We seek war with no country, but defend ourselves solidly: Zarif

February 12, 2019

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran does not seek war with any country, but that does not mean that Tehran will lose firmness in defending itself.

Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with foreign ambassadors and diplomats based in Tehran.

He also said foreign pressure has failed to bring the Iranian government to its knees, calling on the West to stop pursuing their pressure policy.

“No country has been subject to foreign plots as much as we have been,” Zarif said.

In an open reference to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, Zarif said, “They said ‘We will drag the war inside Iran’, and they did so blatantly in their interviews. Then they sat for talks with our enemies and partook meetings with groups which they had had on their terror list barely two years earlier.”

Zarif refutes claims that Iran only supports Shia nations, asking if Kuwait, Turkey or Qatar are Shia countries.Elaborating on Iran’s four decades of foreign policy, Zarif told the foreign diplomats: “Report to your countries that you can’t tear apart the Iranians from their government through pressure.”

“Believe this! You may be able to exert pressure… but this has a reverse effect on Iran.”

Zarif boasted Iran’s reliance on people to withstand foreign pressure, reminding the audience about Monday’s huge turnout in rallies marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

“You saw yesterday (Monday) that these people are sticking to their revolution,” Zarif said, according to IRNA.

“How many of you had written in your previous reports that so many people would participate in the rallies?” the foreign minister asked rhetorically.

He added, “Iran doesn’t respond to pressure. We respond to dignity and respect, and equal opportunities.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif asked, “What is John Bolton thinking when he says he will celebrate 2019 in Iran?”

He underlined that while former U.S. national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski had said that Iran would not last as much as one week after Saddam Hussein’s attack in 1980, Brzezinski and Saddam are now long dead while the Islamic Republic presses on.

He also refuted claims that Iran only supports Shia nations, saying, “Before any other member states of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, we condemned Iraq’s attack on Kuwait. We were all night awake accompanying the Turkish government when there was a foreign-backed coup going on there. When Qatar was besieged by Saudi Arabia, we opened our sky to them despite our concerns about some of its government’s policies. Were Kuwait, Turkey or Qatar Shia countries?”

During the same meeting, the Islamic Republic’s former chief diplomats, including Ali Akbar Velayati, Kamal Kharrazi, Manouchehr Mottaki, and Ali Akbar Salehi, also elaborated on Iran’s foreign policy over the past 40 years.


 

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