Zarif says has no plan to run for presidential post

November 12, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who enjoys great popularity among the Iranians for negotiating a historic nuclear deal with great power, has said that he has no plan to run for presidential election in 2020.

“I ask God to help me respond to the people’s kindness while I am at my current status and have my current responsibility. My colleagues and I focus our efforts in this regard,” Zarif told the Sharq newspaper in interview published on Wednesday.

According to opinion polls conducted last year, Zarif was ranked as the most popular figure among cabinet ministers. Health Minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi came after the foreign minister.

In a speech on October 5 President Hassan Rouhani said, “Mr. Zarif is one of our history’s national heroes”.

He also said that Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei “supervised” the nuclear talks and set redlines without interfering in the details of the negotiations.

He said that the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is a national issue and not a factional one.

The minister said the opponents of the JCPOA are concerned about violation of the agreement by the U.S.

Some opponents of the JCPOA are concerned about resumption of Iran-U.S. ties, however, there should not be any concern because the country’s foreign policy is adopted by the system’s senior officials and no action will be taken in this respect, he added.

Iran and the 5+1 group - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany - finalized the text of the JCPOA in Vienna on July 14. Under the agreement Iran will slow down its nuclear activities for some ten years and instead sanctions against Iran will be removed.

The chief diplomat agreed with this view that regional countries through their wrong policies have undermined their status thereby provided a situation that Iran can play a more active role.

However, he said, Iran seeks to establish “peaceful” relations with regional countries and stabilize the volatile situation in the Middle East region.

He added, “If regional countries seek peaceful relations and want to live in calm without interference in other countries’ affairs we tell them that Iran’s policy is quite in that line.”