0931 GMT March 25, 2019
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the implementation of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement is proceeding normally and the recent decision by the US Senate to impose new sanctions on Iran indicates the US officials’ narrow-minded view.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Norway for the Oslo Forum on Monday, Zarif decried the wrong policy that the US has adopted on Iran, saying he will raise the subject of the US violations of the nuclear deal and the consequences of its destructive conducts in a meeting with EU foreign policy chief in Oslo, IRNA reported.
On June 7, the US Senate voted to advance a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran. The vote was 92-7 on a procedural motion to end debate on the Iran sanctions bill, clearing the way for a vote later on passage of the legislation.
The US legislation would impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, its alleged human rights violation and claims of support for terrorist organizations. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed it 18-3 last month.
Iran says its missile program is defensive. Iran is itself chief victim of terrorism, particularly the terrorist groups that are supported by the United States.
The European Union, China and Russia, the main supporters of the nuclear deal, have voiced determination to keep working with Iran irrespective of the US lack of commitment, Zarif added, stressing that Americans cannot undermine such relations.
The Iranian foreign minister also said the Middle East region is already fraught with tensions and needs no more turmoil, as a diplomatic crisis between several Arab countries in the region heats up.
Zarif said he would discuss with other officials present there to participate in the Oslo Forum “particularly the very volatile situation in the Persian Gulf region, and the fact that our region doesn’t need any more turmoil,” Press TV reported.
He was referring to the recent tensions between Qatar and a number of other regional states. Qatar has come under intense pressure from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, the Maldives, and Egypt — all of which have broken off ties with Doha — over accusations that the Qatari government sponsors extremist groups. The tensions risk turning into a regional conflict.
Zarif will stay in Norway for two days, during which he will give an address to the Oslo Forum, which gathers leading armed conflict mediation practitioners.
This year’s summit is to be held under the rubric, “Peace Making in the New Era of Geopolitics.”
Zarif also said he would talk to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and others about the need to have a united front against terrorism and extremism and not to create new tensions in Middle East region, “which would be disastrous for everybody.”
Zarif attended the event’s last year edition, too, speaking on its sidelines with various officials, including Mogherini.
The Forum started in 2003, gathering only 17 nations. However, it now invites representatives from around 100 countries each year to participate in discussions on international affairs.