Iran rejects claims of involvement in any 'direct, indirect' talks with US
Iran has categorically rejected recent claims about the beginning of negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the United States with the goal of reducing tensions between the two sides.
According to Press TV, the remarks were made by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi in a meeting with Omani State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah in Muscat on Sunday.
Rejecting all reports about any form of direct or direct talks with the United States, the Iranian diplomat emphasized, "The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to establish balanced and constructive relations with all countries in the Persian Gulf region based on mutual respect and interests."
He added that the Islamic Republic does not seek to stoke tensions in the region, saying that ending the US sanctions against Iran and allowing all regional countries to benefit from the interests of economic cooperation would guarantee regional peace and stability.
"Imposing sanctions on Iran is a failed experience, which has been repeatedly tested in the past," the Iranian diplomat said.
The Omani state minister for foreign affairs, for his part, pointed to the ongoing dangerous escalation in the region and urged all sides to exercise self-restraint.
Alawi also called for the continuation of close consultations between Tehran and Muscat.
Located just across the Strait of Hormuz from the Iranian territory at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, Oman has maintained friendly ties with Iran through successive crises in the region.
The cordial Tehran-Muscat relations have at times allowed the small but strategic sultanate to play an important mediating role, including with the United States.
Oman played a positive role in the preliminary nuclear negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group and hosted several rounds of the talks that ultimately led to a landmark 2015 deal between Iran and major world powers, including the US.
In a statement on Friday, Alawi warned that any war in West Asia could be harmful to the entire world, saying it is making efforts to reduce spiraling tensions between Iran and the Unites States.
"We and other parties seek to calm tensions between Washington and Tehran," he said.
Earlier on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Moussavi also dismissed reports about Tehran-Washington negotiations.
"There are no direct or indirect talks between Iran and the US," Moussavi said.
The Iranian spokesperson's comments came after Kuwaiti media outlets quoted the country's Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah as saying on Saturday that negotiations between Iran and the United States have started.
The Kuwaiti official is reported by Kuwaiti media to have expressed his country's readiness to work for the promotion of peace in the region.
Addressing a cabinet session in Tehran on Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani said US claims of seeking negotiations with Iran are “mere lies” and that the United States, in fact, intends to force the Iranian nation to its knees.
“The actions that it is taking are aimed at defeating the Iranian nation” and “making a return” to Iran, Rouhani said, referring to Washington’s ample presence and influence in the country prior to the Islamic Revolution in 1979.