• Sat / 24 August 2019 / 13:53
  • Category: Politics
  • News Code: 98060200581
  • Journalist : 71477

Europe needed to find ways to ease situation for Iran: Zarif


Tehran (ISNA) - Iranian Foreign Minister says once Europe starts implementing its commitments, Iran will also be prepared to reverse the steps that it has taken.

Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that suggestions by French President, Emmanuel Macron about defusing the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme were a step in the right direction, but more work needed to be done.

"President Macron made some suggestions last week to President [Hassan] Rouhani and we believe they are moving in the right direction, although we are not definitely there yet," Zarif told the AFP news agency after meeting Macron for talks in Paris on Friday.

"We had a good discussion today," Zarif said. "We discussed possibilities. He is now going to discuss with European partners and other partners to see where we can go from here."

"Once Europe starts implementing its commitments, Iran will also be prepared to reverse the steps that it has taken," Zarif said.

Pressed on what the suggestions involved, Zarif did not offer specifics but said Europe needed to find ways to ease the situation for Iran, even with the US no longer part of the deal.

"We are searching for ways Europe can, in fact, implement its commitments so that we can reverse the steps we have taken," Zarif said.

"For us, what is important is to be able to continue to conduct business with the European Union," he said, adding that discussions were under way as to whether this can be done "with or without the US".

In a message to Europe, Zarif said that it was possible to solve the issue even without the involvement of the US in the nuclear deal.

"I do not think the US holds all the cards. If Europe and the international community decide to do so, they can, in fact, take measures required to sustain the deal," he said.

Zarif expressed fury that "the US is harassing our ship in international waters and preventing freedom of navigation".

"We will not be announcing its destination because the United States will further sabotage our economic activities," he said.

Zarif insisted that Iran did not want war with the US but warned that a ramped-up Western naval presence in the Gulf increased the risk of accidents, which analysts say could start a wider confrontation.

"We do not seek military confrontation," Zarif said.

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