Nuclear Deal Boosted Iran’s Image

Nuclear Deal Boosted Iran’s Image  Nuclear Deal Boosted Iran’s Image

The nuclear deal clinched with world powers helped remove the false image some western countries had depicted of Iran to justify taking security measures against the country, the top Iranian diplomat said.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the statement while addressing a panel on "Post-JCPOA Opportunities" on Sunday in Tehran attended by representatives of political parties, religious minorities, trade unions and NGOs, IRNA reported.

"If it were not for the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran's oil sales would have come to a halt," he said.

Zarif stressed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exerted intense pressure on western and European countries and Saudi rulers did their best to prevent the realization of the JCPOA as they did not want to see their long-term subversive activities in Iran yield no fruit, as they sought to portray a negative image of Iran to isolate it internationally.

On the prospect of Tehran-Riyadh future relations, the top Iranian diplomat believes "Iranophobia" prevails in the Arab world and more media campaign is needed to change this mindset.

"What we care about more than anything else is reducing the security threats that have always jeopardized Iran and Saudi Arabia," he said.

The foreign minister asserted that Iran will pursue the normalization of ties with Saudi Arabia as it is the surest strategy to safeguard both countries' interests.

Pointing to constant tensions created by the Saudis, Zarf said, "What they want to convey to the international community is that Iran is still not a safe place to invest and there is no future in embarking on financing joint ventures in the Persian Gulf country."

He noted that it is time to take advantage of the new conditions to strengthen the economy.

"We must make a serious attempt not only to put an end to Iranophobia project, but also to portray the real face of our beliefs and culture," he said.

Attaching great importance to the JCPOA implementation, Zarf said, "The historic agreement legalized our so-called illegal nuclear activities. It also obliged world powers to help develop Iran's nuclear projects."

Emphasizing that the nuclear negotiations opened a new chapter in Iran’s foreign relations and resulted in the lifting of nuclear sanctions against Iran, the foreign minister said as soon as the JCPOA took effect, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the UN Security Council and the US became history.

"Iran in return put some restrictions on its nuclear activities," he said, adding that there has to be some give-and-take in any deal.

Thanking the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei's clear guidelines to finalize the deal, Zarif said, "The 8% annual growth stipulated in the sixth five-year development plan (2016-21) cannot be fulfilled unless foreign investors are attracted to fund our mega projects."

The JCPOA was finalized between Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) on July 14, 2015, following two and a half years of intensive talks. The historic nuclear deal with major powers went into force on January 16 and led to the lifting of international sanctions, after confirmation by the UN nuclear agency that Tehran has kept its promises under the accord.