Iran not seeking confrontation: FM Zarif

IRNA – Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Wednesday affirmed that Iran was not seeking confrontation, but stressed that the US should give up its ‘dangerous’ policies.

The Iranian foreign minister who is in Moscow to talk with senior Russian officials, said at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that ‘the Americans are trying to create chaos in the region as it is evident from their moves’.

They have disrupted order in the region and now nobody believes the baseless claims of Washington, he said.

The remarks came just hours after the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Tehran reduced its commitments under the nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The deal was signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council in 2015 plus Germany, but Washington unilaterally pulled out of it last year.

Rouhani said the decision has been taken after a year of inactiveness of the deal’s European signatories who had pledged to devise mechanisms for neutralizing the adverse effects of the withdrawal on Iran’s interests.

Iran has given a 60-day deadline to the European signatories to reverse the situation; otherwise, Tehran would take more steps in modifying its commitments.

Rouhani, however, has emphasized that the move does not amount to leaving the JCPOA.

Referring to the instances of dialogue that Iran engaged or supported to solve controversial issues of international community, the Iranian foreign minister said, ‘We managed to resolve the nuclear and Syrian issues as well as Astana (the former name of Kazakhstan capital) rounds of talks that came to fruition through efforts.’

But this was the Americans who prevented the Syrian Constitutional Committee from being formed in December, he noted.

The efforts made by Russian and Turkish foreign ministers on the issue pave the way for the Syrian government and the oppositions to reach an agreement, but the US and a few other countries prevented it, the Iranian top diplomat said.

‘Therefore, it is the US that should give up its dangerous policies in the region,’ Zarif said.

Iran has always been ready to talk with the international community, and has always been trying to solve issues through dialogue, he said.

‘Throughout our 7-thousand-year-old history of urban civilization, we have never been pursuing the policy through wars or hypocrisy. Rather, we have always been following the policy by resistance and embracing negotiations.’

‘This was the US that during the 240 years of its existence has entered wars only for 15 years,’ he said, adding that in comparision Iran has engaged in a limited number of wars over its 7-thousand-year-old history,’ he said.