zarif in vienna

1394 Year in review: Zarif’s foreign visits

Tehran, March 24, The Iran Project – The following timeline lists all foreign visits by Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Javad Zarif during the Persian year of 1394 (2015-2016). Arranged in order of time, the timeline may not include all visits by Zarif outside the country.

Iran’s Zarif has totally left the country for more than 40 times to fulfill his missions in more than 30 countries as the chief of the country’s foreign affairs. Iran’s nuclear negations and Syria crisis respectively have accounted major part of the Iranian top diplomat’s occupation during 1394.

Farvardin (March 21-April 20):

March 25 – trip to Lausanne

In its first official visit of 1394, Iran’s nuclear negotiating team headed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif left Tehran for Lausanne, to attend another round of talks with Group 5+1.

After nine days of extensive talks among representatives from Iran and the P5+1 in Lausanne, the negotiating sides ultimately reached a mutual understanding that was jointly issued by Iran’s FM Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini. During his stay in Swiss, he held different talks with involving countries’ negotiators.

April 8 – trip to Oman

Zarif arrived in Oman to confer with Omani officials on regional issues. Meeting with Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah in Muscat, Zarif said that Iran is ready for any kind of cooperation with Oman.

April 9 -trip to Pakistan

Heading a 22-member delegation Iranian FM paid visit to Pakistan, holding talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to review latest important international, regional and bilateral issues. Yemen crisis was also the issue of Iran’s Zarif’s talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Sartaj Aziz.

April 12 – trip to Kazakhstan

Zarif arrived in Astana on Sunday for a two-day official visit to Kazakhstan upon the invitation of his Kazakh counterpart. Along with the official meeting with Kazakh president, foreign minister, parliament speaker and prime minister, he also delivered speech among students of Kazakhstan University where he received an honorary doctorate.

April 14 – trip to Spain

In a one-day meeting with Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy Brey, FM Zarif expressed Iran’s stance on Yemen developments, ISIL and terrorism, and also stressed furthering of ties between Iran and Spain.

Talks with Rajoy Mariano, Spanish prime minister, Jesus Posada Spanish Parliament Speaker Jose Manuel Soria Spanish Minister of Industry, Javier Solana former EU High Representative, and number of Spanish elite were among Iran’s FM visits in Spain.

April 15 – trip to Portugal

Iran’s FM Zarif met Portuguese FM Rui Machete and held talks in Lisbon, discussing bilateral ties and the latest regional and international developments. Zarif also reflected Iran’s positions over different issues during a press conference in the Portuguese capital Lisbon. He also conferred with Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho during his presence in Lisbon.

Ordibehesht (April 21-May 21):

(From L) US Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini arrive to deliver a statement in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 2, 2015

April 24 – trip to Vienna

The P5+1 group of international mediators and Iran held a plenary session in Vienna. Prior to the session, the P5+1 political directors concluded a coordination meeting, and held several bilateral meetings.

April 26 – trip to New York

As the supervisor of the course of Iran-P5+1 negotiation to draft the final text of a comprehensive nuclear agreement, he attended the sessions of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and met with some other countries’ officials in New York from April 26 to May 6.

On the sidelines of the NPT review conference Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks with his Austrian and Japanese counterparts and the IAEA chief, Yukiya Amano. Iran and G5+1 also began writing the nuclear agreement from April 29 in New York.

In an appearance at NYU’s Center on International Cooperation, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended a Q&A meeting on April 29 saying that there is a wide public distrust of the US among Iranians.

May 12 – trip to Vienna

To resume the task of drafting the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan, Zarif went to Vienna on Tuesday for the third round of talks with six world powers. Deputy foreign ministers and directors general for political affairs from Foreign Ministries of Group 5+1 also attended the meeting.

Khordad (May 22-June 21):

May 28 – trip to Greece

During his Greece visit, Zarif met with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Kotzias, in the Greek capital city of Athens on Thursday. Zarif also conferred with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Parliament speaker on bilateral, regional and international issue stressing higher Tehran-Athens relations.

May 30 – trip to Geneva

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry resumed a fresh round of sensitive talks in the Swiss city of Geneva in another diplomatic bid to pin down a final deal over Tehran’s nuclear program.

June 3 – trip to Moscow

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Moscow to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s meeting there. He held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on June 4 to discuss bilateral cooperation and exchange views on the nuclear talks.

