Zarif asks Bahraini counterpart to change approach towards Iran-West N. deal

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran is in Geneva not to improve its relations with the US, but to resolve its nuclear standoff with the West, and this should not be a source of concern to any regional state, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday afternoon after his Bahraini counterpart showed deep worries about a likely deal between Tehran and the world powers over the former’s nuclear program.

After the foreign ministers of the six world powers (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) rushed to Geneva to cut a deal with Iran, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmad bin Muhammad Al Khalifa, in surprising remarks, said “Iran had better improve its relations with the neighbors before improving its ties with the US”.

In response, Zarif said, “We have always stated that neighbors are of priority to us.”

“Now we are not working on improving relations with the US, and I don’t know why certain regional countries are so much worried about this issue,” he added, referring to the settlement of the Iran-West nuclear standoff which has caused some concerns in Riyadh and Manama.

“I don’t think that settlement of this problem would cause any problem for the regional countries. They need to wait and extend help” to this process, Zarif added.

“If I were (the officials of) the regional states, I would help resolve the nuclear issue,” he said, and concluded, “Settlement of the nuclear problem (of Iran) with the US is the goal of this process, and I hope that they won’t grow so concerned.”

In Geneva, the change of plans and the unexpected attendance of French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius along with that of the US secretary of state, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the Russian foreign minister and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has fuelled speculation that an agreement is in the making.

Iranian officials, including Zarif himself, have said that they are working on the text of a deal which includes confidence building moves by both Iran and the six world powers towards a full settlement of the nuclear standoff between the two sides.

By Fars News Agency


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