Iranian FM says the Adana agreement between Turkey and Syria is still valid

Zarif says Syria and Turkey should together guard border

October 12, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that the Syrian Army together with Turkey can guard the border with Turkey.

“That’s a better way to achieve security,” he told Turkey’s TRT World in an interview aired on October 10.

“We do not believe that security can be achieved by invading Syria, by incursion into Syria. We have better options. We have offered better options to our Turkish friends like the Adana agreement. There is an Adana agreement between Turkey and Syria which is still valid. We can help bring together the Syrian Kurds, the Syrian government and Turkey so that the Syrian Army together with Turkey can guard the border with Turkey, together with Turkey,” Zarif explained.

Also in a post on his Twitter page on Saturday, Zarif said, “The Adana Agreement between Turkey and Syria—still valid—can be the better path to achieve security. #Iran can help bring together the Syrian Kurds, the Syrian Govt, and Turkey so that the Syrian Army together with Turkey can guard the border.”

In his interview with the Turkish TV network, Zarif also said, “Today, I am saying what we need is inter-Syrian dialogue, revised constitution, and hopefully in 2021 when the time comes for election.”

“Now there is the next election and we have to prepare for it. I think the formation of the constitutional committee is very important first step, we should follow it with serious measures including moving towards less tension,” the chief diplomat stated.

Turkey launched military operation against Syrian Kurdish fighters, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in northeast Syria on Wednesday.

‘Iran is open to talk to Saudi Arabia’

Zarif also said that Iran has always been open to talk to Saudi Arabia either directly or through intermediary.

“We’ve always been open to discussing anything with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is our neighbor. We’re going to be here together permanently. We don’t have any choice but to talk to each other and we have been open to talking to Saudi Arabia either directly or through intermediary,” the chief diplomat affirmed.

He added, “We have never rejected any intermediary from the former prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, who came to Iran and we received him with open arms, and to the foreign minister of Indonesia who came to Iran at the same time. We have always been open to mediation and we have always been open to direct talks with our Saudi neighbor.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to make a trip to Tehran on Sunday for mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

‘Trump does not want a war with Iran’

Zarif also said that he believes that U.S. President Donald Trump does not want a war with Iran.

“I believe President Trump does not want to go to war and he does not want to escalate tension,” he said. 

He continued, “But he [Trump] has an impression that through pressure he can achieve his goals. I think it may have worked in real estate, but it does not work in dealing with other countries. It certainly does not work in dealing with a country with seven millennia of civilization.”

Zarif says Trump “was misled to believe that it (JCPOA) was a bad deal by those who did not want to have a deal at any rate”.
Commenting on Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, Zarif said that Trump “was misled to believe that it was a bad deal by those who did not want to have a deal at any rate”.

Elsewhere, he said, “I think the deal is in the interests of the international community. I think the European partners to the deal need to do more in order to salvage their own integrity, to salvage the fact that they want to live independent.”

He added, “I think Iran can live without the nuclear deal but can Europe live with the impression that it is not a reliable partner in any deal? That any deal that you want to make with Europe, you have to make it with the United States?”

‘Sanctions are war’

Zair also said that sanctions have put heavy pressure on the Iranian people and that is why it is believed that “sanctions are war”.

“The United States started a war against Iran. Maximum pressure is a euphemism for economic terrorism,” he said.

Citing a quote from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who had said if the Iranians want to “eat” they should listen to what Washington says

“Secretary Pompeo has said publicly and that is a Newsweek headline, ‘If Iran wants its people to eat, it has to follow what the U.S. says’.”

He continued, “Read the classical definition of terrorism in any law book, any law dictionary even google it, it says coercion or use of violence against the civilians for political purposes, to achieve political objectives is terrorism and the U.S. has to change its policy. So, Secretary Pompeo should in fact hire a good lawyer.”

NA/PA

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