Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed Israeli prime minister’s anti-Iran accusations during the Munich Security Conference as ‘cartoonish circus’, saying his remarks do not deserve a response.
“You were the audience for a cartoonish circus just this morning which does not even deserve the dignity of a response,” Zarif said while addressing the annual conference in the German city on Sunday.
Addressing participants at the Munich Security Conference earlier on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed off what he called a piece of an Iranian drone, which the Israeli military claims to have downed more than a week ago, and said the Tel Aviv regime could “act” directly against Iran.
Earlier this month, Tel Aviv claimed that it had responded to the infiltration of an Iranian drone into the Israeli airspace.
It then released a grainy footage allegedly showing the downing of an Iranian drone by an Israeli attack helicopter and subsequent airstrikes on Syria, during which the regime had at least one F-16 warplane shot down.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi rejected as “ridiculous” claims by the Israeli regime that it had intercepted an Iranian drone launched from Syria, stressing the Islamic Republic’s military advisory presence in the Arab country is at the request of Syria’s “constitutional and legitimate” government.
“Claims about the flight of an Iranian drone … are too ridiculous to be addressed because the Islamic Republic of Iran has advisory presence in Syria at the request of the country’s legitimate and constitutional government,” Qassemi said.
The Syrian military on February 10 hit at least one intruding Israeli F-16 warplane that attacked positions inside the Syrian territory, sending it down in flames and smoke.
Syria’s state TV cited a military official as saying that Syrian aerial defense had responded to Israeli “aggression” against an army base in the center of the Arab country.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian foreign minister said Syria’s shooting down of the Israeli jet had shattered Israel’s “so-called invincibility.”
“What has happened in the past several days is that the so-called invincibility (of Israel) has crumbled,” Zarif said.
“Israel uses aggression as a policy against its neighbors,” he added, condemning the Israeli regime for “mass reprisals against its neighbors and daily incursions into Syria, Lebanon.”
The Iranian top diplomat then commended remarks by UN Secretary General António Guterres, who endorsed Iran’s proposed approach to regional matters, stressing that “unless there is a collective effort to bring inclusive peace and security to the Persian Gulf region, we will be engulfed in turmoil and potentially far worse for generations to come.”
“For too long, military powers have had multiple strategies to win wars. And for too long, they have ignored any strategy to win the peace. For too long, major powers and their regional allies have made the wrong choices in our region and then have blamed others, particularly Iran, for the consequences of their own short-sighted and trigger-happy strategic blunders,” Zarif said.
Noting that the US and its regional allies are suffering from the natural consequences of their own wrong choices, the Iranian foreign minister said, “They use this and other fora to revive the hysteria on Iran’s foreign policy and obscure its reality.”
“In a quest to create our strong region, we need to be realistic and accept our differences…. The nuclear deal was an example of such non-zero-sum thinking,” he added, referring to the landmark nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
“Recognizing differences but also recognizing a common goal, and maintaining respect for the interests of all parties guided the difficult negotiations that led to the successful conclusion of the JCPOA,” Zarif pointed out.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly described the JCPOA, which was negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into,” a characterization he often used during his presidential campaign, and threatened to tear it up.
The American head of state has repeatedly claimed that Iran’s missile program is in violation of Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the JCPOA. Trump has also complained that the JCPOA-related restrictions have an expiration date and that underscores the need to toughen the “embarrassing” deal.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani once again on Saturday reiterated the Islamic Republic’s full compliance with the multilateral nuclear deal, stressing the United States would undoubtedly regret any violation of the JCPOA.
He said Iran would remain committed to the nuclear deal as long as other sides took no action to violate it.
Zarif concluded his remarks by saying that Iran recognizes the need for “confidence-building measures in the Persian Gulf.”
He added, “At a time when we are dangerously close to escalating conflicts that will affect our children and grandchildren, I encourage my counterparts in the Persian Gulf to join Iran in making these proposals a reality.”