Israel, US seeking war | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 18, 2019

Israel, US seeking war

Claims Iran FM, slams Washington's 'unhealthy' obsession with Tehran

  • Zarif says Europe falling short on efforts to save nuclear deal 
  • Rouhani says Tehran ready to improve ties with Gulf states

 

Iran's foreign minister yesterday accused Israel of looking for war and warned that its actions and those of the United States were increasing the chances of a clash in the region.

Addressing the Munich Security Conference, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also criticised the US administration after Vice President Mike Pence this week called on European powers to pullout of the nuclear deal with Iran. Zarif urged France, Germany and Britain to do more to save that accord.

"Certainly, some people are looking for war ... Israel," Zarif said. "The risk (of war) is great. The risk will be even greater if you continue to turn a blind eye to severe violations of international law."

Accusing Israel of violating international law after bombing campaigns in Syria, Zarif criticised European powers for not calling out Israel and the United States for their behaviour in the region.

"Israeli behaviour is putting international law on the shelf, US behaviour is putting international law on the shelf," he said.

Zarif said the US had an "unhealthy" and "pathological obsession" with Iran and accused Pence of trying to bully his allies.

"All in the name of containing Iran, the US claims, and some blindly parrot, that it is Iran that is interfering in the region, but has it been asked whose region?" Zarif said.

"Look at the map, the US military has travelled 10,000 kilometres to dot all our borders with its bases. There is a joke that it is Iran that put itself in the middle of US bases."

Zarif, who said Iran was committed to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers for now, also accused France, Britain and Germany of not doing enough to ensure Tehran received the economic benefits of that accord.

Mid intense pressure, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani yesterday said his country is ready to work with all of its neighbours to secure peace in the Middle East in the face of US and Israeli aggression.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been fighting proxy wars for years, backing opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

“Iran is ready to work with regional states to preserve security in the Middle East," Rouhani said in a public speech in the southern Hormozgan province, broadcast live on state TV. "We want to establish brotherly ties with all countries of the region ... Iran has never started any aggression in the region."

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