Tir (June 22-July 22):

June 22 – trip to Luxemburg

During the meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, Zarif, Philip Hammond, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Laurent Fabius and Federica Mogherini discussed the latest developments of nuclear talks and agreed on continuation of writing the final agreement by the expert delegations.

June 27 – trip to Vienna

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held separate bilateral and intensive meetings with his US and German counterparts as well as EU foreign policy chief and Chinese deputy foreign minister in Vienna on Sunday evening.

June 30 – trip to Vienna for marathon nuclear talks

Iran’s foreign minister and lead negotiator, Mohammad Javad Zarif, returned to Vienna after a brief pause to proceed with talks over a lasting agreement on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

July 14 – reaching the final deal

Iran’s top negotiator held tens of separate and joint meetings of talk with US and EU negotiators to bridge gaps among them.

Iran, EU and US have held crucial talks ahead of the Monday deadline for the negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program.

After more than two weeks of intense political haggling in Vienna and frequent extension of deadline to finally nail down an elusive nuclear accord, the landmark nuclear agreement was reached Tuesday after clearing final obstacles.

Mordad (July 23-August 22):


July 26 – trip to Kuwait

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif began his three-nation tour on July that took him to Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq on Tuesday morning. During his visit to Kuwait, he held talks with Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah and Kuwait’s foreign minister, Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah.

July 27 – trip to Qatar

During his lightning few hour visit of Doha, Zarif met with Qatar’s top officials, including Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Ale Thani and Foreign Minister Shiekh Khalid Al Atiyyah and consult with them on issues of mutual interest.

July 28 – trip to Iraq

As final leg of his three-nation tour to Asian countries, Iran’s FM arrived in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf on July 26. Speaking at a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim Al-Jaafari on Monday, Zarif underlined friendly ties between Tehran and its neighboring states.

The Iranian foreign minister left Najaf for Karbala and then returned to Najaf on Monday for pilgrimage and paying tribute to First Shiite Imam Ali (AS) and meeting with senior Iraqi Shiite clerics, including Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

Zarif also departed for Baghdad on Monday to meet Iraqi President Fouad Massoum, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jafari and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri to exchange views on leading bilateral, regional and international developments.

August 12 – trip to Lebanon

In the second round of his regional tour after the conclusion reached on Tehran’s nuclear program, Zarif arrived in Beirut. Zarif’s visit of Beirut came on the threshold of the 9th anniversary of resistance movements’ victory in 2006 against Israel.  Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Defense Minister Samir Muqbil and the Secretary General of the Lebanese political, Hassan Nasrallah were among the officials whom Zarif met during this visit.

Following his meeting with the Lebanese Premier, he took part in a press conference at the Government Palace in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut.

August 12 – trip to Syria

During a Wednesday meeting in Damascus, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned against rising terror threats in the Middle East, urging all countries to make sincere efforts to uproot terrorism.

August 13 – trip to Pakistan

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz met in Islamabad to discuss the ways for expanding mutual cooperation in areas of mutual interest. Iranian top diplomat also attended a joint press conference with Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad.

During his one-day visit to Pakistan, Zarif also met Pakistani Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani and National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

August 15 – trip to India

The Iranian top diplomat continued his Asian tour by flying to the Indian capital New Delhi to broaden bilateral ties and mutual cooperation between two countries. Meeting with Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj were among his plan in the capital, New Delhi.

August 17 – trip to Russia

In Moscow, Zarif held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the ways to broaden mutual relations, expand regional and international cooperation as well as the problems of terrorism and narcotics trafficking. He also took part in a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, saying that Iran believes that all regional players should consolidate their efforts to address regional issues, including extremism.

Shahrivar (August 23-September 22):

August 31 – trip to Tunisia

Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Zarif left Tehran for Tunis on Monday to hold talks with Tunisian officials. Zarif exchanged views with his Tunisian counterpart Taieb Baccouche and Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid on the latest bilateral, regional and international developments.

September 1 – trip to Algeria

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited the Algerian capital and held talks with a number of senior officials including Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and his counterpart Ramtane Lamamra on restoring peace and stability to Yemen and Syria.

