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17 July 2019 - 23:58
Zarif: Nuclear bomb cannot augment Iran security

Iranian Foreign Minister rejected the unfounded accusation against Iran over alleged nuclear bomb ambition, saying it will not augment Iran's security.


Speaking in an interview with BBC Hard Talk, Mohammad Jvad Zarif said, "If Iran wanted to build a bomb it would have built it long time ago we could have built the bomb long time ago."

He added: "We do not want to build the bomb because we believe that a nuclear bomb will not augment our security."

"If the Europeans are serious about a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, they're somewhere else that they need to be looking and that's Israel where they have at least 200 nuclear warheads," he noted.

Asked whether the US will accept war, he said: "I accept that President Trump does not want war but I know that there are people in his administration who are crazy with war who search for war."

"I don’t think I need to mention, the President Trumps himself has mentioned," he said when BBC reporter asked if he meant John Bolton.

On the possibility of military engagement between Iran and the US, Zarif said: "It has called the Persian Gulf for a reason, it is next to our coast we have almost 15,00 miles of coast with the Persian Gulf, It is not the Gulf of Mexico."

"We are protecting our territorial waters and this drone had been shot in the international waters over international airspace why did we get to pick up the pieces," he reiterated.

"It is the Persian Gulf because it is next to our border it is a body of water that Iran has protected Iran has maintained the security and freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, he said adding: "We will continue to do that we are the major power in that region those who have come to our region, to the Persian Gulf and brought their naval vessels to Persian Gulf are not helping secure these body of waters."

"Of course there is possibility of accident but we cannot leave our neighborhood," he stressed.

"Those who have come from outside have to decide why are they in that neighborhood and whether their presence in that neighborhood is helping stability and security in that neighborhood."

Elaborating on the possibility of attacking US allies in the region, Zarif said: "We don’t take blind actions anybody who is helping the United States in its war against Iran."

"The United States is now engaged in economic war against Iran there are countries that are providing the United States with logistical supports with the reconnaissance that means that they are participating in that war," he added.

"If there is a war then I do not think anybody will be safe in our region but let us all try to avoid war," he reiterated.

For much of the interview, Zarif referred to UK illegal seizure of Grace 1 supertanker carrying Iranian oil in the Strait of Hormuz, he said: "First of all there are EU sanctions against buying Syrian oil not against selling Syrian oil [selling oil to Syria]."

He noted: "That's part of the international shipping lanes we were going through that but we announce from the very beginning that this ship was not destined to Syria."

"I am not obliged to tell anybody this is international freedom of navigation," Zarif reacted when the BBC reported asked more information about the exact destination of the tanker.

"The tanker is not Iranian, it was carrying Iranian oil and it was going to a place in the Mediterranean other than Syria," Zarif said.  

"Their objective was to bring our oil sales to Zero that is why we will do whatever we can to avoid the United States knowing what we are doing."

"The United Kingdom by taking our ship, by confiscating our ship is helping the United States imposing its illegal oil sanctions against Iran."

News Code 190585

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