Iranians were 'lied to' over downed plane, foreign minister admits

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif looks on during a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow Russia

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, in an exclusive conversation an Indian media outlet, said that a peaceful India and Pakistan are best for the region and that Tehran is willing to extend its good offices if asked.

On Wednesday Zarif told PTI that India could play a role in de-escalating tensions in the Gulf region as it is an important regional player.

"People make mistakes, unforgivable mistakes but it happened at a time of crisis", Zarif said, adding, "We need to make sure these crises are prevented", referring to the United States drone strikes and Iran's consequent retaliatory strikes during which the Iranian Army mistakenly shot down the Boeing airliner.

"The killing of Qassem Soleimani shows ignorance and ignorance", Zarif said, according to The Times of India. Referring to China, Russia, and Turkey, who still continue with their energy agreement with Iran, Javad Zarif in September 2019 had said, "This is India's sovereign decision, but others have chosen differently".

"Our military force was courageous enough to claim responsibility, in fact, we did it quite early because in other instances it has taken several years but people are angry even with those two days, that is the expectation the people have with the government", he said. As the tensions spiraled, Iran announced it would no longer abide by limitations on its nuclear energy program under a deal it signed with world powers in 2015.

Iran's Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif on Iran Nuclear Deal says that India can play a leading role in bringing America back in compliance with the deal and we will not rule out that possibility. Since then, Washington persuaded New Delhi to halt imports of crude oil from Iran.

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Expanding on his statements at the Raisina Dialogue in Delhi earlier this week, Zarif reiterated that Iran was not interested in negotiating a new deal with the United States, but wanted the Americans to honour the one inked after negotiations between 2013 and 2016.

He reiterated India's continued commitment in developing of strong and friendly relations with Iran.

The situation is fluid in Gulf region in the wake of frayed ties between Iran and the USA over killing of Commander Qasem Soleimani.

"So the 21st century is the time when we must get rid of any methods of dealing in worldwide relations which smack of colonial and neo-colonial times". Iran incurred hundreds of billions of dollars in damages because of current tensions, Zarif said.

The two ministers also deliberated on various aspects of bilateral ties between India and Iran including progress of the Chabahar port project. That's the bottleneck we need to address.

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