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Zarif rejects UN report on Saudi attacks
International Desk

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday rejected a United Nations report that said cruise missiles and drones used in attacks on oil facilities and an airport in Saudi Arabia last year were of “Iranian origin”.

“Such statements are unfounded and unfortunately the UN Secretariat has shown that it is affected by US threats,” Zarif said in the live interview on Instagram with Iranian journalist Farid Modarresi.

The strikes on Saudi Arabia targeted a Saudi oil facility in Afif in May 2019, the international airport at Abha in June and August and state oil giant Aramco's processing facilities in Khurais and Abqaiq in September.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Thursday that “cruise missiles and/or parts thereof used in the four attacks are of Iranian origin".

Zarif said the situation in West Asia is “special and serious”.

“It is wise for the countries of the region to talk about the future instead of being taken by the past” he said.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday the UN allegation it had been leveled under US and Saudi influence.

The ministry said the UN report had been prepared “with political motivation “and contained "a number of serious flaws, inaccuracies, and discrepancies."

“Undoubtedly, such reports will not only fail to help [promote] peace and security in the region and implement [UN] Security Council resolutions, but also completely destroy the validity and reputation of the United Nations,” the ministry warned.

 

Trump’s reelection

Zarif also said US President Donald Trump still has a good chance of being reelected due to his strong support base, despite his declining support in recent months.

“The biggest mistake in human sciences is to predict, especially in fluid and grave conditions. But allow me to venture a prediction that Mr. Trump’s reelection chances are still more that 50%,” Zarif said. “Of course his chances have seriously decreased compared to four to five months ago.”

“But Mr. Trump has a 30-35% base that has not moved and, as long as this base does not move, there is still a chance of his reelection,” he added.

Relations between Tehran and Washington have taken a turn for the worse since Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Iran has responded by gradually scaling back its commitments under the agreement.

In a tweet on June 5, Trump called on Iran not to wait for the next administration for what he called “the big deal” with Washington.

“Don’t wait until after US Election to make the Big deal. I’m going to win. You’ll make a better deal now!”

Recent opinion polls have seen Trump lose ground to Democrat Joe Biden.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry responded that Iran would not base its policies on internal US matters, such as elections.

Zarif said in the interview that Trump himself had likely reached the conclusion that his policies of “maximum pressure” against Iran had failed.

“I don’t think Trump believes anymore in talk that the Islamic Republic is about to collapse,” Zarif said. “But he keeps repeating his mistakes. It seems that they (US officials) know they have committed errors but don’t know how to correct them.”

Reuters, AFP, and Press TV contributed to this story.

 

 

 

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