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Iranian FM: We Don't Threaten Israel, or Anyone

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the West should stop threatening military action against Iran
By David Lev
First Publish: 11/7/2013, 8:22 AM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Reuters

On a visit to Paris, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday that Western states should forget about the idea of armed action against Iran. “Not all options are on the table,” Zarif said, echoing comments by Western politicians implying the possibility of the use of force against Iran if the talks in Geneva on stemming Iran's nuclear program fail.

“There is no call to talk about the use of force,” Zarif said in comments quoted by Israeli daily newspaper Ma'ariv. “The only thing that can be done is to continue the negotiations in Geneva and to reach a negotiated solution. We do not threaten Israel or anyone else with the use of force.”

The comments were made at a press conference, in which Israeli reporters participated. A Ma'ariv reporter asked Zarif if relations between Iran and Israel were a possibility. “The issue of diplomatic relations between Israel and Iran are not a topic of discussion in Geneva,” he said.

Zarif was in Paris to attend the 37th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Late Wednesday, he left for Geneva to participate in the negotiations Thursday in Geneva between Iran and the six major powers - the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain, and Germany - on the enrichment level of uranium in Iran's nuclear program.

In advance of the negotiations, Israel issued a statement calling on the West to keep the strong economic sanctions against Iran in place. In response to reports that the U.S. was planning to ease the sanctions in return for an Iranian declaration that it would limit its uranium enrichment, the government statement said that the sanctions needed to remain in place to ensure that Iran actually limits its nuclear activities, instead of just talking about it.