Senior Iranian Official Mohsen Rezaee: U.K. Should Pay Us to Release Detainees
Monday, 05 August 2019 - 01:30 PM
Iranian official Mohsen Rezaee, the Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council, said in a July 31, 2019 on Channel 2 TV (Iran) that the U.K. should pay Iran to release English nationals it is holding captive, such as Nazanin Zaghani-Ratcliffe. He claimed that the British Foreign Minister begged Iran to release British nationals, but that Iran explained to him its logic that it should not release hostages because its interests are being "trampled upon." Rezaee also claimed that the UAE and most of the other Gulf countries have contacted Iran in attempts to renew relations with it, and he said that Iran believes this to be an opportunity to move towards a "collective security mechanism" based on new security cooperation agreements and to expel the West from the Persian Gulf, from the Strait of Hormuz, and from the Middle East in general. Rezaee went on to say that the economic sanctions that are currently being imposed against Iran are the best way for Iran to "fix" its economy, and he said that foreign exchange rates had nonetheless been disadvantageous to Iran before the sanctions were imposed. He said: "We have an abundance of means and capabilities. The government has revenues and it has assets that [could] run the country for 10 years without a drop of oil." Rezaee was the first commander of the IRGC.