Zarif: We have made many mistakes and made people pay for them

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran mentioned the criticisms directed at the Islamic Republic’s foreign policies in the past 40 years and said: “We have made many mistakes and made the people pay for them.”

In a meeting with a group of online activists on Tuesday, Zarif said: “We must not pay the bills from the people’s pockets. This trend must not continue, and we must not be stubborn about it."

Regarding the reasons for the mistakes that the Islamic Republic has made, Zarif explained: “We always wanted to build everything from scratch.”

Zarif also pointed out the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in regard to the nuclear deal (JCPOA) and said: I am not a defender of the JCPOA, I’m the defender of the Islamic Republic.”

“I defend the interests of Iran in JCPOA, not the interests of JCPOA in Iran,” he added. “It is always like this. They give us an order and we go and do it.”

Zarif also mentioned the importance of online activism and its impact on international diplomacy: “In the past, if we spoke outside of Iran, nobody would find out about what was said, and we could easily choose our target audience. It is not like that anymore.”

In response to a question about the arrest of Yulia Yuzik, the Russian journalist, by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Zarif said the reason was something other than espionage and added: “This arrest should not have happened.”

Zarif described himself as the “representative of Iran’s brand” in the international arena, and explained that his resignation last year was because that night he felt like he “was not the representative of the brand anymore.”

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