FM blames escalation of clashes in Syria on US wrong policies

IRNA – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that in recent weeks, due to Washington’s wrong policies clashes have stepped up in Syria.

He also hoped that the new situation could be dealt with through the Astana process (Syrian peace talks) and the country would move towards more calm and tranquility.

Zarif made the remarks on his way back home from Astana where the foreign ministers of Iran, Russia and Turkey, as guarantors of ceasefire in Syrian, met for the first time since the initiative began 14 months ago.

He said the Astana process has so far managed to deescalate tension in Syria and help with dispatch of humanitarian aid to that country.

The foreign minister said during his visits to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, he followed up the regional policies of the Islamic Republic and for the first time a quadrilateral meeting was held in Baku with participation of Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia.

‘We have massive trilateral cooperation with Azerbaijan and Turkey but the quadrilateral meeting was a new initiative in order to make sure that we can link the Persian Gulf with the Black and Mediterranean Seas through these three countries, thus creating a very important transit route,’ Zarif said.

In the quadrilateral meeting in Baku, other areas of cooperation among the four countries including energy and tourism were discussed, Zarif said.

The foreign minister said he had held very good talks in Azerbaijan on the North-South corridor and to this end both sides agreed to sign a contract in coming weeks on completion of Rasht-Astara-Azerbaijan railroad.

Given what has been observed in the JCPOA in fields of research and development and Iran’s measures to expand its nuclear capability for peaceful purpose, if the US makes a mistake in quitting the deal, it will be painful for Americans, he said.

‘Since Mr. Trump came to office and even before that he has concentrated his efforts on killing the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and during all these periods the United States has had many breaches in implementing the deal,’ Zarif said.

Zarif said the JCPOA has envisioned the measures the Islamic Republic of Iran can take in case it cannot use the economic benefits of the deal.