News ID: 232314
Published: 0308 GMT October 05, 2018

JCPOA the best US, international community can get

JCPOA the best US, international community can get
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif speaks with UpFront host Mehdi Hasan

This week, in New York, UpFront's Mehdi Hasan spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about the United States exiting the 2015 nuclear deal, his country's role in Syria, and democracy in Iran, the future of the nuclear deal and its relationship with the US under President Donald Trump.

Asked about the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Zarif said: "The nuclear deal is the best the United States can get, and it's the best Iran can get, and it's the best the international community can get."

"We're not actually eager to meet with [US President Trump] because the United States is not a reliable negotiating partner," Zarif told UpFront host Mehdi Hasan.

"They were always saying that we want a treaty with Iran. Now they just withdrew from the [1955 Treaty of Amity] that we have with the United States because the International Court of Justice ruled against them," Zarif added. "That tells you that whatever you negotiate with this president and with this administration, they're not going to be bound by it."

Asked if Iran will ever meet with President Trump or members of his administration, Zarif responded, "In politics, never say never. But I believe that there is need for a serious change in the administration".

Speaking about the Iran nuclear deal, which the US pulled out of in May 2018, Zarif reaffirmed his support for the JCPOA.

"We believe it's a deal that is in the interest of the international community," he said.

"Iran has given the Europeans some time, because they asked us for some time to try to compensate for US departure from the nuclear deal," he added. "That means that Iran needs to receive the economic dividends of the deal."

Zarif was also asked to comment on Bashar Al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria's ongoing civil war.

"I condemn anybody using chemical weapons," he said.

"We condemn any attacks against civilians no matter who does it."

On domestic affairs, Zarif was asked whether Iran should be considered a democracy if it's ultimately been ruled by a Leader for twenty-nine years.

"Some people lead countries, democratic countries for longer than that," he said. "But it doesn't mean that they're not a democracy".

"[The Leader] can be removed any day by a body that elected him. And that body was elected by the people," he added.

Source: Al Jazeera



Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif speaks with UpFront 

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