September 14 – trip to China

Iranian Foreign Minister visited Beijing to hold talks with Chinese officials on issues of mutual interests along with regional and global developments. Zarif’s trip to China came at the invitation of the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and participating in a joint press conference with Wang Yi, Chinese FM in the Chinese capital were among his plan in the Asian country.

September 15 – trip to Bangladesh

Iran’s Fm arrived in Bangladesh on Tuesday, where he met with a number of top officials, including President Abdul Hamid, Premier Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali.

Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif and Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid announced that ongoing regional crises have no military solution and dialogue and diplomacy are the solution.

Mehr (September 23-October 22):

September 22 – attending in UN summit meeting

Javad Zarif left for New York on September 22 for the 70th anniversary of the UN General Assembly annual summit. Implementation of the JCPOA, Mina deadly crush which led to killing of 646 Iranian Hajj pilgrims and Syria crisis were among the issue of discussions in FM’s meetings with the United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, the Director General of IAEA Yukiya Amano and his counterparts from across the world including US, Slovenia, Croatia, Luxemburg, Mexico, Swiss, South Korea, Austria, France and so on.

During his presence in New York, Zarif also took part in a meeting with the Foreign ministers of the six powers to discuss the implementation of the deal, a UN Security Council meeting, the meeting of Peace Development and Afghanistan Regional Cooperation, a session organized by University of Denver’s International Studies Center and the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization, as well.

Aban (October 23-November 21):


October 30 – Syria talks in Vienna

Zarif along with the foreign ministers of 16 countries and Chinese deputy foreign minister as well as representatives of the European Union and the United Nations attended the talks in Vienna on Friday to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Russia, Turkey, Egypt, France, US, Britain, Jordon, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Oman and Lebanon took part in Vienna talks on Syria.

Holding several rounds of negotiations with the Group 5+1 in Vienna on the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was other Iranian diplomat plan’s on the sidelines of the talks. It is worth noting that this was for the first time that Iran took part in international peace talks on Syria.

November 14 – Syria talks in Vienna

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his deputy Abbas Araqchi left Tehran for Vienna on Saturday to attend the third round of talks on Syria crisis. In the meeting with his US counterpart on the sidelines of the talks, Zarif discussed the manner of removing sanctions and the implementation of the United States’ commitments.

Azar (November 22-December 21):


December 8 – trip to Islamabad                                

Along with the representatives from 40 countries and 10 international and regional institutions, the Iranian top diplomat traveled to Pakistan to attend the two-day fifth ministerial conference of Heart of Asia in Islamabad.

December 16 – trip to New York

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in New York to take part in the Syria peace process talks. Zarif once again stressed the right of Syrian people to determine the fate and future of their own country while talking to reporters late Wednesday local time upon arrival in New York.

Meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his deputy Jan Eliasson as well as foreign counterparts including Chinese, German, American foreign ministers to discuss Syrian crisis, counter terrorism measures and nuclear agreement were part of his plans during the visit.

Dey (December 23- January 20):

January 16 – Vienna trip to finalize JCPOA implementation

Mohammad Javad Zarif departed for Vienna on Saturday to discuss progress towards final implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry met on Saturday prior to the release of IAEA report which was to be published in matter of hours.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the European Union foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini met here Saturday conferring on the progress towards final implementation of the nuclear agreement. European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif finally made the announcement during a joint press conference in Vienna on February 16.

Bahman (January 21-February 19):

February 14 – trip to Belgium

Zarif arrived in Brussels on March 14 at the invitation of Belgian officials. To discuss key regional issues with European Union officials, Zarif participated in a joint press conference with Didier Rander, his Belgian counterpart in Brussels.

Separate meetings with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the chairman of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Iran, Janusz Lewandowski, delivering speech at the European Union in Brussels and the Royal Institute for International Relations, known as the Egmont Institute were parts of the top Iranian diplomat’s plans during a two-day visit to Belgium.

Feb 13 – trip to Munich for Security Conference

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took part in Munich Security Conference held from February 12-14, with 23 heads of states and scores of ministers in attendance. During his speech at the conference, he said only Syrian people must decide about the future of President Bashar al-Assad.

On the sidelines of Munich Security Conference, Zarif met with President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov, Romanian Foreign Minister Carmen Liliana Burlacu, Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei and Foreign Minister of Norway Borge Brende, Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Bert Koenders, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, President of Slovenia Borut Pahor and Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano. Zarif had meetings with Minister of Defense of Pakistan Khawaja Asif, Foreign Minister of Georgia Mikheil Janelidze and Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, Chinese counterpart Wang YI, UN Special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Foreign Minister of Oman Yusuf bin Alawi and Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Iyad Ameen Madani.

