December 17, The Iran Project – Iran’s oreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived on Saturday (Dec. 15) in Doha, Qatar, to attend Doha Forum 2018.
Doha meeting was held on December 15-16 themed “challenges in the region and security of the world”.
stablished in 2000, the Doha Forum is a platform for global dialogue on critical challenges facing our world. It aims to promote the interchange of ideas, discourse, policy making, and action-oriented recommendations.
During his stay in Doha, in addition to delivering speech in the 18th edition of Doha Forum, Zarif held meetings with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.
In a meeting, the Iranian foreign minister and his Qatari counterpart exchanged views on latest mutual, regional and international developments.
Also, Zarif and Qatari PM conferred on expansion of bilateral relations, as well as promotion of regional security and stability, and voiced support for the progress of peace talks in Yemen.
In an address to the Doha Forum 2018, the top Iranian diplomat said: “It’s obviously the case that we are facing economic pressure because of the US sanctions. [The] US is a major global power and it can actually create painful conditions for other countries. But would that lead to a change of policy? I can assure you that it won’t.”
“If there is an art, we have perfected in Iran and can teach to others for a price, it is the art of evading sanctions,” he noted.
Although the US has put so much pressure on Iran over the past 40 years, the Islamic Republic has managed to survive, he said.
He went on to add that there was room for talks with the US but that Washington must “respect the outcome of the talks” they already had, in reference to the nuclear negotiations leading to the conclusion of the JCPOA.
Elsewhere in his speech, Zarif said Saudi Arabia intended to increase tension in the Middle East, referring to the ongoing crisis in Yemen and the gruesome murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which is widely believed to have been ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Zarif also dismissed claims that Iran had armed fighters from the Houthi Ansarullah movement, noting there were “facts” that other countries had shipped arms.
“We have never provided weapons to Houthis. They have enough weapons, they don’t need weapons from Iran,” he stated.
Among key participants of the two-day forum were UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Unicef Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Prime Minister of Somalia Hassan Khaire, Turkey Foreign Ministermevlüt Çavuşoglu, Qatar’s Minister of Finance Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, and Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono.