Iran’s Top Diplomat Confers with Senior Clerics
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in the holy city of Qom, to the south of the capital, to meet the country’s senior religious figures and exchange ideas with them on major domestic issues as well as developments in the Muslim world.
In a meeting with Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, the ranking cleric expressed his support for Tehran’s negotiations and the eventual deal it signed with major world powers on its nuclear program in Geneva on November 24.
In exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities and allow more inspection of its nuclear facilities, the United States and its allies have agreed to suspend some of the existing sanctions and let Tehran receive a small portion of its frozen assets while a permanent agreement is sought.
The top cleric also called for more consultations with different countries, particularly Muslim states, to forge closer cooperation with them, and urged the Islamic countries to strengthen their unity, Press TV reported.
“It is necessary that Foreign Ministry and its senior officials work towards tackling Shiite-phobia in the region and in the Muslim World,” Makarem Shirazi said.
Zarif called on top religious figures to support and offer guidelines on issues pertaining to Iran’s foreign policy.
The top diplomat also met top religious figure Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi-Golpayegani who thanked the Iranian nuclear negotiating team for their success in Geneva.
He expressed hope that Iranian negotiators would achieve more success in the future while preserving the nation’s rights and interests, and that the Geneva deal would lead to very constructive outcomes for the country.
Zarif also sat down with Seyyed Javad Shahrestani, the representative of influential Iraqi cleric Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Sistani in Iran, where the two exchanged views on various regional issues, particularly the latest developments in Iraq.
In another meeting with senior Iranian cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Vahid Khorasani, the foreign minister outlined the country’s foreign policy and the outcomes of nuclear negotiations in Geneva.
The foreign minister arrived in the central holy city of Qom late Thursday to meet top religious figures.