February 3 – trip to UK

Zarif arrived in London on Wednesday evening to join the representatives from 70 countries who gathered to discuss raising billions of dollars for the Syrian refugees affected by a 5-year-old war. During his visit to UK, the Iranian chief of diplomacy met with British Prime Minister David Cameron and his British counterpart Philip Hammond.

He also made speech at an event in the British parliament, stressing that no country in the world could claim perfection in observing human rights.

Holding separate meetings with a number of British parliamentarians and officials including the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and the British opposition leader and Leader of the Labor Party Jeremy Corbyn in the British capital, he discussed the ways to promote Tehran-London ties.

During his landmark trip to Britain, Zarif attended a banquet in London on Friday, hosted by the adviser to the British Minister of State for Trade and Investment. A number of managers of the British and European companies were also present at the meeting.

Delivering speech followed by a question-answer session at the Chatham House think-tank was another part of his plan during his visit to UK.

January 19 – trip to Swiss for Davos Forum

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Head of Presidential Office Mohammad Nahavandian left Tehran for Davos, the Switzerland to attend World Economic Forum (WEF). Making speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss city of Davos Foreign Minister, Zarif says the landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and the P5+1 proved that regional disputes can be resolved through diplomacy.

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, he also met with his Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter.

January 26 – trip to Italy, France along with president 

Within the framework of Iran’s president official visit to Italy and France, Zarif met with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni in Rome.

Esfand (February 20-March 19):


March 7 – trip to Indonesia      

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in the Indonesian capital as first leg of his Asian tour of six Southeastern Asian-Pacific nations. Zarif held talks with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on the sidelines of the 5th Extraordinary OIC Summit on Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif in Jakarta.

Speaking at OIC summit in Indonesia, FM Zarif said Iran will continue backing the Palestinian cause despite receiving severe pressures for pursuing the policy over the past decades.

March 8 – trip to Singapore

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held separate meetings with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Parliament Speaker Halimah Yacob in the Southeast Asian country’s capital.

Zarif and Singaporean Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan stressed boost of all-out ties in a meeting on Tuesday. Iranian foreign minister also made speech at a public lecture dubbed “Paradigm Shift from a Zero-Sum Game to a Win-Win Situation” in Singapore.

March 9 – trip to Brunei

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Brunei capital, Bandar Seri Begawan on early Wednesday and was welcomed by the country’s high ranking official.

During his visit, he conferred with Crown Prince of Brunei al-Muhtadee Billah on bilateral ties and international developments. Meeting with Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lim Jock Seng, and Minister of Energy and Industry Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar are other parts of his plans in the Asian country.

March 10 – trip to Thailand

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in the Thai capital on the fourth leg of his South East Asian tour. He paid a two-day visit to Thailand and participated in the 14th Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Ministerial Meeting.

On the sidelines of 14th Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Ministerial Meeting in Thailand’s capital Zarif and Pakistan‘s Sartaj Aziz discussed bilateral and regional issues. Apart from taking part in 14th meetings he held talks with senior Thai officials, including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.

Iran’s FM also met with On Friday, Zarif sat down with Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

March 12 – trip to New Zealand

During his two-day trip in Wellington, the visiting Iranian foreign minister held talks with New Zealand senior officials. Apart from meeting with his counterpart Murray McCully’s, the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister held talks with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, trade minister Todd McClay and Industries Minister Nathan Gay. He also participated in a talk with Radio New Zealand and visited New Zealand Middle East Business Council and speak to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs and made speech in the gathering of Iranian expatiates living in New Zealand.

March 14 – trip to Australia

On the last leg of his regional tour to Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Iran’s Zarif arrived in Canberra, Australia, on Monday. Confering with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, commerce minister, parliament speaker, delivering speech at Australian national university and meeting Iranian residing in Australia were parts of the FM’s plans in Canberra.

March 19 trip to Turkey

As the last visit of the year and coincided with the last day of 1394, FM Zarif departed Tehran for neighboring Turkey on Saturday, and met with high-ranking Turkish officials in Istanbul. During the visit, Zarif held separate meetings with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.