Iran's Zarif: Safe, developed region can ensure security for all nations

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said a safe and developed region can help ensure security and prosperity for all nations.

In a Monday address to a gathering of Iranian expatriates living in the German capital of Berlin, the Iranian foreign minister called Iran the strongest nation in the Middle East and said, "Our security and progress can be ensured only in a safe and developed region."

"Those (countries) that have been seeking to ensure their own security at the cost of other nations’ security have achieved nothing but insecurity and degradation," he added.

Zarif praised the Iranians for their strong resistance, intention and will in different battles the country has gone through over the past decades, and added this was the strong support of the Iranian nation for the government that forced the world powers to sit for talks over the country’s nuclear program.

He said the success of the talks, which resulted in the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the six world powers, was not possible without the Iranian nation's full support for the negotiating team.

"Do we have anything behind us except for the full support, resilience and participation of our people? Our nation showed resistance to a violent and aggressive enemy and thwarted the plots of Saddam Hussein and his allies. This was the nation who took part in the reconstruction of our country (after the Iraqi imposed war)."

Zarif said, "It was the Iranians who resisted the international sanctions. This was our nation who explicitly announced, during the recent presidential election, that there is no gap between them and the government. The Iranian [nuclear] negotiation team was just a symbolic team representing the determined Iranians. This was the nation who brought the six powers to the negotiating table and clinched the nuclear deal."

"If we didn’t have the nation behind us, the other sides would not allow us to have even one centrifuge. President Obama once said we would not allow the Iranians to have even one centrifuge if we could. So we feel proud of this nation," he said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian foreign minister said there is a good chance now to establish an enduring relationship with Europe, Germany in particular.

"If we sit idle, the other sides will seize the opportunities and turn them into threats against us," he noted.

Zarif said, "We should not allow the thought behind the zero-sum game, which requires being totally devoted to the enemies, to deprive our nation of their choice. As the Leader (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) said today, we need unity and solidarity."

Diplomatic relations between Iran and European countries have improved greatly since the deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), came into force in January 2016.

Zarif arrived in the German capital of Berlin on the first leg of his European tour to participate in the annual meeting of European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and hold talks with senior German officials. He is scheduled to leave Germany for Italy as the second and final leg of his European tour.



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