Zarif in Munich: U.S. Wants Regime Change, Israel Seeks War

On February 17, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States of “exporting insecurity” to the Middle East and trying to foment regime change in his country. In a defiant address at the Munich Security Forum, he condemned Washington for reimposing sanctions and withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, which was endorsed by a U.N Security Council resolution. “To gain accomplices in its lawlessness, the U.S. is now even laboring to force others to violate that Resolution, which explicitly calls for normalization of economic relations with Iran,” he said. Zarif argued that Washington has a “pathological obsession” with the Islamic Republic. He also claimed that Israel is “looking for war” through its activities in Syria. Israel has conducted airstrikes against more than 200 Iranian targets in Syria since 2017. In a question and answer session, Zarif dismissed critiques of the Islamic Republic for its ballistic missile program, alleged assassination plots in Europe and human rights record. The following is a transcript of his comments.

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This past Monday, millions of Iranians gathered for mass rallies to mark the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution; an earthquake that collapsed a pillar of US domination in West Asia.

We’ve never been forgiven by the United States for having exercised our right to self-determination. As a result, we have long been the target of an unhealthy fixation-an obsession-which continues to this very day.
The demonization of my country has been a convenient cross for seven consecutive American presidents to bear-and a smokescreen for America’s regional clients to hide behind. It is long overdue for the United States to dismantle this malign institution, for it has today morphed into one of the greatest threats to even its own interests-and of course international peace and security.

In the past two years, the U.S. has taken its animus towards Iran to a new extreme, as epitomized by its unlawful and unilateral abrogation of its commitments under the painstakingly-negotiated Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council. To gain accomplices in its lawlessness, the U.S. is now even laboring to force others to violate that Resolution, which explicitly calls for normalization of economic relations with Iran.

At the recent meeting of "the unwilling" and "the openly-coerced" in Warsaw, the U.S. Vice President and the Secretary of State both blasted Europe for even attempting-albeit without much practical success-to abide by its obligations under the JCPOA and Security Council Resolution 2231. Yesterday - right here in Munich - Vice President Pence repeated this farce when he arrogantly demanded that Europe must join the U.S. in breaking its commitments while undermining its own security. His hateful accusations against Iran-including his ignorant allegation of anti-Semitism against the heirs of a man described as ‘Messiah" in the Torah for saving Jews - is both ridiculous and dangerous.

This malign obsession with Iran is imposing costs on others-and especially in our region, which has for 40 years suffered the consequences of U.S. insistence on making wrong choices.

Driven by its pathological obsession with Iran, America has long encouraged reckless and destructive adventurism on the part of its clients: from arming Saddam Hussein in his attack against Iran to supporting the propagation of extremism; from aiding and abetting the ruining of Syria and bombing of innocents in Yemen to whitewashing the incarceration of a Prime Minister and dismemberment of a journalist. In parallel, the U.S. has systematically shielded Israel"s constant aggression against Palestinians, while insulating its severe violations of the sovereignty of Lebanon and Syria.

And all in the name of "containing" Iran.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The U.S. claims-and some blindly parrot its accusation-that it is Iran which is interfering in the region. But has it ever been asked whose region? Just glimpse at a map. The U.S. military has traveled 10,000 kilometers to dot all our borders with bases. Meanwhile, it has milked the region of its resources through vast arms sales. According to the most conservative estimate, the GCC"s military spending alone will reach a record high of $100 billion this year-almost seven times that of Iran.

So, who is really exporting insecurity to our region?

What is it that threatens the region more?

The unfathomable arsenals used to terrorize the people of Yemen? Or Iran’s defensive missiles, which have only ever been used against ISIS terror in self-defense?

Is it Iran that threatens the annihilation of others-or is it Mr. Netanyahu-Israel’s wolf-crier-in-chief-who openly threatens my country’s obliteration while standing next to his nuclear bomb factory?

No theatrics here-including the show put on by Vice President Pence-can obscure these realities.

Indeed, more and more nations are becoming explicit about the fact that the United States is now the single biggest source of destabilization in our neighborhood. As we speak, Iraqi lawmakers are demanding the withdrawal of U.S. forces from their land. And after more than 17 years of failure in Afghanistan, the U.S. is now negotiating with the Taliban to withdraw the American military.

In contrast, our standing with the peoples of Iraq and Syria to counter terrorism has put ISIS on the verge of extinction, with both countries enjoying levels of peace and stability not seen in years.

I arrived here in Munich from Sochi, where President Rouhani continued his dialogue with his Russian and Turkish counterparts on how to further promote peace in Syria. Prior to that, I visited Lebanon and Iraq for 7 days of discussions with government officials, as well as with political, community and business leaders on how to work together to strengthen stability and advance mutual economic opportunity in our region.
But the reckless U.S. obsession with Iran is threatening these hard-won victories.

