Zarif: Iran wants to reduce tensions with the US under Biden

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Iran’s foreign minister sees a détente after the inauguration of the
new US president in the interests of the country and people.

Iran wants to ease tensions with the US under Joe Biden’s presidency. “We don’t want to start friendship, we just want to reduce unnecessary tension and hostility,” said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a video interview published on Monday by the news portal Entekhab.

A rapprochement with the USA after Biden took office is in the interests of the country and the people. Party political considerations should therefore not call this approximation into question.

An old friend

He knew Biden as a senator from his time as Iran’s ambassador to the UN in New York (2002-2007) and had also met him personally. “Biden has been involved in American foreign policy since the 1970s and knows it far better than (US President Donald) Trump,” said Zarif. In his opinion, there will be mistrust and differences between the two countries under Biden, but far less than under Trump.

Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani hope that Biden will lead the US back to the 2015 Vienna nuclear deal and lift the sanctions against Iran. Trump not only got out of the nuclear deal in 2018, but had also imposed draconian sanctions on the Islamic Republic. This led to the oil-rich country’s worst economic crisis in the past two years. The corona pandemic over the past ten months has further exacerbated the crisis. The local currency, the rial, lost half of its value.

Attack overshadows relationships

Observers agree that only negotiations with the new US president could lead Iran out of this crisis. On Friday, however, there was a fatal attack on the Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, for which Tehran blames “local mercenaries” of the US and Israel. The attack could lead to new tensions between Tehran and Washington and make negotiations with the Biden government more difficult. The hardliners in Iran are demanding vengeance and their mouthpiece, the daily newspaper “Kayhan”, even a military attack on the Israeli port city of Haifa.

(APA / DPA)



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