Iran will defend itself against any aggression, says foreign minister

BAGHDAD: Iranian will defend itself in opposition to any army or financial aggression, Overseas Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif mentioned on Sunday, calling on European states to do extra to protect a nuclear settlement his nation signed.

Talking in a information convention in Baghdad along with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed al-Hakim, Zarif mentioned his nation wished to construct balanced relations with its Gulf Arab neighbours and that it had proposed signing a non-aggression pact with them.

“We are going to defend in opposition to any warfare efforts in opposition to Iran, whether or not or not it’s an financial warfare or a army one, and we are going to face these efforts with energy,” he mentioned.

Strains have elevated between Iran and the USA, which is a agency backer of Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, after this month’s assault on oil tankers within the Gulf area that Washington has blamed on Iran.

Tehran has distanced itself from the bombings, however the USA has despatched an plane provider and an additional 1,500 troops to the Gulf, sparking considerations concerning the dangers of battle in a risky area.

Iraq stands with Iran and is prepared to behave as an middleman between its neighbour and the USA, Hakim mentioned, including that Baghdad doesn’t imagine an “financial blockade” is fruitful, a reference to U.S. sanctions.

“We’re saying very clearly and truthfully that we oppose the unilateral actions taken by the USA. We stand with the Islamic Republic of Iran in its place,” mentioned Hakim. The USA and Iran are Iraq’s two foremost allies.

Nuclear Referendum

Washington has been looking for to tighten sanctions in opposition to Iran, as relations worsen beneath President Donald Trump, who final 12 months pulled out of a nuclear settlement his predecessor Barack Obama had signed with Iran alongside different world powers in 2015.

In Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani floated the concept of holding a referendum over Iran’s nuclear programme, Iranian media reported.

A referendum over the controversial nuclear programme might give Iran’s leaders area to manoeuvre and an opportunity to resolve the standoff with the USA.

High Iranian leaders have mentioned they don’t seem to be looking for warfare with the USA and officers talking to Reuters from Tehran mentioned final week that regardless of the sharpened rhetoric with Washington, authorities are attempting to keep away from an open battle.

“Article 59 of the Structure (referendum ) is a impasse breaker … and could possibly be a problem-solver at any junction,” the semi-official information company ILNA quoted Rouhani as saying late on Saturday.

Rouhani mentioned that, when he was a prime nuclear negotiator in 2004, he had proposed holding a referendum on the nuclear subject to Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran has solely held three referendums since its 1979 Islamic revolution — to approve the organising of an Islamic Republic after which to approve and amend the structure.

Washington says it has constructed up the U.S. army presence within the area, accusing Tehran of threats to U.S. troops and pursuits. Tehran has described U.S. strikes as “psychological warfare” and a “political sport”.

Individually, a deputy commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards mentioned the U.S. army presence within the Center East was at its “weakest in historical past” regardless of the speak of a build-up.—Reuters

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