🇮🇷🇸🇾 Why is Iran backing Syria? Iran's Zarif says Israel's 1 day ago   25:43

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Al Jazeera English
Was the nuclear deal a mistake? Why has Iran continued to back Syria's Bashar al-Assad more than six years into the war?

This week, in New York, UpFront's Mehdi Hasan spoke to Mohammad Javad Zarif, foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, about the United States exiting the nuclear deal, his country's involvement in the war in Syria, and democracy in Iran, the future of the nuclear deal and its relationship with the US under Donald Trump.

Asked about the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Zarif said: "The nuclear deal is the best the United States can get, and it's the best Iran can get, and it's the best the international community can get."

"We're not actually eager to meet with [US President Trump] because the United States is not a reliable negotiating partner," Zarif told UpFront host Mehdi Hasan.

"They were always saying that we want a treaty with Iran. Now they just withdrew from the [1955 Treaty of Amity] that we have with the United States because the International Court of Justice ruled against them," Zarif added. "That tells you that whatever you negotiate with this president and with this administration, they're not going to be bound by it."

Asked if Iran will ever meet with President Trump or members of his administration, Zarif responded, "In politics, never say never. But I believe that there is need for a serious change in the administration".

Speaking about the Iran nuclear deal, which the US pulled out of in May 2018, Zarif reaffirmed his support for the JCPOA.

"We believe it's a deal that is in the interest of the international community," he said.

"Iran has given the Europeans some time, because they asked us for some time to try to compensate for US departure from the nuclear deal," he added. "That means that Iran needs to receive the economic dividends of the deal."

Zarif was also asked to comment on Bashar Al-Assad's alleged war crimes and use of chemical weapons in Syria's ongoing civil war.

"I condemn anybody using chemical weapons," he said.

"We condemn any attacks against civilians no matter who does it."

On domestic affairs, Zarif was asked whether Iran should be considered a democracy if it's ultimately been ruled by a Supreme Leader for twenty-nine years.

"Some people lead countries, democratic countries for longer than that," he said. "But it doesn't mean that they're not a democracy".

"[The Supreme Leader] can be removed any day by a body that elected him. And that body was elected by the people," he added.

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Comments 964 Comments

Niayesh Najafi
You should’ve challenged him on why government is sending all the money to these countries while their people are crumbling under the economic pressure the same way you challenged trump supporters.
Ayman
There are so much poverty and lack of education in the Middle East, in some poor Arabic countries which some intelligence agencies use and employ some youths to go after fake reasons to fight an unknown enemy!
Election is the only solution to get a government in office, NOT GUNS!
Arabs will continue to suffer for so many years to come because they fight each other for trivial reasons, yes trivial reasons.
Worship whatever you want to worship, believe in whatever you want to believe in, and the minute you use guns to force others to believe in your ideology, you're the weakest side!
Handra Mario10
Wow Hassan is very great. He stands to international society, international people who got bad impact towards the torture rather than the Iranian’s PM or the government’s actions.
kyceB54
Mehdi is making false comparisons between Iran and Saudi. He knows it’s BS, he is doing it for ratings!
Ajeeli
The only reason why i watch Mehdi Hassan is because he challenges all his interviewees no matter who they are, I salute him on his impartiality.
Tensor product
No negotiations with the great Satan.
Aref Tiari
Javad zarif is right
Sayed
Anyone relied on US help lost everything, Iraq( Saddam) Libya (Gaddafi) Russia( Gorbachev, Yeltsin). Amazingly People relied on Iran stayed in power. It's time for the US to pack and get lost from the middle east and Asia.
Yusuf Yusuf
My Somalia nation needs to be respected its sovereignty and the right to be neautral so that she should not be dragged into Saudi-Iranian or Middle East problems. Therefore, My nation or any other nations shouldn't be trapped into the crimes that have been taking place in Syria, Yemen, Libya, or anywhere else in the world.
"Emancipate yourselves from Mental Slavery."

We as Somali-Americans want Peace, Life, Love and prosperity for every ethnicity, religion and nation in the world.
steelersguy74
This minister is much more calm and well-spoken than any of the whackos running the US right now. Who’s really the crazy ones?
musti mon
Rip Saddam
musti mon
Iran = zionist crussade collaboraters look at the history
two finger cunt punch Howard
maybe its because the last thing the world needs is maniacs with nukes
Love Zimbabwe
The most professional response and intelligent handling of a Journalist drunk with Western conditioning. Zarif is a brilliant Foreign Minister would recommend him for Iranian President he has the Wisdom to handle long tails that require clipping and trimming.
Allan Simoes
It's the Mossad that are using the Chemical weapons through their Lackeys the CIA and MI 5.
Allan.
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inssedes no licer bin us. trums. send kolin on bin us stop
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Μιχαλης Επιφανης
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Iran's Zarif says Israel's 🇮🇷🇸🇾 Why is Iran backing Syria? 1 day ago   28:47

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01:40

Iran’s Foreign Minister said on Sunday the shooting down of an Israeli jet after it bombed an Iranian site in Syria had shattered Israel’s “so-called invincibility”, reacting to a critical speech delivered earlier by Israel’s premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Israel uses aggression as a policy against its neighbours,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Munich Security Conference, accusing Israel of “mass reprisals against its neighbours and daily incursions into Syria, Lebanon.”

“Once the Syrians have the guts to down one of its planes it’s as if a disaster has happened,” Zarif said.

He was responding to Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the conference hours before, in which the Israeli prime minister, holding a piece of what he said was an Iranian drone, accused Iran of trying to impose an “empire” across the Middle East.

“What has happened in the past several days is the so-called invincibility (of Israel) has crumbled,” Zarif said of Netanyahu’s remarks, which followed the Feb. 10 downing of an Israeli F-16 jet.

David Ivry, a former Israeli Air Force chief, told Reuters earlier this month he believed it was the first time an Israeli F-16 was brought down since Israel began using the jets in the 1980s.

Anti-aircraft fire downed the jet as it was returning from a bombing raid on Iran-backed positions in Syria.

It was one of at least eight Israeli planes despatched in response to what Israel said was an Iranian drone’s incursion into its airspace earlier on that day.

The jet was hit by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile and crashed in northern Israel, according to an Israeli official.

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