Zarif: Iran favors constructive, reasonable ties with neighbors

Tehran, Feb 3, IRNA – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran is the major power of the region and wants reasonable and constructive relations with all of its neighboring countries.

Talking to reporters following a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier here on Tuesday, he said that public and private sectors representatives of Iran and Germany will hold meetings for two days in Tehran.
‘Today we talked about bilateral relations, implementation of JCPOA, and the opportunity it has provided for all countries including Iran and Germany,’ he added.

‘Moreover, we talked about regional problems, the issue of refugees, countering extremism and terrorism and tensions which unfortunately have been created in our neighborhood.’

Zarif said that conditions in the region demand cooperation among all regional and international players in the fight against a risk which threatens not only Iran but also whole world.

Expressing satisfaction over start of peace talks on Syria in Geneva, he said that Iran and Germany as two countries supporting the Syrian peace process will continue their cooperation.

As to Afghanistan, Zarif said, Iran and Germany will continue exchanging views in various areas including drugs smuggling and trafficking of refugees.
To a question on his visit to London on Thursday, Zarif replied he will attend a conference on helping the people of Syria and will hold meetings about Syria and implementation of JCPOA.

When asked on tension between Tehran and Riyadh, he said, ‘We do not favor a tension in the relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran gives the priority to the relations with neighbors.’
Zarif said that Saudi Arabia reacted with concern over normalization of conditions during nuclear negotiations and tried to sabotage them and take belligerent actions against Iran.

‘Iran views the attack on the Saudi embassy as an action which was against our national security and all of Iranian officials condemned the move and took the necessary measures to encounter those behind it and to prevent such incidents.’
He urged the Saudi regime to reconsider its policy of fanning tensions and said its policy of supporting extremism and sectarianism will hurt Saudi rulers more than others.

To a question about Germany lagging behind other European countries such as France and Italy in the economic ties with Iran, Zarif supported Tehran’s expansion of ties with Rome and Paris and welcomed increased cooperation with Germany.
The Iranian foreign minister stressed that only Syrian people are entitled to determine their fate and that Syria’s future will be decided at the negotiations table not before it.

‘Iran’s policy is stressing humanitarian assistance… We hope that with a realistic view and joint efforts of all players, the ground for acceptance of peaceful solution in this regard will be prepared,’ he said.