Qassemi: Iran supports ‘united’ Spain
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Tehran supports a united, integrated and democratic Spain which is facing an independence referendum movement in Catalonia.
“Iran, in line with its principled policies, believes in a united, integrated and democratic Spain and calls for the preservation of stability, peace and national solidarity and respect for the provisions of the Spanish Constitution,” Qassemi said.
Tensions have been running high ever since an October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia which has been declared illegal by the federal government in Spain, Press TV reported.
Almost 90 percent of voters backed Catalonia’s independence with a turnout of 43 percent but the plebiscite was marred by violence after Spanish police tried to halt the voting.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont signed an independence declaration on Tuesday but said the manifesto would not be implemented for several weeks to allow talks with the government in Madrid.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has ruled out dialogue over the secession bid but left the door open for constitutional reforms.
Qassemi said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines the need for adhering to the rule of law and avoiding violence and pursuing demands in a peaceful and legal manner.”
The spokesman called Spain “an important political and economic partner of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Europe,” saying Tehran is closely monitoring developments in Catalonia.
“Iran believes that the interests of all the people in Spain, and the country’s political stability and economic growth will be sustained more and better through national unity and synergy,” Qassemi said.
A historic principality that became part of a united Spanish kingdom in the 15th century, it is one of 17 autonomous regions under Spain’s devolved political system created after the death of Francisco Franco in 1975. It has its own government, presidency, and parliament. The statute of autonomy defining Catalonia’s powers refers to Catalonia as a “nationality”.
Catalan and Spanish share status as official languages in Catalonia. Catalonia has its own flag and anthem.