On another front, Iran’s continued full implementation of the JCPOA-despite the U.S.’ abrogation-has played a major role in decreasing tension and promoting regional and global stability. But Iran cannot foot the entire bill for vital global security achievements - whether it is the nuclear accord, or the combatting of drug and human trafficking to Europe. Europe needs to invest too. Many around the world-and particularly on this content-speak eloquently about multilateralism. But they also need to walk the walk. For instance, INSTEX falls short of the commitments by the E3 to "save" the JCPOA. Europe needs to be willing to get wet if it wants to swim against the dangerous tide of U.S. unilateralism.

While we have shown our desire for engagement, we don’t depend on others for our security, stability, prosperity and progress. We solely depend on our own people. That is why 40 years of so-called "maximum pressure"-namely demonization, war, sanctions and terror-including the heinous foreign-sponsored terrorist bombing in my country on Wednesday-has failed to "bring Iran to its knees"; nor has it affected our people’s decision-making calculus.

Distinguished Friends,

Iran’s foreign policy is designed to further the goal of creating a strong region that precludes the emergence of hegemonic aspirations by any power - regional or global.

A strong region simply means more confidence, more trade and more interaction between and among the countries in the region, than with external powers.

It requires homegrown political and territorial stability; reliance on the populace as the source of legitimacy, security and prosperity; harmonization of national identities and regional citizenship; participation of all in ensuring peace; and the exercising of strategic self-restraint.

Ladies and Gentlemen
In spite of all the ignorant hate-speech by American officials, let me remind you that we Iranians are proud to be the inheritors of a great civilization. The entirety of humanity is today riding in the same boat and we either sail together; or sink together. Our renowned poet, Sa'adi, testified to this truth over 900 years ago:

All human beings are members of one frame
Since all, at first, from the same essence came.
When time afflicts one limb with pain
The other limbs cannot at rest remain.
I thank you for your attention.

(Transcript from Iran's ministry of foreign affairs)

LYSE DOUCET: You described the U.S. attitude towards Iran as a pathological obsession and that it wanted to bring Iran to its knees. There are conflicting signals; what do you think the goal of the Trump Administration is: to bring you back to the negotiating table or to somehow resolve this with some military engagement? 

MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF: Well, if they wanted to negotiate we were at the negotiating table and they were at the negotiating table, up until I think April of last year Mr. Brian Hook - who is now targeting Iran here and there - spoke to my deputy in the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna. So they decided to leave the negotiating table; we didn't leave the negotiating table, we are still at the negotiating table with the rest of P5 + 1 which is now P4 + 1 or E3 + 2. So we are there. I think we hear conflicting signals; President Trump says one thing, Secretary Pompeo puts 12 conditions for negotiations with Iran which means surrender, and I think he should be dreaming [I think he is dreaming]. 
DOUCET: But I think he has held out the hand; he gave a compliment to President Rouhani saying “I imagine he is a very interesting man.” 

ZARIF: No, he didn’t say interesting man, he said “lovely” man. [laughs]

DOUCET: But he offered, he offered a new set of…

ZARIF: No he didn't; we negotiated not a two-page document and a photo op, we negotiated a 150-page document and every detail is spelled out. I can assure you as someone who has negotiated it and you can ask John Kerry or any of the European foreign ministers who negotiated the deal or Federica Mogherini or Cathy Ashton - nothing can be done that is better than this deal. It is not all we want, and it is certainly not all the U.S. wants, but it is the best that could be achieved between six world powers plus E.U. and another country which is proud to stand on its own feet. 

DOUCET: Some of your colleagues have made it clear that once America pulls out of the deal that it will be very hard to keep the deal alive. Because of the mounting economic pressure at home, which is also creating more political pressure at home. How much longer can the deal survive? 

ZARIF: Well, I am not a fortune teller so I don’t know. 

DOUCET: You said yourself that your patience is limited. 

ZARIF: My patience is limited, because as I said in my statement, we derive our security from our people so it is very important for us to keep our people satisfied with what we are doing. 

DOUCET: But they’re not --

ZARIF: They’re not --

DOUCET: And it’s not just because of sanctions, it is corruption, economic policy [talk over each other] yes. 

