Israel tries to sabotage nuclear talks, Zarif says


Iran’s foreign minister has censured Israel for its strenuous efforts to block a nuclear deal between Iran and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany.

“We have seen that statements coming out of Israel indicate that they are not interested in finding solutions [to the nuclear issue], they have been trying to push for problems,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said after meeting his Italian counterpart Emma Bonino in Rome on Tuesday.

Zarif accused Israel of trying to sabotage the nuclear talks and of stoking tensions in the Middle East.

“So we have reason to be suspicious of every move they make, because every move they make is about building tension and spreading mistrust,” he added.

The remarks came after Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham accused Tel Aviv of being behind Tuesday’s attacks on the Iranian Embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut, where at least 23 people, including Iran’s cultural attaché Hojjatoleslam Ebrahim Ansari, were killed and more than 140 injured in two bomb explosions.

Talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany will resume in Geneva on Wednesday under intense lobbying effort and pressures by Israel to prevent a deal between Iran and the six world powers.

Zarif was in Rome during a stopover on his way to Geneva to attend the negotiations.

The Iranian foreign minister said he sees “every possibility for success” of the forthcoming nuclear talks.

“I think there is every possibility for success of these talks, provided that the two sides engage in these discussions with good faith and with the political will to resolve the problem,” Zarif said on Tuesday at a joint press conference with Bonino.

Tel Aviv has demanded that Iran dismantle its entire nuclear energy program in return for the removal of sanctions which have been imposed against the country. This comes as the Israeli regime is widely believed to be the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Tel Aviv reportedly maintains between 200 and 400 atomic warheads, but under its policy of so-called nuclear ambiguity, it has never denied nor confirmed its possession of the weapons of mass destruction.

During the last round of talks earlier in November in Geneva, a first-step agreement was within reach but French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius’s stance in favor of the Israeli regime and a lack of commitment by US Secretary of State John Kerry spoiled the negotiations.

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