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WorldIran's Zarif says Saudi Arabia, not Iran, is to blame for Middle East instability

01:55  19 july  2019
01:55  19 july  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

Germany, France, UK, EU urge Iran to revert to upholding nuclear deal

Germany, France, UK, EU urge Iran to revert to upholding nuclear deal The foreign ministers of Germany, France, Britain and the European Union said on Tuesday that they were concerned about Iran scaling up its uranium enrichment and urged Tehran to revert to upholding the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has said it will boost its uranium enrichment in a few hours above a cap set by the nuclear deal, a move that could mean the return of all economic sanctions on Tehran. "We express deep concern that Iran is not meeting several of its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," the ministers said, referring to the nuclear deal's formal name (JCPoA).

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Thursday that Saudi Arabia — and not Iran — is to blame for sowing instability in the Middle East , and Zarif said the United States had singled out the wrong country by painting Iran as the culprit fueling chaos and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.

Zarif noted that the instability in the region was caused by "the wrong policies that are being followed, not only by Saudi Arabia but by its allies in the West who have given it a blank check to continue to make these very dangerous escalations." READ MORE: Iranian Foreign Minister Reiterates Tehran

Iran's Zarif says Saudi Arabia, not Iran, is to blame for Middle East instability© Evgenia Novozhenina Image: Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Thursday that Saudi Arabia — and not Iran — is to blame for sowing instability in the Middle East, and accused the Trump administration of turning a blind eye to Riyadh's "malign" actions.

Speaking to reporters at Iran's U.N. Mission in New York, Zarif also proposed what he called a "substantial" diplomatic offer in which Iran would agree to permanent and enhanced inspections of its nuclear program in return for a permanent lifting of U.S. sanctions.

The proposal will likely be rejected by the Trump administration, which has demanded the regime agree to a list of concessions, including giving up uranium enrichment and halting its support for proxies in the region/ It has imposed harsh oil and banking sanctions on Iran, and on Thursday added sanctions against alleged "front" companies accused of procuring material for Iran's nuke program.

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Any reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran could have far-reaching consequences for conflicts across the region. On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran said that his country would “The worst outcome for the Saudis is to move to a confrontation with Iran expecting the U. S He has cast Iran as the root of the Middle East ’ s problems and argued that political and

That raised questions about whether Saudi Arabia can protect itself even with American pledges of help “As for how we know, the equipment used is unknown to be in the Houthis’ arsenal,” he said . Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran responded on Twitter that Mr. Trump was “escalating

Hours after Zarif's briefing with reporters, President Donald Trump said the USS Boxer a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship — had destroyed an Iranian drone that had flown within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored calls to stand down.

The drone was "threatening safety of the ship and the ship's crew" and "was immediately destroyed," Trump said.

Zarif said the U.S. had singled out the wrong country by painting Iran as the culprit fueling chaos and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa. Saudi Arabia, he said, was the main "source of malign activity."

Zarif asked why the U.S. penalizes Tehran instead of Riyadh, citing a litany of alleged Saudi activities, including civilian casualties from Saudi-led air raids in Yemen, promoting a renegade general in Libya, the alleged kidnapping of Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri in 2017, and last year's killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Door is 'wide open' to negotiation if Trump lifts his sanctions on Iran, Zarif says

Door is 'wide open' to negotiation if Trump lifts his sanctions on Iran, Zarif says Iran's top diplomat says it could have developed nuclear weapons but made a decision “a long time ago” not to build the bomb.

Arab News Iran ’ s Zarif says Saudi Arabia , not Iran , is to blame for Middle East instability 4 min read 6 hours ago Arab News Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Thursday that Saudi Arabia — and not Iran — is to blame for sowing instability in the Middle East , and accused the Trump admini

A military strike against Iran by the United States or Saudi Arabia would result in “an all-out war,” the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif , said on Thursday, repeating his government’ s denial of responsibility for an attack last week that damaged Saudi oil facilities and hampered the global flow

"You support Saudi Arabia to bomb the hell out of the Yemenis, Why do you complain against us?" Zarif said. "You supported them while they had the prime minister of Lebanon in custody. Why do you complain against us? What's the malign behavior?"

