Iran's Zarif says he has broken Israel's attempts to portray Iran as a danger

FM Defends his record to Iran's parliament; says Netanyahu "shamelessly makes a scene saying Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb to carry out another Holocaust."

May 6, 2014 19:25
2 minute read.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif speaking to media following signing of interim deal, Nov 24.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ruben Sprich )


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Faced with criticism from hardliners on the interim nuclear deal with the West, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tuesday that he had managed to put an end to Israel's portrayal of Iran "as a danger" over its nuclear ambitions, AFP reported.

Zarif made the statement while answering questions at the Iranian parliament on Tuesday, according to the report.

The Iranian foreign minister accused Netanyahu of, "shamelessly making a scene saying Iran denies the Holocaust, and Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb to carry out another Holocaust," AFP reported.

"But my colleagues and I are telling the world Iran is opposed to anti-Semitism and genocide," he said.

Last month Zarif said he saw a good chance for a nuclear deal with the West because "most Iranians" were in favor of it, playing down resistance from Islamic hardliners.

"Some factions have no interest in reaching an agreement due to political reasons, but what counts at the end is the vote of the majority of Iranian people," Zarif said in April during a joint news conference in Tehran with visiting Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.

He was referring to the landslide victory in last July's presidential election of Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, after he pledged to end sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and its Western allies in order to force Tehran to open its nuclear program to outside scrutiny.

"Mr Rouhani is acting on a popular mandate and I am sure Iranians will accept any deal that would respect their rights and legitimate demands," Zarif said, in comments broadcast live on state Iranian television.

"I am sure if we score a decent deal, it will be backed by a majority of Iranians," he added.

Rouhani and his negotiators have been under intense pressure from Islamic hardliners opposed to the nuclear talks underway with six world powers - the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia.

The six, known as the 5+1 group, seek a halt in Tehran's nuclear enrichment program in return for an easing of economic sanctions. Under the terms of an initial deal struck last year, the negotiators have until July 20 to finalize an agreement.

Iranian hardliners, including officials from the administration of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have accused Rouhani of capitulating to Washington, with which Iran has had no ties since soon after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

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