Iran's FM cancels attending Nelson Mandela's funeral, stays to meet Russian FM

Photo: Iran's FM cancels attending Nelson Mandela's funeral, stays to meet Russian FM / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 10

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif has cancelled his visit to South Africa to participate in the funeral ceremony of Nelson Mandela, minister wrote on his Facebook page on Dec. 9.

Zarif underlined that the visit has been cancelled because Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to visit Tehran on Dec. 10 to discuss on some "important topics."

During the visit the next round of Iran-P5+1 negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme would be discussed, Zarif added.

After a decade-long standoff, Iran and six powers including Russia reached a deal on November 24 under which Tehran agreed to curb elements of its nuclear activities in exchange for limited relief from economic sanctions.

During the two-day visit to Tehran on Dec. 10 and 11, Lavrov plans to discuss the situation surrounding Iran's nuclear programme "in the context of the agreements recently reached in Geneva," Interfax quote a Russian Foreign Ministry official as saying.

Commenting on his last week tour to Gulf Arab states, Zarif called it Iran's intelligent initiative.

At the end of his tour of three Gulf Arab states on Dec. 3, Zarif said that all Gulf states are important in terms of Iran's security and development.

Zarif also criticized "some groups in Iran due to distorting" his comments regarding Abu Musa Island.

On Dec. 1, Iranian media outlets quoted Zarif as saying Iran is ready to talk about one of three disputed Gulf islands, Abu Musa.

Zarif underlined that Iran's territorial integrity is not negotiable and tradable, adding that even imagine of negotiating on the issue is an unforgivable act.

Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs are controlled by Iran, and claimed by both the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic.

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