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Iran FM briefs parliament on Turkey botched coup: MP

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the parliament in Tehran on July 17, 2016. ©Icana

Iran’s foreign minister has briefed the parliament (Majlis) on the latest developments in neighboring Turkey, which recently witnessed an attempted military coup against the Ankara government.

On Sunday, Mohammad Javad Zarif delivered the report on the situation in Turkey, among other issues, to the Iranian lawmakers during a closed-door session of the parliament presided by Speaker Ali Larijani.

The botched putsch began late on Friday, when a faction of the Turkish military blocked Istanbul’s iconic Bosphorus Bridge and strafed the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in the capital, Ankara.

Tanks, helicopters and soldiers clashed with police and people on the streets of the two main Turkish cities while explosions and firing were heard.

Thousands heeded a call by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take to the streets in a bid to defuse the coup, which was blamed on Fethullah Gulen; an accusation “categorically” rejected by the US-based cleric.

MP Akbar Ranjbarzadeh said Zarif told the parliamentarians that the Islamic Republic was the first country to take a stance on the coup plot in Turkey and express concerns about the chaos in the neighboring country.

Ranjbarzadeh quoted Zarif as saying that Tehran supports the path of democracy and never endorses coups, but rather condemns them.

“We were the first country that explicitly declared our position regarding Turkey, while other countries either kept mum or …were vague in their stance, if they adopted any, and failed to voice their support for democracy,” Zarif was quoted as saying.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the parliament in Tehran on July 17, 2016. ©Icana

Some countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar preferred the escalation of the attempted coup against the Turkish government, he cited Zarif as saying.

During the parliamentary session, Zarif also spoke about last year’s nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

Under the deal, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US would be lifted. Iran has, in return, put some limitations on its nuclear activities.

However, many large European banks still refrain from engaging in transactions with Iran for fear of US penalties.

The Iranian foreign minister also briefed the MPs on the terror attack in France’s Nice on July 14.

At least 84 people were killed when a Franco-Tunisian drove a truck through a Bastille Day crowd. The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the carnage.

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