Iran for­eign min­is­ter em­barks on tour to sal­vage nu­clear deal

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - WORLD -

IRAN’S for­eign min­is­ter will em­bark on a diplomatic tour to try to sal­vage the nu­clear deal amid high ten­sions fol­low­ing the US with­drawal and global fears over re­ports of un­prece­dented clashes with Is­rael in Syria.

For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif would leave later to­day for vis­its to Beijing, Moscow and Brus­sels, a spokesman said yes­ter­day, hold­ing meet­ings with all five of the re­main­ing par­ties to the 2015 nu­clear deal.

Iran ap­peared de­ter­mined not to be drawn into a wider re­gional con­flict with Is­rael dur­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

That is de­spite Is­rael’s claims that it struck dozens of Ira­nian tar­gets in­side Syria on Thurs­day as part of “Op­er­a­tion House of Cards”.

Is­raeli De­fence Min­is­ter Avig­dor Lieber­man urged Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad to throw the Ira­ni­ans out of his coun­try.

Is­rael said the strikes were in re­sponse to a mis­sile vol­ley fired from south­ern Syria by Iran’s Al-Quds force, that struck the oc­cu­pied Golan Heights with­out caus­ing ca­su­al­ties.

But Iran flatly de­nied the Is­raeli ver­sion of events yes­ter­day, say­ing Is­rael’s at­tacks had been car­ried out on false pre­texts.

“The re­peated at­tacks by the Zion­ist regime on Syr­ian ter­ri­tory were car­ried out un­der pre­texts in­vented by them­selves and are with­out foun­da­tion,” for­eign min­istry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said.

Iran must tread a del­i­cate line as it seeks to show re­solve against US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and the Is­raeli strikes with­out alien­at­ing the Euro­pean part­ners it needs to sal­vage some­thing from the nu­clear deal. Zarif will hold high-pres­sure talks with the other par­ties to the deal, first in Beijing and Moscow, and then with his coun­ter­parts from Bri­tain, France and Ger­many in Brus­sels on Tues­day.

All five have con­demned Trump’s move to walk out of the deal and reim­pose crip­pling sanc­tions, but Euro­pean com­pa­nies in par­tic­u­lar will be highly vul­ner­a­ble to eco­nomic pres­sure from Wash­ing­ton.

France hopes for a wider set­tle­ment that will cover Iran’s ac­tiv­i­ties across the Mid­dle East, and warned Te­heran against any temp­ta­tion for re­gional dom­i­nance.

Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani told Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel in a tele­phone call on Thurs­day that he did not want new ten­sions in the Mid­dle East. – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.