Zarif says U.S., Europe aware of Iran’s regional influence

February 27, 2018 - 20:29

TEHRAN – The United States and Europe consider Iran as an influential country in the region, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday, adding that Iran is the safest country in the region despite all problems.

Zarif, heading a delegation comprised of a number of CESs of Iranian enterprises from both private and public sectors, left Tehran on Monday for Serbia’s capital city of Belgrade – the first stop of his Balkans region and Eastern European tour.

Addressing a conference attended by Iranians in Belgrade, he said, “We need to know why we were able to reach that great amount of power and security despite all the oppression and sanctions over the past forty years,” Mehr reported.

He underlined the important role the Iranian nation play in boosting national power, saying, “It was the people who made the Islamic Republic of Iran so powerful.”

Iranians, from every religion and ethnicity, love Iran from the bottom of their hearts and are ready to sacrifice their lives for the country, the foreign minister said.

He also pointed to the nuclear agreement, saying, “The guy [Donald Trump] who wanted to rip it to shreds as his first priority and considered it the worst deal in American history, has not been able to do so after a year and two months for fear of possible expenses.”

On Tuesday, Zarif met with Serbian Premier Anna Bronabic discussing various aspects of bilateral relations and exchanging views on international and regional issues.

The issue of Kosovo, strengthening economic and cultural relations, preparations for expanding parliamentary, military, scientific, cultural, academic exchanges, agriculture, and advanced technologies were among the key issues for the talks.

Zarif also met with Maja Gojkovic, speaker of the Serbian Parliament, on Tuesday.

During the meeting, the chief Iranian diplomat expressed satisfaction with the growing trend of bilateral relations in all fields, especially in the economic and commercial areas.

He welcomed the expansion of parliamentary cooperation between the two countries, saying Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani will pay an official visit to Serbia in the current year.

The foreign minister also met and talked with Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism, Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic.

In the meeting, the two sides discussed various dimensions of trade and economic relations between the two sides, as well as ways to remove obstacles to the expansion of the relations between Iran and Serbia.

Energy sector, banking co-operation, consular cooperation, and tourism were among the issues discussed during the meeting.

Zarif is also expected to visit Bulgaria, Croatia and Bosnia as other legs of his Eastern European tour.

Meeting with foreign ministers and other top officials of those countries as well as holding joint conferences between Iranian businessmen and their Eastern European counterparts are on Zarif's agenda during his tour.


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