Iran foreign minister Zarif meets Doval, says India’s role in Gulf crucial

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The minister said India had a crucial role to play in de-escalating tensions in the Gulf region as New Delhi was an important player. Photo: Facebook.

The killing of General Qasim Soleimani on January 3 is testimony to the arrogance and ignorance of the US, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has said. Addressing the media in New Delhi on Wednesday (January 15), he said Iran was keen to pursue a diplomatic path but was not ready for a negotiation with the US.

The remarks came after a visible de-escalation of tensions after both Iran and US stepped down their rhetoric. US President Donald Trump had said that both countries had common ground to pursue like the ISIS.

“Iran is interested in diplomacy. We are not interested in negotiating with the US. The US did not keep its commitments under the nuclear deal. We had a US deal and the US broke it. If we have a Trump deal, how long will it last?” Zarif said.

Iran sustained losses running up to billions of dollars, he said adding: “We need to create hope in the region. We have to get rid of despair.”

He said Soleimani was the single biggest threat to ISIS and his killing was now being celebrated by the terror group and US President Donald Trump. Referring to the Ukrainian jetliner that crashed earlier this week killing all 176 aboard, Zarif said shooting down of the civilian plane was a mistake. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard had acknowledged that it accidentally shot down the Ukrainian aircraft.

Zarif meets Doval

The minister met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and gave him a first-hand account of the situation prevailing in the Gulf. Sources said the overall security situation was discussed in detailed. The minister said India had a crucial role to play in de-escalating tensions in the Gulf region as New Delhi was an important player.

India has been maintaining that it would like the situation to de-escalate as soon as possible and the country has been in touch with key players, including Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar.

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