Nuclear deal 'opening' for Mideast diplomacy: Germany's FM

AFP , Saturday 17 Oct 2015

The nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers is "an opening for further diplomatic endeavours" to resolve the conflicts in the Middle East, the German foreign minister said in Tehran Saturday.

"This region needs more diplomacy, not less" said Frank-Walter Steinmeier, pointing to the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, according to the text of a speech he delivered.

"We need and we are ready to discuss these questions with Iran", Steinmeyer said, encouraging Tehran to "play a constructive role in the international community toward its neighbours in the region."

"Peaceful solutions never depend on one player and that's why my voyage does not stop here," said the German minister, who will travel to Iran's great regional rival, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday.

Acknowledging that there are "many question marks regarding Iran's intentions in the region and plenty of suspicion," he said Tehran, even if it finds them "unfair and unfounded... should not ignore but address them constructively."

Speaking at a joint press conference, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said: "I believe that realism has increased in the West about the Syrian crisis and there are solutions on which we can all come to an agreement."

But he said foreign involvement should "be aimed at resolving the crisis and not to impose their own views on the Syrian people."

Iran is Bashar al-Assad's strongest regional ally, sending financial help and military advisers, while Western countries, the Arab monarchies of the Gulf and Turkey are helping rebel groups in Syria.

Zarif also criticised Saudi Arabia for its regional policies.

"Iran does not seek to eliminate Saudi Arabia but also will not let Saudi Arabia eliminate Iran from the region," said Zarif.

The kingdom's "efforts to eliminate Iran have led to bloodshed and fuelled clashes in the area and must end."

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