TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi held meetings with senior Finnish officials in Helsinki.
Araqchi on Tuesday met Finnish Foreign Ministry’s Permanent State Secretary Matti Anttonen and Under-Secretary of State Anne Sipilainen.
He also held talks with Pertti Salolainen, the vice chairperson of the Finnish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, who is also the head of the Finland-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group.
During the talks, the two sides discussed the latest developments regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, regional issues, and mutual cooperation between Tehran and Helsinki.
The Finnish officials underlined the European country’s full support for the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and described it as a great political, diplomatic, multilateral, and security achievement, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s website.
Finland’s authorities also expressed their resolve to develop cooperation with Iran, and said Finnish companies are still interested in Iran’s market and seek to promote cooperation with the Islamic Republic, but are waiting for the European Union to prepare the grounds.
In addition, they said, the government of Finland is trying to provide facilities for small- and medium-sized companies willing to work in Iran.
Araqchi, for his part, highlighted the significant role the JCPOA plays in the development and enhancement of Iran’s cooperation and transactions with other countries, including Finland.
“The fate of the JCPOA, which is a great achievement of diplomacy and security, has been seriously challenged and threatened as a result of the US’ withdrawal,” the Iranian diplomat said.
By leaving the nuclear deal, he said, “the US is undermining not only the JCPOA but also the independence and sovereignty of other countries as well as global efforts for non-proliferation.”
He also hailed the EU for its “praiseworthy” political support, and said, “The EU’s political support is valuable, but not enough. European countries must take operational steps to safeguard the JCPOA.”
Araqchi also deplored the re-imposition of US sanctions against Iran, saying the policy of imposing sanctions is a failed one.
“Iran has lived with sanctions for years, and has even gained considerable achievements under the sanctions. The language of respect must replace the language of sanction and threat,” he stressed.
Elsewhere, Araqchi welcomed the Finnish government’s political resolve to continue and expand cooperation with Tehran, and expressed hope that further efforts would be made to develop mechanisms and proper solutions in order to facilitate the presence of Finnish companies, particularly the small- and medium-sized ones, in Iran.