News ID: 124784
Published: 0151 GMT August 18, 2015

Ebtekar: Iran to work with Mideast powers for peace

Ebtekar: Iran to work with Mideast powers for peace

Iran wants to work with other powers in the Middle East to promote peace following last month's nuclear deal, Vice-President Masumeh Ebtekar said.

 

In an interview with the BBC, Ebtekar stressed that Iran had a right to defend itself, but that it had no intention of dominating the region.

Her country hoped to regain the trust of neighboring states and co-operate to counter extremist groups, she added.

Iran has played a major role in countering the ISIL terrorists in Iraq in the past year.

Vice-President Ebtekar spoke to the BBC's Kim Ghattas during a week-long assignment in Iran - the longest time a BBC correspondent has been granted permission to report from there since June 2009.

In the interview, Ebtekar said the recent deal that saw Iran agree to limit its sensitive nuclear activities in return for the end of sanctions represented a "step forward" for the whole world.

"It means a new era of working with the world in terms of different dimensions of trade, cultural exchanges," she explained. "It means that Iran is going to be a more prominent player in this part of the world."

 

The BBC reporter said their interview with Masumeh Ebtekar was the first appointment in Tehran when they arrived last week.

The vice-president insisted that Iran would not stop supporting those "threatened by the policies of the Zionist regime", and needed to be able to defend itself in a region where there were so many US military bases.

But, she added, Iran also wanted to use its influence "to promote peace and stability".

"Our foreign minister is travelling in the region, because maintaining ties, actually restoring trust with our neighbors is an issue for us."

"We hope to be able to restore that trust working with different regional states to be able to stand firm against extremism, against terrorism, against Da'esh (ISIL) which is a terrible phenomenon," she added.

She revealed that Iran had been "trying to establish a dialogue" through diplomatic channels with Saudi Arabia, which goes on attacking Yemen to drive back the Houthis and restore the country's exiled president.

"We have to resolve the war in Yemen which is devastating that nation."

The vice-president also rejected claims by critics of the nuclear deal in the US Congress that Iran should not be trusted to comply with the terms.

"I think that Iran has indicated very clearly that it intends to abide to this agreement, and I think that on the contrary there is a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that Iran stands by its commitments at the international level," she said.

On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 countries – the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – finalized the text of the nuclear agreement in the Austrian capital.

Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

   
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