The Iran Project

Coercion not conducive to results: Iran FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that the use of coercive rhetoric against the country will never bear any results.

Zarif made the remark in an interview with The New Yorker, which was conducted before the conclusion of Tuesday’s historic agreement between Iran and the P5+1, but was published on Thursday.

Responding to a question on the prospects of cooperation between Tehran and Washington in the wake of the then potential agreement, Zarif said, “This is a test for us to see whether the United States is ready to deal with realities, to set aside this language of coercion and force.”

Following 18 days of marathon talks in the Austrian city of Vienna over Tehran’s nuclear program, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany – reached a conclusion on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on July 14.

“I think the United States would do itself a lot of good if it abandoned this language. I mean, the actual use of force by the United States has not paid any dividends, neither for US policy nor for the American people. It has only cost you as taxpayers a lot of money,” said the top Iranian diplomat.

“It is extremely important to start recognizing that the Iranian people have two qualities: they resist pressure, but they respond very positively to respect,” he added.

Asked whether Iran would improve its relations with Persian Gulf littoral states following the nuclear agreement, Zarif said the enhancement of relations with Persian Gulf countries has always been a central plank of Iran’s foreign policy.

“Iran can only prosper in a stable and prosperous neighborhood. For us, security in both the Central Asian and Caucasus region, as well as in the Persian Gulf region and in Turkey, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, is extremely important,” Zarif said.

In response to a question on whether or not the Iranian foreign minister would one day sit down with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir to discuss Tehran-Riyadh cooperation on regional issues, Zarif said, “I have no problem in sitting down with anybody from this region, provided they are not engaged in acts of criminal atrocity against their neighbors.”

The Iranian foreign minister noted that besides conducting airstrikes for nearly four-month against its impoverished neighbor Yemen, Riyadh has been sponsoring terrorist groups, including ISIL and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front to create “all sorts of havoc in this region.”

By Press TV

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