• Tue / 12 March 2019 / 13:19
  • Category: Politics
  • News Code: 97122111354
  • Journalist : 71477

Zarif says US can’t stop Iran-Iraq relations


Tehran (ISNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States cannot “stop” Iran and Iraq’s mutual relations, reminding that Baghdad has established the ties of its own accord.

Zarif made the remarks to BBC Arabic Television on Monday as he is accompanying President Hassan Rouhani during the latter’s historical visit to the Arab country.

“We have good relations with Iraq. Iraq is our neighbor,” the Iranian foreign minister said, and noted that not even former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hossein’s 1980-88 war on the Islamic Republic managed to separate the two nations, ending the historical, geographical, and even family ties between the countries.

“We have never asked the Iraqis to choose us,” the senior diplomat said. “It is the United States, which is pressuring Iraqis to choose [between Iran and the US],” Zarif stated, and noted that Tehran is not after competing with Washington in Iraq either.

Commenting on the nature of the visit, Zarif said, “I do not believe that we are here either to take a measure against any country [or] to seek intervention on behalf of Iran with any country.” “Our positions have been very clear, and we called for dialog.”

He asserted that the Islamic Republic maintains a regional strategy called “a stronger region rather than strong countries or strong men in this region.” “We have had enough of strong men, we need a strong region,” he noted.

Separately, Zarif commented on a payment mechanism that European countries have announced to safeguard trade with Iran, according to Press TV.

Zarif said the European mechanism alone “does not solve all of Iran’s problem.” Nor does it realize all of Europe’s commitments as a partner to the JCPOA, he added.

He also commented on tensions between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia, saying, “We are prepared for cooperation with Saudi Arabia, but they should acknowledge that their security is tied to ours and our security is tied to theirs.”

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