Zarif: Iran nuclear deal doesn’t harm neighbors

Sun Nov 10, 2013 22:00:41

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says certain Arab countries who are worried by a possible deal between Iran and the world powers must not see it as ‘harm’.

Speaking to Al Alam reporter on Sunday following three days of intense talks with world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program, Zarif said there are no doubts that solving this problem will benefit all, including our neighbors.

“I don’t know why some regional countries are worried to see Iran solve some of its problems,” he said.

Tehran and the six powers -- the US, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany -- discussed Iran’s nuclear issue behind closed doors in Geneva, Switzerland, earlier this week. The intensive talks kicked off on November 7 and stretched into an unscheduled third day.

Zarif stressed that, “we are not competing with anyone; Iran is a great country in the region and our neighbors and our relations with them are important for us”.

He further warned that, “There are certain hands that seek rifts between regional countries which share deep historic, cultural and religious ties”. “These hands only seek their own interests and do not care about interests, concerns and problems of the region, they have their own goals,” he added.

Zarif called on all neighbors not to fan the flames of division plots.

“We and our neighbors need to feel safe together; the region is bearing very dangerous problems. Sectarian rifts, extremism and terror have threatened everyone in the region and so we should talk about all these with open minds, prudence and cooperation, and our neighbors must know that solving Iran’s problems with other countries does not harm them and they should not act as if it hurts their interests,” Iranian Foreign Minister added.

What Iran offered?

Zarif said Iran didn’t submit a draft and the negotiation team only proposed the framework.

“The Iranian delegation presented (the P5+1 group) with different options that could fit within an agreement,” he added.

“Negotiations have been going on well, however, stance of one of the participants made some problems and it took most of the past 48 hours to discuss ways to persuade that single side... However we must see how it goes and I am still optimistic.”

‘Failure’ is not a right interpretation

Answering Al Alam repoter’s question that whether he considered the talks as failure Zarif said, “I don’t think that is a right explanation, of course some were looking to see them failed”.

He added, “We said from the beginning that these talks were difficult and if there wasn’t opposition from that one delegation, we might have gotten better results”.

An unplanned arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry as well as the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany raised expectations that a potential deal was in the offing. But the French diplomat, Laurent Fabius, threw a spanner in the works at the last-minute.

Fabius said on Saturday in Geneva that the Israeli regime’s “concerns” must be taken into consideration in the course of the nuclear talks, adding that there is “no certainty” whether Iran and six powers will reach an agreement at the current stage.


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