West media spin ‘Iraq’ yarn from Zarif’s remarks on ‘Arak’

Western media have twisted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s remarks about Tehran-P5+1 nuclear talks, suggesting he has conditioned Tehran’s cooperation against ISIL terrorists in Iraq on the lifting of anti-Iran bans.

Commenting on the need for the removal of anti-Iran sanctions over the country’s nuclear activities as part of a possible final deal with the P5+1 group, Zarif told the Iranian state television on Wednesday that Tehran and its negotiating sides need to adopt a set of mutual measures as part of a permanent nuclear accord.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany are in talks to reach a final agreement over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

“If we agree to do certain things at [the nuclear facility in the Iranian city of] Arak, then they should agree to do certain things in return; one of those things would be for them to go to the [UN] Security Council and lift the sanctions,” Zarif stated.

However, Western news agencies, including AFP and Reuters, distorted Zarif’s comments by substituting the word “Iraq” for “Arak,” which the foreign minister had actually used. The incorrect quote attributed to Zarif implied that Iran has conditioned its readiness to help tackle the ISIL terrorists in Iraq on the removal of the bans imposed on Iran by the Security Council over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear issue.

The final sounds of “Arak” and “Iraq” are quite distinct from each other in Farsi and distinguishable.

Moreover, the context of Zarif’s statements had nothing to do with the situation in neighboring Iraq, further confirming suspicions that Zarif has been intentionally misquoted.

On Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry also dismissed false media reports suggesting Tehran would cooperate with Washington in anti-ISIL efforts in exchange for the lifting of Security Council sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

“Such an issue has not been brought up and the news circulated in that regard is baseless,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said in a statement on Thursday.

The US State Department also said on the same day that Zarif’s statements might actually be what is described as a giant, lost-in-translation misunderstanding.

“We’ve looked at the language a couple of times, actually, and think he was not linking, in that specific quote, fighting ISIS in Iraq to lifting of Western sanctions. He was talking about making progress on Arak, the nuclear facility, to lifting of Western sanctions. Our Farsi speakers have taken a bunch of looks at it and think that he was referring to that,” the US State Department said.

Iran has already been advising Iraq in its fight against ISIL Takfiri terrorists and has provided the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region with similar help.

In a letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani published by local media last week, President of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region Masoud Barzani thanked the Islamic Republic for throwing its weight behind Iraqi Kurds in the face of the ongoing crisis fueled by the ISIL Takfiris.

By Press TV

 

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