Call for Respecting Freedom of Thought

Call for Respecting Freedom of ThoughtCall for Respecting Freedom of Thought

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said "freedom of thought and belief" should be respected along with freedom of speech.

He made the remarks in a meeting with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius on Friday, where he expressed sympathy with the French people and government over the recent deadly shooting attack on a satirical newspaper in Paris and the incidents which followed the attack, IRNA reported.In Paris and before meeting with the French foreign minister, Zarif met with US Secretary of State John Kerry for a fourth round of nuclear talks in three days.

In the meeting with the French official, bilateral relations and the latest developments in the region were discussed. Referring to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo weekly magazine on January 7, Zarif stressed the necessity to avoid abusing the principle of freedom of speech and insulting religious sanctities, adding, "Freedom of speech should be viewed equally beside freedom of thought and belief."

The two officials also exchanged views about various aspects of the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany) over Tehran nuclear program.

The foreign minister expressed satisfaction with the growing trend of relations with France and called for increased efforts to strengthen mutual ties and remove the existing obstacles, particularly in the banking system. He also enumerated the potential grounds for bilateral cooperation and expressed Tehran's readiness to take steps to boost ties between the two states.

The latest developments in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq and Iran's role in efforts meant to bring stability and peace to the region were other issues which came up for discussion between the two officials.