Iran, India can counter US' illegal sanctions, bullying, says Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has lauded ties, especially economic relations, with India, expressing confidence that Tehran and New Delhi will counter the US’ “illegal” measures, sanctions and bullying.
“Relations with India have always been important. India is an important neighbor,” Zarif said in an interview with NDTV in New Delhi on Wednesday, adding that Iran and India had “common security concerns” as well as regional concerns regarding the situation in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf region.
Zarif also expressed assurances that Iran and India would find ways to circumvent US’ illegal measures and bullying.
In the wake of US withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018 and the subsequent re-imposition of Washington’s sanctions on Iran, the European Union has been seeking to facilitate non-dollar trade with Tehran through a mechanism called the special purpose vehicle (SPV).
So far, the Europeans have failed twice to fulfill their promises to get the system up and running in order to persuade Iran to remain in the JCPOA after the US abandoned it.
Iran has been critical of the EU for failing to set up the payment mechanism, warning that the bloc should account for the "consequences" of the delay.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the top Iranian diplomat said foreign military presence, including that of the US, has never contributed to stability and security of the region but brought about extremism and terrorism.
He said that Iran and India shared the same objective in Afghanistan, and that is an Afghanistan that “has an inclusive government, where every segment of the society is able to interact and be a part of the governance.”
Zarif also said that it would “impossible to have a future in Afghanistan without any role for the Taliban,” but added, “We also believe that the Taliban should not have a dominant role in Afghanistan.”
“An Afghanistan dominated by the Taliban would not be in the interest of the region,” he said, adding,” I believe that’s almost a consensus.”
He also said that it was for the Afghans to decide for the future of their country and stressed that all players in the region and outside the region should “facilitate [a peace process] not dictate their wishes and desires.”