Zarif, Larijani cancel meetings with German vice-chancellor
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani have canceled a meeting with Germany’s Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel.
Gabriel was scheduled to meet Zarif in Iran’s Foreign Ministry’s main offices and Larijani in parliament on Tuesday, but the meetings were canceled without any announced reason. However, IRNA news agency says Gabriel’s meeting with Zarif was canceled due to the Iranian foreign minister’s busy schedule.
Gabriel is in Iran as the head of a large delegation of business executives to discuss possible deals following the implementation of last year’s historic nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries.
As part of the deal, Iran has agreed to limit certain aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Ahead of his trip, Gabriel told online weekly magazine Der Spiegel that Iran could have normal and friendly relations with Germany “only when it accepted Israel’s right to exist.”
Following the interview, Zarif dismissed the German official’s call, stressing that “No one can set conditions for Iran and Iran is an independent country.”
“Our policies are clear and [officials of] different countries travel to Iran in the knowledge that the country’s policies are constructive,” he added.
Berlin was Iran’s biggest European trading partner for decades before a series of sanctions were tightened against Tehran under the pretext of its nuclear program.
Shortly after the conclusion of the JCPOA, Germany sent Gabriel to Iran at the head of a major delegation to discuss business opportunities with Tehran.