Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Switzerland, Geneva, November 10, 2013
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has dismissed as “unlikely” the possibility of the Israeli lobby being capable of undermining the nuclear talks between Tehran and six major world powers.
During a press briefing with Iranian reporters in the Swiss city of Geneva on Sunday, Zarif was asked about the possible role of the Israeli lobby in sabotaging the nuclear talks, to which he responded, “I think it is unlikely that they (Israeli lobbyists) could be influential.”
“Negotiations are running their course and I do not think anyone would pay attention to their propaganda,” he added.
Zarif said introducing the real characteristics of the Iranian nation and their discourse, which is based on moderation and constructive interaction, has isolated the enemies of the Islamic Republic over the past few months.
The remarks came after Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain, France, China, Russia and the US - plus Germany concluded three days of intense negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear energy program early on Sunday.
The closed-door talks began in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday and were scheduled to end on Friday. Negotiations, however, stretched into an unscheduled third day and continued until the early hours of Sunday due to divisions among the six powers.
Meanwhile, Israel is struggling to hamper the possibility of a nuclear deal between Iran and the six countries.
Describing a deal with Iran as a historic mistake, Israeli Minister of Military Affairs Moshe Ya’alon on Saturday urged the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany to be intransigent in the talks with Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also rejected a possible nuclear agreement with Iran as “a very bad deal” before meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday in Tel Aviv.
Zarif said, “This regime (Israel) is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but it is so full of itself that it makes comments about others.”
Commenting on the forthcoming visit by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano to Tehran, Zarif said Iran is pursuing a different approach toward the agency.
“Our relations with the agency must be based on a serious approach so that the agency could play a reassuring role,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
The IAEA’s press office said on Friday that Amano will hold talks with senior Iranian officials in Tehran on Monday with the aim of “strengthening dialog and cooperation.”
Zarif said the IAEA can determine the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear energy program only when the requirements necessary for the objective are met, adding that, “We are prepared to provide [those] requirements for the agency.”
Iran and the IAEA wrapped up two days of negotiations in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on October 29.