Tags: Iran | iran | foreign minister | united states | sanctions

Iran Foreign Minister: US 'Must Make a Choice to Deal with Us'

Image: Iran Foreign Minister: US 'Must Make a Choice to Deal with Us'
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (Laurent Gilleron/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 02:37 PM

Iran's foreign minister has taken to the editorial pages of The New York Times to pen a column telling the U.S. that it "must make a choice to deal with us."

Amid continued struggles to finalize a nuclear deal after decades of sanctions, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in an op-ed published Monday, calls his nation's nuclear program "peaceful" and says any crisis on finalizing an accord is a "manufactured crisis" that must be put to rest to serve cooperation in the fractured region.

"Iranian foreign policy is holistic in nature. This is not due to habit or preference, but because globalization has rendered all alternatives obsolete. Nothing in international politics functions in a vacuum. Security cannot be pursued at the expense of the insecurity of others. No nation can achieve its interests without considering the interests of others," Zarif wrote.

He called for a "sober assessment of the complex and intertwined realities" in the Persian Gulf region and his desire to create "consistent policies" to handle them.

Zarif also noted the increasingly complex terror threat his own country faced.

"The wider Persian Gulf region is in turmoil. It is not a question of governments rising and falling: the social, cultural and religious fabrics of entire countries are being torn to shreds, Zarif said.

"One cannot confront Al Qaeda and its ideological siblings, such as the so-called Islamic State, which is neither Islamic nor a state, in Iraq, while effectively enabling their growth in Yemen and Syria," he wrote.

Fighting to keep a deal in play, President Barack Obama has suggested compromises on sanctions, The Wall Street Journal reported. If Iran violated a new deal, new sanctions would come into play, he said Friday.

"Our main concern here is making sure that if Iran doesn’t abide by its agreement that we don’t have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops in order to reinstate sanctions," Obama said last week, according to the Journal. "It will require some creative negotiations. I’m confident it will be successful."

A sticking point to a new deal for a June 30 deadline are phased out sanctions, the White House noted, clarifying Obama's remarks that the president "will not accept a deal without phased sanctions" relief, the Journal said.

The president last week yielded to concerns from Congress that it has a say in the matter moving forward, The New York Times said. Some lawmakers believed the current deal gave too much power to Iran and asked to be involved to make sure they had some say moving ahead.

"We’re involved here. We have to be involved here," Maryland Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, who helped bridge the deal between the White House and Congress told the Times. "Only Congress can change or permanently modify the sanctions regime."

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Iran's foreign minister has taken to the editorial pages of The New York Times to pen a column telling the U.S. that it "must make a choice to deal with us."
iran, foreign minister, united states, sanctions
460
2015-37-20
Monday, 20 Apr 2015 02:37 PM
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