Source: Tehran Times
TEHRAN - Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard has expressed optimism about the prospect of the Iran-5+1 group talks over Tehran's nuclear energy program, saying anti-Iran sanctions harm not only Iran, but also the entire world, including the European Union states.
Danish FM Martin Lidegaard (L) with Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif
Lidegaard made the comments in a joint news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the city of Mashhad, northwestern Iran, on Sunday.
He also added that his country follows the overall policies of the European Union with regard to the Iranian nuclear issue.
Lidegaard also termed extremism as "a global crisis", calling on all countries to use their power and form an alliance against the ISIL terrorist group.
He also urged certain states to end their financial and military support for terrorist groups, particularly ISIL, which has been behind heinous crimes in Iraq and Syria in the recent months.
He said cutting off the financial and military support for terrorists is the only way to defeat them.
Lidegaard also announced that his country and 9 other states, including the United States, France, and Britain, have already formed an alliance against ISIL.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Danish foreign minister expressed gratitude for his visit to Iran and meeting with his Iranian counterpart as well as the Iranian president. He also thanked Zarif for "his honest and straightforward" comments.
The Iranian foreign minister, for his part, called on Tehran and Copenhagen to increase their bilateral cooperation and join hands in fight against terrorism and extremism.
Zarif said a campaign against terrorism and extremism required an international alliance with no dual criteria.
Double standards on human rights unacceptable
Zarif also said that he and his visiting Danish counterpart also held extensive negotiations over the issue pertaining to human rights and the crises in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
He said the 73-percent turnout in Iran's 2013 presidential elections was indicative of the fact that the Iranian system respects the opinion of people and every single individual within the community.
Zarif also stated that the Iranian government would never accept double standards regarding the issue of human rights.
He also elaborated on the Rouhani administration's foreign policy, saying maintaining amicable ties with neighboring states is a priority for the Iranian government.
Zarif also pointed to the Iranian nuclear energy program, and highlighted its "entirely peaceful nature".
Prior to arriving in Tehran, Lidegaard had expressed his country's optimism that a comprehensive and lasting nuclear agreement with Iran could be reached by the November 24 deadline if there was a "political will".
"Very difficult negotiations are, however, ahead but with the necessary political will and further concrete results and verifiable progress over the next few months, this [a final comprehensive nuclear deal] is a possibility. I remain optimistic," he had added.
Lidegaard, on a regional tour, is the first Danish foreign minister to visit Iran since 2005. He is scheduled to meet local residents, officials, elites, and economic activists during his two-day visit.
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