defeated US tactics.

The proposal of the three European countries to hold a meeting with the United States was an initiative, but this time was not appropriate due to the lack of sanctions and the hypocritical rhetoric of the US in lifting sanctions, he said.

After touching on the “Zionist” accusations about Iran attacking the ship, Rabiee mocked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Former Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani was not going to China at the present time to negotiate a multi-decade economic deal, he said.

It was unclear why Larijani’s trip was not happening. This could be a setback for Iran. But Tehran is pleased that it will be receiving large sums of unfrozen funds from South Korea.

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