Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Livia Leu Agosti attended a meeting with senior Iranian foreign ministry officials a few days ago to submit a letter from the US president to Tehran leaders.
Vice-Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Hossein Ebrahimi told FNA that during the meeting, Agosti had told the Iranian officials that President Barack Obama recognizes Iran's right of access and use of the nuclear technology.
"There are a couple of points with regard to this (US) message (to Iran)," Ebrahimi said and added, "Firstly, during the session to submit the message, the Swiss ambassador to Tehran quoted the US president as saying that 'we (the US) recognize your nuclear rights'."
As regards the second issue, the lawmaker said that the Swiss diplomat had also quoted Obama as saying that "I didn't want to impose sanctions on your central bank but I had no options but to approve it since a Congress majority had approved the decision."
Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said on Sunday that Iran has received a US message regarding the Strait of Hormoz via three different channels.
"The US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice had handed a letter to Iran's Ambassador to the UN Mohammad Khazayee; the Swiss Ambassador to Tehran (Livia Leu Agosti) also conveyed the same thing; and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani delivered the same message to Iranian officials," he said last Sunday.
The US letter follows threats by Iran last month to shut off the Strait of Hormoz - the world's most important oil shipping lane - if new US and EU sanctions over its nuclear program halted Iranian oil exports.
Then the United States said it would not allow Iran to block the Strait, calling it a "red line" for the US military.
In reply, Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami dismissed the US warning over the closure of the strategic strait, and stressed that powerful Iran acts on its own and never asks for anyone's permission to carry out what it desires.
"The US is not in a position" to affect Iran's decisions, Salami told FNA late in December. "Iran does not ask permission to implement its own defensive strategies."
Meantime, US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey acknowledged that Iran is able to close the Strait of Hormuz.
"They've invested in capabilities that could, in fact, for a period of time block the Strait of Hormoz," Dempsey said in an interview aired on the CBS "Face the Nation" program.
Whole story line
Even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases. . . He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them without challenge." -H.L. Mencken