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Exclusive: Europe can do more to bring about peace in the Middle East, says Iran's foreign minister

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By Louise Miner  & Saeid Jafari
Exclusive: Europe can do more to bring about peace in the Middle East, says Iran's foreign minister

Iran's Foreign Minister Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif told Euronews that the European Union can do more to bring about peace and stability in the Middle East, and needs to back-up its commitments with actions.

In an exclusive interview with Euronews reporter Saeid Jafari, the 58-year-old said he believes Europe is selling itself short. 

"What we need from the Europeans is both the political commitment, which they have made, now we need to see the measures in place on the ground, not simply in writing, not simply in words — in the banking sector, in the investment sector, in the energy sector, in the transportation sector, in the SME sector," he said.

"I believe generally Europe is underestimating its power and its influence, we believe that it should be more active in regional peace and security, in international peace and security as well as in promoting a greater cooperation and dialogue".

Dr Zarif went on to say that Tehran has a good relationship with Russia and the Syrian government but blames the US for supporting the so called Islamic State. 

"We have good communication and coordination with Russia and with Syrian government and we will continue to do so. Our objective here is very clear, that is our objectives and the objective of the Russian Federation and that is to fight against terrorism and extremism”.

“Now if President Trump wants to take credit for it, he should take credit for supporting Daesh which has been what the US and its allies have been doing all along. The fact that US arms, US weapons have been found in the hands of ISIS and other extremist organizations is documented, is documented by western sources. So I think we should look at the realities, those who fought terrorism, those who fought extremism are Syrian people and those who work with Syria people."

The remarks come as Iran has filed a suit against the US alleging that Washington's decision in May to impose sanctions after pulling out of a nuclear deal, violates a 1955 treaty between the two countries.