Zarif will soon start tour of China, Japan and Malaysia

August 25, 2019

TEHRAN - The Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Iran’s chief diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif will soon start a tour to a number of East Asian states as part of Tehran’s “proactive” diplomacy, after concluding his visit to Europe.

“Seeking to follow up on and implement the Islamic Republic of Iran’s proactive and balanced diplomacy, Zarif will head a delegation to China, Japan and Malaysia in East Asia, starting on Sunday,” Abbas Mousavi said on Saturday.

“Bilateral relations and the most pressing issues in the region and world are among the main topics to be discussed,” Press TV quoted Mousavi as saying.

Tehran has long-enjoyed close relations with a number of Asian and East Asian countries as part of a greater policy to diversify and strengthen its foreign relations.

Zarif’s trip to East Asia will take place shortly after concluding a nearly week-long visit to Europe, which took him to three Scandinavian nations of Finland, Sweden, Norway and France.

While in Oslo, , Zarif also warned against U.S. efforts to create a security mission, which so far Britain, Australia and Bahrain have joined, to allegedly guard shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital gateway for global oil supplies.

"It's clear that the U.S. intention… (of having a) naval presence in the Persian Gulf is to counter Iran.. Don't expect us to remain quiet when somebody comes to our waters and threatens us," Zarif warned.

Zarif reiterated Tehran’s long-held position that Iran would not start a war in the Persian Gulf but it would defend itself.

"Will there be a war in the Persian Gulf? I can tell you that we will not start the war...but we will defend ourselves."

PA/PA

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