Zarif Outlines Foreign Policy Progress in Outgoing Year
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday the implementation of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was the most prominent move concerning Iran's foreign policy in the current Iranian year (ending March 20).
Zarif made the statement on the sidelines of a Cabinet session, stressing that a great deal of time and effort was devoted to reach a perfect execution of the plan due to "the predictable unreliability" of the US, a party to the accord, ISNA reported.
He said the current year has been a hectic year for the Foreign Ministry, "with foreign minister's 57 diplomatic trips to other countries, mostly to Asian, African and Latin American states".
Zarif pointed to obstacles in the way of bringing JCPOA into full force and stated that despite Iran honoring its part of the deal, the other side acted differently and failed to properly meet obligations.
"For example, it took us nine months to force the US to issue a license [for Boeing and Airbus] to sell planes to Iran," he said.
Iran received its second new Airbus aircraft on Saturday following the removal of sanctions under JCPOA.
Zarif referred to Iran's stance toward the ongoing situation in the region, especially Syria's crisis and said, "A great amount of effort has been exerted to address Syria's problems, and at present, Iran is among the three main players [along with Turkey and Russia] making efforts to resolve the issue, as others ask for our involvement."
Asked about strained relations with some regional countries, Zarif said, "Our priority is to establish close ties with our neighbors … We look forward to improving our relationship with our neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia."
Pointing to recent criticism of Iran's regional activities by Turkish officials, the top diplomat said Tehran and Ankara maintain good political, economic and social relations, though there have been few setbacks "expected to be settled gradually through [improvement in] Turkey's conduct".
Iran and some countries in the region, particularly Saudi Arabia, are at odds over various issues in West Asia, including Syrian and Yemeni conflicts.