On first leg of regional tour, Mohammad Javad Zarif says Middle East countries should unite against ‘Israel and terrorism’

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a press conference, July 15, 2015.  (AFP/ATTA KENARE)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a press conference, July 15, 2015. (AFP/ATTA KENARE)


Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tuesday that the “Israeli regime’s plot” against the Iranian nuclear agreement has been “defeated.”

After landing in Beirut on the first leg of a regional tour, Zarif reportedly said the agreement signed between the P5+1 world powers and Iran in Vienna in July creates a “historic opportunity” for the countries of the Middle East to repel threats like terrorism and the Israeli “regime.”

“Once more, I call on Muslim countries in the region to respond positively to Iran’s invitation [for] dialogue and cooperation for guaranteeing the interests of regional states and nations,”the government-run news website PressTV quoted Zarif as saying.

Zarif is scheduled to meet with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil. According to the Iranian website, he also plans to meet Lebanon-based representatives of Palestinian groups.

On Wednesday Zarif will travel to Syria before leaving for Pakistan, India and Russia in the following days.

Iran has repeatedly presented the nuclear agreement as an opportunity for cooperation across the Middle East, and portrayed Israel as a belligerent force opposed to regional progress even as its leaders have often called for Israel’s annihilation

But Israel is not alone in opposing the accord. Sunni Arab states have argued that the deal emboldens Iran and will lead to an increase in its subversive activities across the region, including in Syria and Yemen.

Israel fears that the lifting of international sanctions, as stipulated by the agreement, will also allow Tehran to increase its funding to terror organizations like Iranian proxy Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.

As reported by The Times of Israel