Iran’s Foreign Minister Encourages US to Pursue ‘Win-Win’ Strategy

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untitled Iran’s new Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sat down with Iranian television in a one-on–one interview yesterday, where he discussed his views on the United States’ foreign policy, the new US sanctions against Iran and Iran’s nuclear program,. On US foreign policy Zarif said, “There is a serious need” to “understand this reality, and we have to encourage others to understand this reality, that in the field of foreign policy a positive-sum game and a win-win game” is “in everyone’s interests.” In the article from the Iranian Students News Agency which transcribed the interview, the title was “Foreign Minister: America Should Pursue Win-Win Game.” In regard to international security, Zarif, who has a PhD in international law from the University of Denver, said, “The opposing side still has not yet understood that you cannot progress at the expense of others. You cannot have security and create security for your people at the expense of others. If it was possible, September 11 would never have occurred; if it was possible, Americans should feel that they are completely secure. This shows that the basis of thinking is incorrect. In international relations, we say that this is a zero-sum game.” Zarif continued, “A zero-sum game does not have meaning in the world anymore. If America is pursuing a zero-sum game in the international relations scenes both they and the opposing side will lose.” He continued, “Numerous experiences have shown that America was not able to create security for itself with this view of a win-loss game.” Zarif also added, “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Americans imagined that a unipolar system was created with the leadership of the Americans, later developments showed that this was a false notion.” On new US sanctions, Zarif, who served as Iran’s representative to the United Nations from 2002 to 2007, said, “I see the intensifying of sanctions by US Congress as fear of the extremists. When they have power they have confidence, but when they feel weak they turn to extremism. The extremists are worried that the discourse of the new administration will decrease conflict. Because their interests are in conflict [and] they do not want to give permission to set the ground toward a path for a solution. They are terrified of the discourse of the new administration. They are not worried about our nuclear program, but they have set the ground to terrify the world of Iran. We have to take this ground from them.” Zarif continued, “130 members of congress who have a realistic view signed a letter saying that there should be dialogue with Iran. Four hundred members signed the new sanction bill. These members signed the bill because of pressure from the Zionists’ lobby because these 130 who wrote the letter are also part of the 400; this is an interesting point about US politics, and we need to have a more sophisticated view of US policy and understand it and use it.” “The fact that of these 130 representatives who wrote the letter perhaps only 20 of them gave a negative vote to the sanctions shows how many people there are who want to terrify the representatives and pursue a policy of intimidation,” Zarif said. “It shows how much the extremists and the Zionist regime is fearful that there is a new discourse at work in Iran and that it could influence their interests. I see these sanctions like this.” Zarif said in regard to Iran’s nuclear program, “The people of Iran will not pass on their rights and no administration can pass on the people’s rights, but we want to show the world that there exists no threat from Iran’s side. We principally do not see nuclear arms as being in the direction of the country’s security. We see their existence as a threat to security.”