Zarif says Iran is concerned about ‘suspicious acts of sabotage’ in region

May 14, 2019

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran had already predicted that some would carry out measures to heighten regional tensions and had voiced concerns about dangerous measures taken by U.S. hardliners.

Zarif made the remarks after a meeting with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Tuesday, Mehr reported.

His comments came after four commercial ships were targeted in a “sabotage attack” off the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday.

The incident reportedly took place near Fujairah port, just outside the Strait of Hormuz, but caused no casualties. Saudi Arabia confirmed that two Saudi oil tankers sustained “significant damage”.

Iran is concerned about the “suspicious acts of sabotage and vandalism” which are occurring in the region, Zarif asserted.

Zarif says Iran had already predicted tensions in the region.

He pointed out that during the meeting with his Indian counterpart, the two sides discussed the dangerous policies pushed by hardliners inside the United States.

Elsewhere in his remark, the Iranian foreign minister called for closer ties between the two countries, saying India has coordinated and cooperated with Iran in different areas.

He described the talks “constructive and promising”, saying the two sides talked about a host of issues, including the mutual economic ties.

The meeting focused on a number of issues, including the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and Iran’s recent move to revisit some of its obligations to the international pact, Zarif recalled.

He noted that in line with the policies to clarify the Islamic Republic’s approach toward the nuclear deal for its close partners, the Indian side was briefed about the latest JCPOA developments and Iran’s strategic decisions to preserve the pact.

Last week, Iran announced that it would stop implementing some of its commitments to the JCPOA in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, giving the other remaining parties to the deal a 60-day ultimatum to comply with their commitments.

Zarif said he had emphasized during the meeting that should Iran’s demands be met, Tehran will resume complying with the suspended commitments.

The top diplomat stressed that Iran has no intention to leave the JCPOA, and its decision on reducing commitments is still within the framework of the agreement.

Zarif added that the two sides also discussed the ways to boost economic ties between Iran and India, including the future of the Chabahar port project, and the continuation of energy cooperation.

India, which is the second biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China, was pushed by the U.S. to restrict its monthly purchase to 300,000 barrel per day, down from 452,000 barrel per day bought in the financial year 2017-18, according to sources.

MH/PA

Leave a Comment

1 + 1 =