UK’s FM Hammond, Iran’s FM Zarif Hold Joint Press Conference

UK’s FM Hammond, Iran’s FM Zarif Hold Joint Press Conference
Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:39:53

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond went among media representatives to hold a joint press conference this evening. Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif has told reporters relations with Britain is on the brink of a new era characterized by mutual respect and cooperation, MNA reports.

Mohammad Javad Zarif and Philip Hammond spoke to the press in a joint press conference in Tehran on Sunday. Hammond is in Tehran to reopen British embassy after 4 years of being shut. He is the first British foreign secretary visiting Iran since 2003. For more than a decade, Iran and Britain have had no significant presence in Tehran and London. Hammond also leads a small trade delegation along with British Treasury Minister Damian Hind. 

Hamond told the press that Britain-Iran relations have had difficulties for years, and the reopening would be start of a new chapter in bilateral relations. Zarif also believed that a new era of bilateral ties had come when relations would be based on mutual respect and cooperation.

“We are in difference of positions with the Britain, which would be solved through dialogue and coming to a common understanding; however, we are in similar positions in some issues including the implementation of JCPOA,” Zarif told the press.

“We are also in a general agreement in fighting sectarianism and drug fight in the region; we need more dialogue in some of the issues yet; we are willing to work with Britain in issues such as human rights as well,” he added.

“I welcome Mr. Hammond for his visit to Iran and hope that national and personal ties would help a common understanding and improved cooperation to the interest of both nations and the fight against extremism in the region,” Zarif told the press.

Zarif and Hammond responded some questions by the press. In response to a question about the possibility of reopening of the US embassy in Tehran, Zarif told that “people have concerns over US policies toward Iran; this is quite different from Iran’s relations with Britain, and the US should work more to rebuild the trust of the Iranians first.”

Hammond quoted his mother in answering a question about graffiti on the embassy wall reading ‘Down with Britain’ and that whether Britain would have the graffiti cleaned from the wall: “About the damages on British embassy as well as the relations with Iran, I would quote my mother who always told us that words would not hurt us; so, it will not drastically influence our presence in Tehran.”

“The region has problems hitting everyone; problems are not restricted to the region, but could effectively hit all continents as well. Iran has been working with its neighbors, since we think that we have common opportunities and threats. The quality of living of people should be improved in the region. We should have a win-win situation for all countries in the region. After JCPOA, I had many visits to the region, and we have called all countries in the region to respond to this positively,” said Mr. Zarif in a question of how the JCPOA and the British embassy reopening would have implications on the developments in the region.

“Iran is a great power in the region, so it will be for every country’s interests that Iran act responsibly in the region; I think JCPOA is very important and we should see it completely implemented before developing our trade and economic relations, it will depend on the passing of the time and we hope that we will manage to repair the mistrust between two countries,” told Mr. Hammond.

“We have developed an independent policy, and the US Congress decision would not be important for British views of the JCPOA; I am sure that the US Congress will also approve the deal and I believe that all countries parties to the deal will remain committed to the deal since it will be for the interest of all and the region as well,” said the British foreign secretary in response to a question about the possible US Congress disapproval of the deal.

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