IRNA – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif believes that regional problems will be resolved only through the states in the region, not via foreign presence.
Speaking to the Turkish international news channel-TRT World, Zarif censured the US presence in the region for over three decades.
“The Americans have been here for 30 some years with huge military buildup and even before that through proxies.”
“That’s a failed experience.”
About Iran’s measures to ensure regional security, Zarif said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presented a plan in the recent session of the [UN] General Assembly [in New York] in which he called on all eight countries in the Persian Gulf region to join in an attempt to bring peace through dialogue called HOPE which is acronym for Hormuz Peace [Endeavor] and we hope that it can proceed.”
As Zarif believes, the “HOPE” initiative “can be discussed and further can be enriched by our neighbors.”
“I mean if we’re talking about how realistic it is. This is certainly not realistic because we’ve experimented it and we’ve all failed.”
“Now it’s another experiment others have done it through engagement through cooperation we see that in Europe where we had all those wars now countries in Europe cannot even think of war because they have had economic integration they have had confidence-building measures.”
Asked about the reason behind the US President Donald Trump’s May 2018 withdrawal from the Iran Deal, Zarif said, “I think because he was misled to believe that this was a bad deal by those who did not want to have a deal at any rate. I think he listened to the wrong guys.”
Then asked whether the July 2015 nuclear deal is salvageable, Zarif replied that the “deal is in the interest of the international community”.
“…, but I think for our European partners in the deal, they should do more in order to salvage their own integrity in order to salvage the fact that they want to live as independent grouping of states.
“I think Iran can live without the nuclear deal, but can Europe live with the impression that it’s not a reliable partner in any deal that you want to make with Europe you have to make it with the United States.
The United States is living with it because the United States has basically pushed the rest of the world into simply accepting its bullying. But can Europe live with this?
“Not without the nuclear deal but with the perception in the world that you don’t need to deal with the United States because Europe will tag along whatever the US does Europe will not be able to change it whether it’s for better or for worse.”
When TRT correspondent asked about Zarif’s personal thought of President Trump, the Iranian foreign minister said “I think it is up to the American people to have thoughts about their leaders but as representing a government which has to deal with other governments, I believe President Trump does not want to go to war, he does not want to escalate tension but he has an impression that through pressure he can achieve his goals.
“I think it may have worked in real estate, but it doesn’t work in dealing with other countries. It certainly doesn’t work in dealing with a country with seven millennia of civilization.”
Elaborating on Iran’s deterrent policy, Zarif said Iran never starts any war.
“We have a history of at least 250 years of defending ourselves not initiating anymore, we defend ourselves if there is an encroachment on our sovereignty and our territorial integrity, we defend ourselves but we believe in a war everybody loses, there are no winners in a war a one side will lose less and the other side will lose more that’s how we compare winning and losing in a war nobody wins and nobody in the right mind should go for a war but we won’t escape a war if there is a war imposed on us.”
“The only way to deal with it is to fight it.”
At the end, the foreign minister pointed to the UK PM’s comments on JCPOA, saying, “That was basically an off-the-cuff remark which was never repeated by the British [PM].
The JCPOA stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the world powers.
“I think the British [PM] knows that a better deal cannot be made, we might all have ideas about a better deal, but believe me those ideas came to our minds during the negotiations.
“We had the best negotiations from all sides, but the problem is what the beauty of negotiations is that nobody gets all they want in a negotiation, but we found out through discussions that we were not capable of resolving all these problems, so we concentrated on what we could have addressed the fact that we did not address certain issues at the end of the day does not mean that we neglected them.
“It means that we had a realistic appreciation that if we wanted to address those issues we wouldn’t even be able to address the one issue that we were able to address.”