TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - At a press conference alongside his Iraqi counterpart, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, in Baghdad on Sunday, Foreign Minister Zarif also said that Iran sought the best of relations with the Persian Gulf littoral countries and would welcome any proposals for dialog and de-escalation toward that end.
He added that Tehran would, however, forcefully confront any attempts at waging a military or economic campaign against the country.
The US has been escalating tensions with Iran since May 2018, when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran that also involves Europe and Russia and China.
In an attempted campaign of “maximum pressure,” the US has imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic as well as on countries that seek to do business with it.
Zarif said the US was “bullying other countries into compliance with its unilateral measures” against Iran, which he said was an unlawful act.
He also referred to the European signatories to the Iran deal and said those countries, too, were in practical violation of the agreement by failing to normalize relations with Iran, as the agreement stipulated.
The European violations of the deal, he said, have increased over the past year.
In response to the American and European non-performance of the deal, Iran partially suspended its commitments in May.
Zarif said that the suspension did not equate an Iranian withdrawal.
Also speaking at the press conference, Alhakim said Baghdad was opposed to America’s unilateral measures against Iran.
“Economic sanctions are of no effect,” he said, adding that Iraq would stand by Iran’s side.
Alhakim also said Iraq was in contact with all regional countries to defuse tensions.
Zarif also met with the speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq, the Arab country’s parliament, Mohamed al-Halbousi.
Al-Habousi warned against the potential fallout from regional tensions and stressed that the Arab country favored the resolution of the current situation as well as the security and well-being of all its neighbors.
Zarif traveled to Iraq on Saturday. He has already met with President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, discussing bilateral ties as well as regional and international developments.