0824 GMT August 13, 2022
Japan's national broadcaster, NHK, reported on Wednesday that the trip is “likely aimed at dissuading key European powers from agreeing with the United States' efforts to restore UN sanctions on Tehran.”
NHK referred to “diplomatic sources” as saying that arrangements are being made for the foreign minister's visit, which will commence as early as next week. Currently, Zarif plans to visit European countries, such as Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Some believe that through Zarif's visits, Iran is likely aiming to boost ties with European countries, with a goal of blocking the US initiative.
In 2018, the US unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal struck between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as Germany and resumed its sanctions on Iran.
The US says UN sanctions will be restored on September 20 according to stipulations of the deal. But most UNSC members say the US demand is invalid because Washington withdrew from the deal.
Despite the US baseless claims, IAEA, in its latest report, has explicitly portrayed a clear image of the current status of bilateral cooperation with Iran and envisaged positive and constructive prospects in relations between Iran and the agency.
Iran has proved its goodwill in interaction with the IAEA and has granted the agency access to one of the two demanded sites. IAEA inspectors are to visit the other site later in September 2020 on a date already agreed with Iran, to take environmental samples.
In his latest remarks, Zarif said that policies by the Trump administration have led to the creation of a gap between America and Europe.
He likened the US behavior to a ‘bully in school’ who ‘beats smaller kids’, adding that if no one stops this bully, he/she will generalize this behavior and beats everyone. Likewise, the minister continued, the US started with smaller countries such as Iraq, and then it causes problems for Iran and in the next step, it goes for its own allies such as Germany.
America is now threatening German companies with sanctions on the Nord Stream project, he added. “If the world does not stand against this excessive demand, America will expand its bullying behavior across the world.”
European countries are ‘gradually’ acknowledging the fact as EU foreign policy Chief Joseph Borrell once said that the US should stop threatening the EU, added Zarif.
MNA contributed to this story.