AFP: Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Sunday urged Iran not to fan flames of confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, saying the conflict was leading to rising global tensions. WASHINGTON (AFP) Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Sunday urged Iran not to fan flames of confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, saying the conflict was leading to rising global tensions.
“From where we are, there is a rising tension between the (United Nations) Security Council and Iran over the nuclear fire,” he told CNN.
“We, as Iraqis, are worried about this rising tension. And we are doing our best to decrease that because that will impact our security situation more positively,” he added.
He said tensions have been heightened by recent Iranian pronouncements on its nuclear program, and urged Tehran to soften its tone.
“Our advice has been to the Iranians, as recently as a few days ago, that really you need to (take) these statements very seriously and deal credibly and transparently with the international community,” he said.
Zebari also urged Iran “to learn from the mistakes of Saddam Hussein in the past … in dealing with the weapons of mass destruction,” he said.
The United States and its European allies believe that Iran is hiding plans to build atomic weapons. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes and has refused to halt sensitive uranium enrichment work.
He added that Iraq, which has seen relations improve with Tehran, finds itself caught in the cross-fire in the spat between the West and Iran.
“On the one hand, Iran has a very clear policy in supporting the government politically and supporting the political process and majority rule government. This government is friendly to them,” Zebari said.
“On the other hand, really we see evidence that there has been intervention by Iran and by others as well … to bloody Americans or make lives more difficult there,” he said.
“This is the wrong policy,” he said, adding that such acts would only increase “the prospects of a confrontation” and “can only provoke the Americans more and more.”
Zebari added that he hoped the situation would improve following an upcoming international meeting in Turkey.
“We are planning a major meeting in Istanbul in early November for Iraq’s neighbors, plus the P5 (five permanent members of the the UN Security Council) and the G8 (leading global international powers),” he said.
“We will … confront all of our neighbors with evidence, with facts that this is what Iraq requires from you: to stop meddling, to support the government in good faith,” Zebari said.