Zarif says Iran's main challenge is 'confronting extremist Zionist regime'

After arriving on an official visit to Beirut, Zarif met with Hezbollah chief Nasrallah as well as other Lebanese leaders.

August 12, 2015 10:05
1 minute read.

Zarif says Iran's main challenge is 'confronting extremist Zionist regime'

Zarif says Iran's main challenge is 'confronting extremist Zionist regime'


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Fresh off the successfully negotiated agreement on Iran's nuclear project, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in Beirut on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic's major challenge in the region is in "confronting...the Zionist and extremist regime."

Zarif arrived on an official visit to the Lebanese capital on Tuesday to discuss bilateral and regional issues, including a "new plan" on how to resolve the crisis in neighboring Syria, according to an Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman. Tehran's top diplomat also met with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

According to Al-Safir, Zarif held a long meeting with Nasrallah on Tuesday evening.

Details of Iran's plan  to resolve the Syrian civil war will be revealed after discussions with the Damascus government and "other players," Marzieh Afkham, an Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman, said in an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Zarif will be traveling to Damascus after wrapping up his visit to Lebanon on Wednesday, IRNA reported.

The conflict in Syria has spilled over its borders into Lebanon on multiple occasions since 2011 and has exacerbated existing political tensions within the small country.

Shortly after arriving in Beirut, Zarif warned that Israel played a "dangerous game" with the Iranian nuclear file, a game in which it has been defeated.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that the deal that Iran hammered out with world powers regarding its nuclear program is going to lead to regional instability and conflict.

Zarif said it was necessary to "confront the challenges of the region, the most important of which is the Zionist and extremist regime."

Zarif met the Lebanese prime minister on Tuesday evening and is also expected to meet the speaker of parliament and foreign minister, according to Iranian media reports. On his previous trip to Lebanon last year, Zarif also met with Nasrallah. Aside from being the most powerful military force in the country, the Shi'ite group is also a key political player.

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