Iran FM Tells E.U. to Work Harder (and Send Money) for Middle East Peace

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini pose for a picture ahead of a joint news conference in the capital Tehran on July 28, 2015. Mogherini is in Tehran for talks on implementing this month's historic nuclear deal between Iran and the major …

The European Union (E.U.) must do more to help deliver peace in the Middle East, and needs to back-up its standing commitments with actions and funding, Iran’s Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

“What we need from the Europeans is both the political commitment, which they have made, now we need to see the measures in place on the ground, not simply in writing, not simply in words — in the banking sector, in the investment sector, in the energy sector, in the transportation sector, in the SME sector,” Dr. Zarif said, the semi-official Iran newsagency IRNA reports.

“I believe generally Europe is underestimating its power and its influence, we believe that it should be more active in regional peace and security, in international peace and security as well as in promoting a greater cooperation and dialogue”.

This is the second time in a month Iran has asked the E.U. for financial aid to help it offset loses caused by U.S. President Donald Trump’s ending of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear accord.

It has also not gone unnoticed just where funds can end up once they arrive in Iran, as the country is consistently accused of funding terror in the region:

Dr. Zarif lamented recent funding cuts before accusing the U.S. of supporting Islamic State terrorists and praising Tehran’s relationship with Russia and the Syrian government.

“We have good communication and coordination with Russia and with Syrian government and we will continue to do so. Our objective here is very clear, that is our objectives and the objective of the Russian Federation and that is to fight against terrorism and extremism”.

“Now if President Trump wants to take credit for it, he should take credit for supporting Daesh which has been what the US and its allies have been doing all along. The fact that US arms, US weapons have been found in the hands of ISIS and other extremist organizations is documented, is documented by western sources. So I think we should look at the realities, those who fought terrorism, those who fought extremism are Syrian people and those who work with Syria people.”

The call for increased E.U. engagement with the Middle East follows a diplomatic offensive by Iran over the past month.

This has prompted the E.U. to say it is “determined to preserve” the Iran nuclear deal despite the U.S. withdrawal, the bloc’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini said last month.

She maintained she was “particularly worried” by Mr. Trump’s announcement of new sanctions on Iran, adding the E.U. would act to defend its economic interests.

“As long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear related commitments, as it is doing so far, the European Union will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal,” Mogherini added.

“We fully trust the work, competence and autonomy of the International Atomic Energy Agency that has published 10 reports certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments.”

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