Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Iran and the Czech Republic enjoy good relations in various areas, calling for the two countries to further work toward expansion of their cooperation in all fields.
Speaking in a joint press conference with visiting Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomir Zaoralek in Tehran, Zarif said the two countries should strengthen cooperation in fighting against extremism, while trying to find solutions for the humanitarian plight of refugees, drug trafficking and organized crimes.
The Iranian foreign minister also stated that grounds have been prepared for Tehran and Prague to expand economic cooperation, particularly after the lifting of sanctions against Iran, following the nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and six world powers.
The Iranian foreign minister said that he had held negotiations with “influential” regional countries in recent weeks on the fight against terrorism.
He also expressed hope that such discussions would help establish stability in “our very sensitive region.”
“All countries should join the fight against terrorist groups and avoid taking measures which will finally benefit extremist groups,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
Zarif emphasized that the campaign against terrorism should not be confined to only “military confrontation,” but should also include other fields including culture and economy.
He said Iran has proved that it is a country which constantly fights against violence, extremism and terrorism.
“Unfortunately, the United States’ policy in the region has fueled violence and extremism and US allies in the region are currently supporting violence and extremism directly and indirectly,” Zarif said.
The Iranian top diplomat said that US officials and other international actors should avoid making “irrelevant” remarks and stoking more chaos in the region, adding that they should understand regional realities.
Zarif criticized inhuman treatment of refugees who are fleeing their homelands to different parts of the world to get rid of extremism and terrorism, saying that Iran has hosted millions of refugees over the past three decades coming from its neighboring countries.
He expressed Iran’s readiness, as a serious actor and a peace-seeking country in the region, to cooperate with regional states and the international community to fight violence and extremism.
The Czech foreign minister, for his part, said the Vienna nuclear agreement would reinforce security in West Asia and play a great role in bolstering Iran’s ties with the international community.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action would also prepare the ground for Iran and the Czech Republic to improve relations, he added, hoping that the European Union would lift sanctions, particularly financial bans, against Iran in 2016.
The Czech foreign minister also called for further expansion of economic, political, cultural and educational cooperation with Iran.
Zaoralek said Iran plays a key role in the fight against drug trafficking, expressing his country’s willingness to cooperate with the Islamic Republic in this regard.