Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic is seeking to quash all pretexts for anti-Iran sanctions in the talks with the six major world powers over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
“Through dialogue, we try to eliminate any pretext for the sanctions,” Zarif said.
The Iranian foreign minister further noted that Tehran aims to find a framework to abolish reasons for the sanctions, stressing that anti-Iran embargoes only strengthen the resolve of the Iranian nation.
“It is necessary for both sides involved in the sanctions to think of a solution than to conjure up ways to exert pressure on the public,” Zarif stated.
Iran Foreign Minister has also reiterated the Islamic Republic’s long-held position against development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), calling for dismantling of all kinds of WMD, including nuclear weapons.
“Iran does not seek to acquire nuclear weapons and [raising] such allegations against Iran is dangerous,” Zarif said.
“Iran has never used weapons of mass destruction. The use of nuclear and mass destruction weapons is devoid of legitimacy even for legitimate defense. Islamic teachings also order us not to use weapons of mass destruction,” the minister said.
Zarif also reiterated Iran’s call for the elimination of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction on the global scale.
“The world must be cleared of WMD and nuclear weapons because it is a necessity for the world security. Our objective must be prohibition of nuclear and mass destruction weapons,” he added.
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said the Islamic Republic will continue to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity in order to power its nuclear research reactor.
Zarif was reacting to reports that the Islamic Republic has stopped 20-percent enrichment.
He added that Iran’s 20-percent enrichment will be under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Iranian foreign minister also stated that Tehran will push ahead with nuclear talks with world powers “with good faith” and “with determination to reach understanding and with hope to reach an understanding at an early stage.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister also said the Islamic Republic attaches great significance to its relations with African countries, including South Africa.
“South Africa is one of the important countries in the African continent, one of the key players of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and an active and influential country on the international stage,” Zarif said.
He said that Iran welcomed the further enhancement of the ties with the African country, expressing hope that both countries’ private and state sectors would help boost mutual economic, trade and technical ties.
Zarif also expressed optimism that the 11th meeting of the Iran-South Africa Joint Cooperation Commission would result in closer relations between the two countries, especially closer industrial and trade cooperation between the private sectors of both sides.