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Russia | Zarif, Lavrov dismiss Bolton’s allegations on Syria

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran was ready to establish good relations with Saudi Arabia but unfortunately Riyadh has shown no interest in having equal ties with Tehran.

Zarif made the remarks at a joint press conference held in Moscow on Tuesday with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Asked about the future of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Zarif said that Tehran has always favored good cooperation with its neighbors including the Persian Gulf states.

The foreign minister stressed that having cordial ties with neighbors is among Iran's foreign policy priorities.

Turning to the issue of Russian Security Plan in Persian Gulf, Zarif cited President Hassan Rouhani's proposal to the United Nations General Assembly last year and said Iran proposed initiative of Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) for the Strait of Hormuz.

Talking about Iraq, Zarif said Baghdad wants to have an important role in bringing about security to the region; a role the Iranian foreign minister believed Baghdad can play.

He further highlighted Iran's policy to welcome confidence-building moves in the region and get regional countries' stance closer.

Touching upon the US attempt to extend arms embargo on Iran, Zarif said it runs counter to the context of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

UN Resolution 2231 has nothing about sanctions on arms, the foreign minister stated.

Resolution 2231 (2015) urges full implementation of the JCPOA on the timetable set by the Deal and sets forth the next steps for the eventual removal of Security Council sanctions on Iran.

Many world countries including Russia and China have officially stated their disagreement with the US move, and European countries have also stressed that on the arms embargo is contrary to the context of the JCPOA, Zarif noted.

Zarif said that the context of the JCPOA stipulated lifting arms embargo on Iran in October 2010 and breach of the international agreement is not acceptable.

For his part, Lavrov voiced his country’s support for Iran’s full membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Lavrov said that Moscow has been supporting Iran’s membership bid to the Organization from the very beginning.

The Russian foreign minister added that acceptance of Iran’s request requires the unanimous vote of all the member states. He, however, noted that Moscow will do every effort in this regard.