Iran Eager to Defuse Regional Tensions

Iran Eager to Defuse  Regional Tensions Iran Eager to Defuse  Regional Tensions

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the government of President Hassan Rouhani has been seeking to defuse tensions in the region and develop interactions with neighboring countries.  

Pointing to the recent spat between Tehran and Riyadh after the Saudi execution of a prominent Shia cleric and the storming of Saudi missions in Iran by angry protesters, the top diplomat said, "Over the past two and a half years, we have always tried to promote understanding, cooperation and fraternity, but unfortunately our neighbor Saudi Arabia has moved in the opposite direction."

Zarif noted that during the nuclear talks between Iran and major powers, which led to a landmark deal last July, the Saudi government in tandem with the Zionist Israeli regime took actions against the Iranian people, and Saudis were also behind the decline in oil prices.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has dealt with such moves patiently because we believe that creating tension does not show power but is indicative of weakness," Zarif said in a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, in Tehran on Wednesday, IRNA reported.  "Unfortunately, the Saudi government has adopted the policy of fueling tension … But the Islamic Republic wants calm and our policy is cooperation with all neighbors."

  JCPOA Enforcement Imminent

On the July nuclear deal, Zarif said the announcement that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will come into force in the coming days.

The deal will take full effect once the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies that Tehran has completed all its nuclear-related commitments, such as dismantling two-thirds of its uranium enrichment machines and removing the core of the Arak heavy water reactor.

The United Nations, the European Union and the United States will terminate or cease the application of their sanctions against Iran on the Implementation Day. The chief nuclear negotiator said over the past few days, he and US Secretary of State John Kerry and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, and US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz have been in close contact over phone and email to make final arrangements for the deal to be enforced.

  Iraqi Mediation  

Iraq's foreign minister said a recent Iraqi Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi decided that Baghdad should start a regional initiative to help resolve the row between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

"We have good, historical relations with the Islamic Republic and we also have relations with Saudi Arabia … and because it is possible that such disputes may spill over to other countries and in view of the fact that Iraq lies in the heart of the region, we decided to take advantage of our connections to help ease the conflict," Jaafari said.