We are committed to ensuring that the process that we started … will lead to a satisfactory conclusion that would address the requirements as stated in the Geneva interim agreement,” Zarif said.
The Iranian foreign minister noted that the objective of the nuclear talks is “to have an enrichment program in Iran” while at the same time removing concerns over Tehran’s nuclear program and imposed sanctions.
“…We believe it is very easy to reach an agreement. Of course it requires serious political will and good faith in order to reach that agreement,” he added.
Zarif also described a recent statement issued by the US Departments of Treasury and State, putting new sanctions against Iranian companies and individuals as “extremely counterproductive” and against the “very aim of the negotiations.”
However, “that does not mean that negotiations are dead. That means negotiations have hit a snag,” he said, adding “I believe we need to have a reassessment of how we want to proceed — everybody needs to do that — go back to the negotiating table with a view to removing these obstacles and moving forward.”
Iran’s top diplomat said Tehran would continue negotiations in good faith, with political will and determination to reach a final agreement, “which we believe will be in the interests of everybody, and all efforts to undermine it should cease, because they are only counterproductive.”
The Iranian foreign minister also said the Israeli regime is not worried about Iran’s nuclear energy program, suggesting that they resorted to lies in an attempt to prevent Iran’s emergence as an independent world power.
“The Zionist regime is not concerned about Iran’s nuclear program; we would be happy if they were [really] worried that a nuclear Iran would be a threat; but one had to look into why they became concerned and why they resorted to threats and spreading falsehood to prevent Iran from proving that it does not pursue nuclear weapons,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
the Iranian foreign minister further praised Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for adopting a firm stance against all nuclear weaponry by issuing a religious edict forbidding it.
No religious leader in the world raised the issue of the faith-based prohibition of nuclear arms before the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Zarif said.
The top Iranian diplomat further stated that the “ill-wishers of Iran” have recognized the power of this revolution and the Iranian people and attempted to prevent the rise of this power in the international arena by spreading lies about this nation.
Zarif, however, underlined that such national might does not mean that we should not make efforts to enhance our military might.
“What it does mean is,” he explained, “that before anything else, we should believe in the culture of resistance, the culture of martyrdom… and the culture of self-confidence.”
Zarif went on to refer to the numerous industrial and scientific achievements of Iran over the years, pointing to the potentialities of the country to assert itself and bring about change in the international scene.
The Iranian Foreign Minister also said the Islamic Republic would take part in the forthcoming Geneva II conference on the ongoing Syrian crisis if it is invited to the event without any preconditions.
Zarif elaborated on Tehran’s principled stance on the need for the resolution of the Syrian conflict through a political and democratic solution without any foreign intervention.
“In case of any initiative, it is the Syrian people who should decide on their own political destiny and future. Iran supports any attempt and plan to this effect, and is ready to attend the Geneva II conference if invited without any preconditions,” he pointed out.
Iran’s Foreign Minister has also slammed the recent terrorist attack in Iraq against Iranian nationals as a evil act against all the regional nations and called for concerted efforts to counter terrorism.
Zarif praised the Iraqi government’s efforts to pursue the matter and noted that Tehran and Baghdad would continue to improve ties despite such incidents.
The Iranian foreign minister underlined Tehran’s support for unity and development in Iraq and the expansion of ties with Baghdad in all areas.
The Iranian Foreign Minister has also called on Yemen to utilize all the means at its disposal to secure the safe return of an Iranian diplomat abducted in the Arab country.
Zarif expressed Tehran’s deep concern over the fate of Nour Ahmad Nikbakht -- the kidnapped administrative staff member at the Iranian Embassy in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, and stressed the Yemeni government’s responsibility to guarantee the safe return of the abducted Iranian diplomat.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has already summoned the Yemeni chargé d'affaires twice to express Tehran's concern over the fate of the diplomat and to remind Sana’a that it is responsible for Nikbakht’s safety.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said the retired FBI agent, who went missing in Iran in 2007, is not incarcerated in the country.
“We know that he is not incarcerated in Iran. If he is, he is not incarcerated by the government and I believe the government runs a pretty much good control of the country,” said the Iranian foreign minister on Sunday, referring to Robert Levinson, who disappeared during a visit to Iran’s southern Kish Island in the Persian Gulf in March 2007.
Zarif added that if Iran finds any trace of him, it will then discuss his return.
Earlier in the day, head of the press office of Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York Alireza Miryousefi sent an e-mail to the Associated Press, in which he said the US officials “should explain about Levinson’s mission in Iranian soil. They are responsible and should respond.”
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