Speaking at the 2nd International Tehran Dialogue Forum, Zarif slammed Washington’s malign activities in the Middle East, saying the US has spent billions of dollars on its military sector only to destabilize the region.
Zarif also warned against foreign interference in the Middle East’s affairs, stressing that there is no need for the outsiders to decide the region’s future.
He underlined the necessity of dialogue among regional nations, saying “Iran is ready to hold talks with all its neighbors” over the region’s security.
Iran’s initiative, called Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE), helps promote regional security through collective cooperation and free from foreign meddling, he said.
The top Iranian diplomat also censured the US for keeping its anti-Iran sanctions amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic, saying such measures are part of an economic war targeting the Iranian people.
“US economic war against Iran has consequences, including hurdles in fighting the coronavirus pandemic in Iran,” Zarif said at the forum, where he was joined with his counterparts from Turkey and Afghanistan.
Echoing Zarif’s remarks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also rejected the unilateral US sanctions against Iran, saying Ankara supports Washington’s return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and its full implementation.
Following the speech, the Turkish minister said in a tweet that the three sides “hared our vision on regional cooperation regarding the Caucasus, the Eastern Mediterranean and Afghanistan,” Cavusoglu said.
“We can achieve peace and prosperity together in our region,” he added.
In turn, Afghan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar warned against growing security threats in his country, saying Afghan soil should not become a safe haven for terrorists.
The forum held its first edition last year with the presence of senior officials and heads of research institutes from different countries. The event is aimed at exchanging views on major developments in sensitive areas surrounding Iran, including the Persian Gulf.