President Raisi to fly to Tajikistan for SCO summit

The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that President Ebrahim Raisi is scheduled to attend the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Tajik capital.


Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks at his virtual press briefing based in Tehran.


Speaking about the recent visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and his delegation to Iran, the spokesman said that the visit took place in line with close relations between the two countries.


The visit of Iraqi premier was the first travel of a top foreign official to Tehran since the new Iranian president took office in August, Khatibzadeh said.


During his visit to Tehran, the two sides held talks on facilitation of issuing visa for pilgrims who want to travel to Iraq to attend Arbaeen ritual, he added.


Arbaeen which falls on September 28 this year is a mourning ritual observed by Shia Muslims worldwide marking the 40th day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) (the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Mohammad).


According to primary agreement between the two countries, 30,000 pilgrims can fly to Iraq to take part in Arbaeen ceremony, Khatibzadeh underlined, adding that the number may increase.


Earlier, Iran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi had said that Iranian passengers who enter Iraq by air do not need a visa.


Talking about the attacks mounted by terrorist grouplets in border lines between Iran and Iraq and the killing of some Iranian border guards, the spokesman said the Islamic Republic does not tolerate aggression in its borders.


Iran has reminded the issue to the neighboring country and stressed that the Iraqi soil should not be misused by terrorist grouplets.


Touching upon the Sunday agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the spokesman said communications between the two sides are normal and technical.


As long as unpolitical and undiscriminating aspects are preserved, Iran follows up its relations [with the Agency] seriously, he noted.  


Further, he described the Sunday visit of Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi to Tehran as successful.


The visit, which took place on the eve of the IAEA Board of Governors meeting, was within the framework of some issues related to both sides, he underlined, adding that the issues have not been and are not new.


The spokesman also said the two have decided to continue cooperation within the framework of technical ties and without interference of others.


Also, Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami is planned to be present in the IAEA general conference in the future; and Mr Grossi is scheduled to have more regular visits to Iran, Khatibzadeh added.


He went on to say that the IAEA chief is to have a visit to Tehran after the forthcoming Board of Governors meeting.


Both sides are doing this with goodwill, he stressed.


The IAEA will take its measures without having access to the cameras installed at the Iranian nuclear sites, he said, adding that memory cards in the cameras are full and they will be replaced without the IAEA's access.


Turning to the issues of import of COVID-19 vaccines, the spokesman said that the country has no red lines in it.


He added that despite the sanctions and pressures, meeting the people’s needs is the main duty.


Elsewhere, he talked of developments in Afghanistan, noting that Iran believes that a way leading to fratricide is not correct.


“War and aggression are not [proper] solution.”


As he noted, Afghan people do not accept presence of foreign forces in their soil.


Regional and extra-regional sides should facilitate intra-Afghan talks, the spokesman stated.


Asked if Taliban's invitation of Iran to attend ceremony on the beginning of their government in Afghanistan means recognition of them, the spokesman said that it is soon to talk about the issue.


Also about military drills conducted by Turkey and Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea, Khatibzadeh said agreement between five littoral states has stressed illegitimacy of military presence of any country in the Sea except the five- Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan.


At the end, the spokesman described the statement issued by the four-member committee of the Arab League against Iran as boring and old-fashioned.




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