St Vincent Dismisses US Call to Break Ties with Iran

A02390688.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- The St Vincent and the Grenadines government says it will continue to pursue closer ties with Iran despite objections from the United States.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the matter had been raised by US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Mary Ourisman, during a recent visit to Kingstown.

The American diplomat had told Gonsalves that Washington was not pleased with the move to pursue closer ties with Iran, given its nuclear program.

But Gonsalves said while he understood the US position, Washington had not been as vocal over efforts by European countries, including Germany, which trades and has a close relationship with Tehran.

“The matter comes down simply at the end of it, as I see it, to ‘do you trust the leadership of a small country to be sufficiently mature to handle relations, and do you trust our democracy to be sufficiently resilient to handle relations’?” he said.

The Vincentian leader said he was convinced that his country’s democracy and its leaders were “strong enough to handle our foreign relations”.

“Our democracy is sufficiently strong to handle any set of relations with any country, anywhere in the world, and to do so openly,” he said.

St Vincent and the Grenadines earlier this year announced that it was establishing diplomatic relations with Iran, and that Tehran had also agreed to assist with the construction of a US$200 million international airport in the country.

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