"Okay, we are involved in Lebanon and Syria and Iraq," he acknowledged, but argued that Iran is "always on the right side," while alleging the Saudi kingdom is trying to stir up trouble in nations that are afflicted by civil wars.

"Are we involved in Libya? Are we involved in the Sudan?" he asked.

The Trump administration says Iran has backed militant proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere for years that have carried out violent attacks on civilians and undermined governments, while backing a brutal regime in Syria led by Bashar al Assad. The administration has defended its strong ties to Saudi Arabia, saying the country is a crucial counterweight to Iran and a loyal ally. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has condemned the killing of Khashoggi but said last year that the "kingdom is a powerful force for stability in the Middle East."

Tensions With Iran Reach the Point of Inevitability

Tensions With Iran Reach the Point of Inevitability Even though both sides insist they don’t want war, the existing tensions, combined with Iran’s anger at being denied the benefits of the nuclear agreement, mean that one miscalculated provocation could lead to a larger conflagration. “We live in a very dangerous environment,” the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said Thursday at the United Nations before news of the drone was made public. “The United States has pushed itself and the rest of the world into probably the brink of an abyss.

The rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia has for decades roiled the Middle East with sectarian When President Trump recently spoke contemptuously of the Saudi rulers, saying “they wouldn’t last Iran ’ s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif , in a recent interview with Al Jazeera, made an offer

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in an interview Friday that he hoped to avoid conflict, but that Iran was prepared for "all-out war" in the He then questioned whether Saudi Arabia was ready to fight "to the last American soldier." "This is not the first time Iran ' s foreign minister has said something

Since Washington tightened oil sanctions on Iran in April, the two countries have entered into a tense showdown around the Strait of Hormuz, a vital waterway for the world's oil shipments.

Zarif was asked if he had the shape of an agreement in mind that could end the standoff and that leaders in both countries could support.

"As a diplomat, I have to always think about alternatives. That's my job. But it is not my job to make those alternatives public because otherwise, I would not be able to uses those alternatives," he said. "I have several."

Zarif outlined one which he described as "a substantial move." He suggested that Iran and the other parties to the 2015 nuclear accord, known as the JCPOA, could simply move up the date of a key provision that was originally planned to enter into force in 2023.

Under the terms of the deal, the U.S. agreed to end all sanctions in return for Iran agreeing to what's known as the "additional protocol," requiring a full disclosure of Iran's nuclear history and an agreement to permit surprise international inspections anywhere on Iranian territory.

Gulf tensions rise as US shoots down Iranian drone

Gulf tensions rise as US shoots down Iranian drone Tensions in the Gulf region mounted Thursday as US President Donald Trump said an American naval vessel shot down an Iranian drone that threatened the ship as it was entering the Strait of Hormuz. It was the first US military engagement with Iran following a series of increasingly serious incidents. Trump announced that the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, "took defensive action" against the Iranian drone as it was "threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew." The drone was "immediately destroyed," Trump said, after it approached within 1,000 yards (914 meters) of the Boxer, Trump said.

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"In October 2023, we are supposed to do two things," Zarif said. "Iran is supposed to ratify the additional protocol and the United States Congress is supposed to lift the sanctions. If he wants more for more, he can lift the sanctions. He has said he will take any measure to Congress. Fine! Lift the sanctions and you'll have the Additional Protocol."

President Trump, he said, could agree to that "tomorrow."

The foreign minister told NBC News on Monday in an interview that he believed prudence prevailed when Trump chose not to retaliate against Iran after it shot down a U.S. drone in the Gulf.

Zarif told NBC Iran was ready to enter into negotiations with the United States if Trump lifted an array of sanctions he has imposed since 2017. Trump pulled Washington out of the nuclear deal last year. The agreement between Iran and world powers curtailed Tehran's nuclear program in return for an easing of U.S. and international sanctions.

Dan De Luce reported from Aspen, Colo.

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