SHAFAQNA – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he will visit Afghanistan on Tuesday to discuss issues of mutual interest with officials in Iran’s eastern neighboring country.
Zarif also noted that his visit to Kabul will take place to reaffirm Iran’s support for security and stability in Afghanistan.
Talking to reporters on Monday, he said Iran is to focus on details in talks with the 5+1 member states in the remaining time before the nuclear negotiations deadline set for July 1.
Iran’s talks with the US too went in the same line as the negotiations with the other member states of the 5+1, he added.
He said negotiations with the US are taking place within the same framework as those with Russia, France, China and Germany which he described as successful.
He also said the Chinese delegation carried very brilliant points to the talks and Russians had good offers of cooperation with Iran in enrichment and fuel production areas while the French had very good things to say about nuclear fusion.
This means potential areas of cooperation have already been identified and parties have even exchanged unofficial notes concerning these issues, the foreign minister stressed.
However, Zarif went on to underline, the ultimate event to happen is the compiling of a joint document with the 5+1 and not the US.
He further explained the reasons why negotiations with the US appeared to be more frequent than those by other countries.
He said the prime reason was that nuclear talks with the 5+1 were the only chances for Iran and the US to meet and discuss issues while meetings with ambassadors and ministers of other member states of the sextet regularly took place with Iranian officials meeting their counterparts in France, Germany or the UK almost everyday.
The only chance for talks between Iran and the US to take place is within the framework of nuclear talks, the minister said.
He said another reason for Iran to hold talks with the US alongside its nuclear negotiations is the issue of anti-Iran sanctions which needs to be discussed with American officials.
Given the fact that the great portion of sanctions exercised against Iran is imposed by the US, he added, ways of removing them should be reviewed in detail with the American officials.
Everybody now realizes that sanctions are used not only as a tool to exert pressures on Iran but also as an excuse to fan political disputes inside the US, the Iranian foreign minister noted.
This indicates a miscalculation on the part of the US administration, he said.
They have to speedily put an end to this absurd game if they want the nuclear talks to get anywhere, Zarif underscored.
The minister said the US has to stop pressing Iran for the simple reason that pressures on Tehran will be of no use ever.
He said a final agreement is easy to achieve even in a one-week span of time provided parties involved in the talks come to see that sanctions won’t work and that Iran’s nuclear program has to be continues in every aspect.
The best way to ensure the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program is to let it go on under the constant observation of the international watchdogs, he said.
Now, all share the idea that Iran’s nuclear program should go on and sanctions should be removed, the foreign minister added.
He said Iran entered the talks with the determination to get a final solution while safeguarding its scientific achievements and protecting its national interests.
He said Iran is ready to work out an agreement by February which is the time of annual celebrations of victory of the Islamic revolution in the country in 1979 if other parties of the talks are ready for that,too.
As for his recent visit to France, he said he made the trip because he believed Iran had to follow a dynamic foreign policy instead of cutting itself apart from the rest of the world.
He said Iran should be present in the world arena to be able to voice its views in a transparent, logical and frank tone.
He also went on to point to the active role France has been playing in nuclear talks and has even at times acted as the engine pushing the negotiations forward.
Today, he said, Iran favored France to play the same role again in nuclear talks, partly because of the big volume of trade the two countries are enjoying.
Zarif said he focused on the need to confront extremism, violence in the Middle East and sacrilege to Islamic beliefs in his talks with the French officials.
Stressing that Iran condemned disrespect to holy religions, he said he offered his open and vivid views about profanity to Islamic sanctities in the meeting with his French counterpart.
Presently, he noted, the overall atmosphere is the world is such that Iranophobia and Islamophobia are losing appeal.
Turning to his walk with the US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva last week, Zarif said the ten-minute walk just served to relax the somehow tense atmosphere of talks.