Iran, Tunisia share same views on regional crises: Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran and Tunisia hold similar stances on regional crises, including the ongoing conflicts in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi in Tunis on Tuesday, Zarif expressed hope that the two countries’ consensus on regional conflicts would help improve mutual relations and settle the problems in the region.
He said he held positive talks with the Tunisian president and invited him on behalf of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani to pay a visit to Tehran. Essebsi accepted to visit Iran.
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi
The top Iranian diplomat noted that the fight against terrorism and extremism and ways to improve bilateral and regional relations were among the main topics discussed with the Tunisian president.
Iranians’ distrust of US
Zarif also said the Iranian nation is distrustful of the US policies, adding that a proper implementation of Iran’s nuclear agreement with the six global powers “will create an opportunity for the US” to build confidence.
“The US policies in our region, particularly the US support for the Zionist regime’s crimes against the Palestinian people, are one of reasons of our nation’s distrust [of the US],” he said.
Zarif said Iran recently held talks with the US to settle an “unnecessary” standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
“The resolution of the nuclear issue is a victory for the entire region and the Muslim world, and poses no threat to any neighboring country or the Muslim world,” he said.
On July 14, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – plus Germany succeeded in finalizing the text of the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.
Political will to fight Daesh
Zarif also said Iran has always been a pioneer in the fight against terrorist groups such as Daesh Takfiris, stressing that political will is a prerequisite to this campaign.
He added that double standard policies vis-a-vis the fight against Daesh terrorists in the region should end.
The Iranian minister emphasized that problems in the Arab and Muslim world countries can be solved through dialog and political approaches.
“Foreign countries should stop [their] interference and help such a dialog,” Zarif said.
The Iranian foreign minister arrived in Tunisia on Monday on the first leg of the third round of his regional tours following the Vienna nuclear agreement. During his two-day stay in Tunis, Zarif held talks with senior Tunisian officials on key mutual, regional and international developments.
The top Iranian diplomat wrapped up his visit to Tunisia and headed to the Algerian capital of Algiers on Tuesday.
Speaking in a meeting with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra upon his arrival, Zarif said regional countries must determine their own fate without any external interference.
Zarif said he plans to exchange views with senior Algerian officials about how regional nations can help resolve challenges. He is set to sit down with his Algerian counterpart, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal.