Zarif to brief MPs on recent trip to New York: lawmaker

July 23, 2019

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will brief the parliament on his recent trip to New York and the latest diplomatic developments, spokesman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said on Tuesday.

“On Sunday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend a meeting of the Majlis national security committee,” Hossein Naqavi Hosseini told the Mehr news agency.

“In this meeting, Zarif is expected to describe the latest diplomatic and foreign policy developments as well as the outcomes of [his] trip to the U.S.,” he added.

Zarif visited New York in July 14 to attend the United Nations Economic and Social Council. 

In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Wednesday, Zarif said Iran “will never start a war,” but “will defend its territory” against any act of aggression.

He said the hawkish administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is already waging an economic war against Iran’s civilians.

“There is a war going on right now. It’s an economic war, an economic war against Iran targets civilian population,” he stated.

Zarif also told reporters in New York on Thursday that he was holding meetings with some members of Congress, but not with U.S. administration officials or envoys.

He would leave it to the U.S. lawmakers he met with to identify themselves if they wish, Zarif told UN reporter Susan Modaress.

After departing New York, the top Iranian diplomat on Saturday addressed the recent American provocations, warning Washington to “not play with Iran.”   

“We say, ‘You may start a war, but you won’t be the ones who end it,’” he said, adding, “We will survive; we will prosper, long after President Trump is gone.”

Tensions have mounted since the U.S. withdrew from the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal last May and imposed unilateral sanctions both on Tehran and the countries that do business with it.

Iran has recently suspended some of its nuclear deal commitments in order to push the remaining signatories to uphold the deal and protect it from Washington’s unilateral measures.

MH/PA

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