Zarif says he will not run for president in 2021 elections

IRNA – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday certainly, he will not be a candidate in Iran’s 2021 presidential elections.

He made the remarks in talks with Iraq’s al-Furat outlet earlier and published simultaneously with his arrival in Baghdad.

Asked about his proximity with reformists and his candidacy in presidential elections, he said that he is not a member of political current and he will run in no elections.

Commenting on his resignation, he reiterated that his resignation was not due to Bashar Assad’s trip to Iran and he will soon travel to Syria and talk to him.

On President Rouhani’s upcoming trip to Iraq, he said that this is his first visit to the country as Iran president, which is a turning point in bilateral relations.

His priority in visiting the neighboring state is to help widen bilateral relations, he said, noting that creating common economic facilities in the field of transportation and transit can forge a good communications form Sea of Oman to Iraq.

“We consider Iraqi people and government as owner of sovereignty in Iraq and all things belong to Iraqis. We are there for cooperation with them and create common opportunities for the two nations,” he said.

“We will convey message of regional cooperation from Iraq, as we do not it as the site of conflict; rather it is the place for regional collaboration,” he said.

“Iraq’s ties with other countries have nothing to do with that of Iran. What is important to us is how to cooperate with it in a bid to improve public situation in the country,” Zarif said.

“We always consider Iraq as a pillar of regional security and we believe it will not exist without Iraq,” he said.

On Iraqi nation’s supportive stance vis-à-vis US sanctions against Iran, he added that Iran appreciates its principled stances of the Iraqi nation.

Iran is seeking all-out ties with Iraq, as they boast of numerous commonalities which can develop strategic relations, Zarif said.

Welcoming regional cooperation, Zarif said that Iran has a principle and it is that regional cooperation should be comprehensive and not against one and all regional states should be part of the cooperation.

“We have always been alongside the regional nations and never accepted aliens to govern the region. We have never talked about region’s future and we have always said that it will be decided by ourselves,” he said.

As to talks with Saudi Arabia, he said that he was always ready for dialogue with neighbors, but unfortunately Saudi Arabia was not interested in talks.

Asked whether JCPOA is an agreement between Zarif and former US secretary of state John Kerry, he said that it is a deal between Iran and six world powers and EU, which was also endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.

It is the outcome of hundreds of experts and if Trump thinks he can conclude a deal better than that he is totally mistaken, Zarif said.

In response to a question if the Americans want to return to the deal after Trump, he said, “I do not know what they want to do. But we will decide based on our interests not based on US policies.”