Iranian foreign minister reassures Gulf states over nuclear deal
Mohammad Javad Zarif tells Gulf states that the recent nuclear deal is “in favor of the stability and security of the region”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif assured Gulf Arab states Sunday his country’s nuclear deal with the West is in their interest and also announced plans to visit Saudi Arabia.
“The solution to this issue serves the interests of all countries in the region. It is not at the expense of any state in the region,” Zarif said at a joint news conference after meeting Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah.
“Be assured that the nuclear deal is in favor of the stability and security of the region,” Zarif said on what was his first official visit to a Gulf Arab nation.
Zarif then travelled to Oman - which hosted secret negotiations in recent months between Iran and the United States that led to the November 24 landmark deal between Tehran and major powers on Iran’s disputed nuclear program.
Zarif delivered a message to Sultan Qaboos from President Hassan Rowhani on relations between the two countries and issues of common interest, the Omani news agency ONA said in a brief report.
Oman maintains good relations with Tehran, and Sultan Qaboos was Rouhani’s first guest following his inauguration on August 3.
He has also acted as an intermediary between Western countries and Iran in recent years.
World powers and Israel suspect Tehran’s nuclear ambitions include acquiring a nuclear weapon, a charge Iran vehemently denies.
The Geneva deal was welcomed by the Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab states, which have long been concerned about Shiite Iran’s regional ambitions.
But Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers, meeting in Kuwait City last week, also hoped the interim deal would lead to a permanent agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme.
Relations between the six GCC nations and Tehran have deteriorated further because of Iran’s support for Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
The GCC consists of energy-rich Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
After his election, Iran’s Rowhani said he hoped to improve relations with neighbouring countries, especially Gulf states.
Zarif said in Kuwait City that Iran was looking to open a new page in relations with the Gulf.
He also confirmed plans to visit regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia although no date has yet been set.
“We look at Saudi Arabia as an important and influential country in the region,” he said.
Zarif said the Geneva deal does not satisfy all of Iran’s demands or “the goals of the other party, but it is important to implement it.”
“We will implement the deal and are convinced that implementing it will build the trust,” he said.
In Kuwait he also spoke about the Syrian conflict, warning that the 32-month civil war could cause the spread of extremism and sectarianism in the region unless a political solution is found.
He said Iran will attend the Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria “if invited” but will not accept preconditions.
1300GMT: Iran announces building a nuclear station in Bushehr with the help of RussiansNews Bulletins
Iran’s Zarif heads to Kuwait and OmanRelations between Iran and the GCC countries have deteriorated because of Tehran’s support for Bashar al-Assad News
Iran, Russia in talks on new Bushehr nuclear plantWestern powers suspect Iran's uranium enrichment may be aimed at developing nuclear weapons, a claim Tehran denies. News
French carmakers poised for scramble to reclaim IranFrench automakers Peugeot and Renault set to resume vehicle sales in Iran Business
Iran and Nazi Germany? The worst analogy almost everWho compares Nazi Germany to the Islamic Republic of Iran, except someone who knows very little about at least one of the two? World
Iran admits close intelligence links with TurkeyIranian ambassador to Ankara Alireza Bikdeli says Tehran is willing to help Turkey News
As Iran and the U.S. talk, Turkey’s stock rises againWe know they say politics is like playing chess. Even though it is a cliché, it is not completely wrong. How? Like chess, and politics, you ... Middle East
U.S. extends Iran oil sanctions waivers to China, India, South KoreaThe waivers mean the countries will not be cut off from the U.S. financial system for the next six months Energy
Rowhani: nuclear facilities ‘red line’Iran’s president said the level of uranium enrichment will be determined by fuel needs Middle East
Iran sees implementation of nuclear deal starting by early JanuaryIran and Western powers have reached a deal in Geneva after days of negotiations News
Iran says gold trade with Turkey to resumeTurkey's gold trade with Iran boomed in 2012 Economy
Japan crude imports from Iran fall 18.9% in OctoberJapan has been pressured into buying less oil from Iran since early 2012 under Western sanctions Energy