N-deal will strengthen ME security: Iran FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reassured Iran’s Arab neighbors that Tehran’s nuclear agreement with the Sextet of world powers will improve the security situation in the Middle East.

In a recent televised interview with Al Jazeera news network, Zarif touched upon reports regarding the concern of Arab countries about the consequences of the nuclear deal and said, “Our friends in the region have nothing to lose; our friends in the region have nothing to fear about; this agreement will only strengthen our security.”

“Iran does not seek nuclear weapons. We do not believe that will increase our security. We believe even the perception that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons is destructive to our security. It is detrimental to our security,” he said

“We are against nuclear weapons based on religious doctrine, based on strategic considerations, based on ethical considerations and based on political considerations and legal considerations. For us, nuclear weapons have no place whatsoever in our defense doctrine,” Zarif pointed out.

The interim deal sealed between Iran and the six countries on November 24 lays the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.

In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet agreed to ease some of the existing sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Furthermore, no new sanctions should be imposed against Iran over the course of the next six months.

Zarif called for a united front by all the Middle Eastern states to take action against the threat of nuclear weapons and create a region free of weapons of mass destruction.

He pointed to Israel’s opposition to Iran’s nuclear deal and said, “It shows their intentions. If this deal is to make sure that Iran never produces nuclear weapons, which is the aim of this deal and it is an aim that we share, why should they be worried?”

“They (Israel) have been trying to use the smokescreen in order to evade and divert the international attention from their atrocities against the Palestinian people, their daily violations of the most basic tenets of international law and the fact that they remain the single-most security threat to this region and to the world,” Zarif added.

Israel, which is the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, has repeatedly threatened Tehran with unilateral military action over its nuclear energy program and used its lobby in the West to derail any nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.

Zarif touched upon Iran’s new approach to foreign policy and nuclear issue following the election of President Hassan Rouhani, and noted, “Our tenets of foreign policy have not changed. We will insist on our rights. We will not negotiate; we will not compromise on the basic rights of the Iranian people.”

“But we believe that this can be achieved best through constructive engagement. The window of opportunity is a limited window. I believe the West has to acquire the trust of the Iranian people,” he added.

The Iranian foreign minister reiterated Iran’s transparent approach in its nuclear energy program as proven through years of inspections by International Atomic Energy Agency.

“They have been searching Iran up and down, in an out, for the past ten years, probably more than they have searched any other country on the face of this earth and they have not found a single evidence of diversion of our nuclear program into anything but peaceful purposes. So, we are not worried. We know that we are transparent,” he said.

By Press TV


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