ZARIF: It is primarily because of sanctions...yes, yes all of that all of that, we are not saying that we are a perfect country; we are better than most your allies but we still have a long way to go, but what is happening in our region and what is happening in Iran requires a great deal of foresight and strategic patience, and we are exercising that. It doesn't mean that we will have to do it forever. Whenever our people are dissatisfied - now the polls are at about 51 percent, we are just at the brink, 51 percent of people believe that we should still be in the JCPOA, while 80 percent of people we didn't get anything from it… 

DOUCET: -- and your hardline critics never trusted this deal, including I would believe, your Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The pressure is mounting on those who negotiated the deal to say right let’s go back, let’s start enriching. 

ZARIF: Yeah you are right, there is pressure by a part of the population, but like I said, according to the latest poll from the University of Maryland still 51 percent say we should stay in the deal - that may change. Situations may change. We believe it is in our interest, but we believe at the same time it is in the interest of Europe to stay in the deal and that is why we believe Europe. I mean we appreciate the fact that Europe has done a great deal politically it has made all the right political statements - some of which we don't agree with - but on the JCPOA, at least we can agree on the JCPOA. But it hasn't been prepared to make an investment, it hasn't been prepared to pay a price. But let me ask you a question, as Europe, if you allow the U.S. to make these demands  - because the U.S. is demanding Europe to violate international law, it is not asking Europe to abide by international law but is demanding Europe to violate a Security Council [resolution] and it is punishing Europe for implementing it. So this is an outrageous demand. If the United States were to come in the course of their fight with China and told Europe, stop dealing with China, what would you do? Whatever you want to do then, do now in order to prevent that eventuality because a bully will get bullier if you succumb. 

DOUCET: Well okay let’s put aside the JCPOA because there is a fundamental disagreement between the U.S. and Europe on it, but there are issues where they have the same concerns. Let’s look at ballistic missiles. We’ve heard the French Foreign Minister on Friday saying we are in a difficult dialogue in Iran and if we do not see more progress - and you know France has suggested a separate deal on ballistic missiles - he said if we don't make progress, France will have to impose new sanctions. Does Iran have to address those concerns if it wants to make wider progress? 

ZARIF: Well, let me ask you a question…

DOUCET: Well I asked you one first --

ZARIF: Well I will answer your question, but first: does Iran have to simply lie dead because some people don't want us to be able to defend ourselves? 

DOUCET: The U.N. Security Council resolution behind the Iran nuclear deal called on Iran not to develop ballistic missiles --

ZARIF: No no no, it didn't! My friend, I negotiated 2231 so I know every word of it. It called upon Iran - it didn't demand Iran - not to develop ballistic missiles that are designed to be capable - every word of it took months to negotiate - designed to be capable to carry nuclear weapons. We don't design any of our missiles to be capable to carry nuclear weapons because we don't have nuclear weapons! So none of the Security Council nonsense; the Europeans know it, the Russians know it, even the Americans know it. The Americans have testified before congress when the deal was on that it’s not about missiles per se, it is about missiles designed to carry nuclear weapons - to be capable to carry nuclear weapons. We negotiated forever. Now let’s wait a second. The problem is there are a hundred billion dollars of weapons going to Iran; nobody is selling us a single fighter jet - nobody. How are we supposed to defend ourselves? When we were attacked by French missiles, by German chemical weapons, by Russian MIG fighters, by British tanks, by American AWAC surveillance, who came to our assistance? Why when our people were being showered with missiles – with Iraqi missiles – nobody gave us a means of defense, either air defense or missiles to retaliate. No one! We have to beg. Now, I am not going for the pleasure of my friend Minister Le Drian or anybody else to make our people defenseless so that the next Saddam Hussein in our region could rise up and kill our people without the means of our defense. 

DOUCET: Ok, so you-

ZARIF: We still have- we still have people who cannot breathe in Iran because of the chemical weapons that were provided to Iraq from Europe. Europe – I mean, if we were to negotiate, if we were to negotiate about armaments, Europe has a lot to respond to. Europe is not going to be in the inquisition seat. Europe will be asked why it supported Saddam Hussein-

DOUCET: Ok, can-

ZARIF: -why it is supporting the bombing in Yemen?

DOUCET: Ok, we can’t go back in history - Let’s not go back in history. We’ve got enough of the current, ah – let’s ask this. So the United States objected to your recent, as we said, failed satellite launches, saying the technology used could be interchangeable with technology used in ballistic missiles. Then it-

ZARIF: The argument about missiles is misplaced-

DOUCET: Yes, but then-

ZARIF: -satellite launches

DOUCET: The New York Times published a report saying that actually there has been a very longstanding and accelerated program to sabotage your development of ballistic missiles, providing faulty parts, et cetera. Iran is looking into this. Is there, do you think, now-

ZARIF: We are investigating this, but I think more than Iran the international community should be concerned because last time the United States engaged in that operation it resulted with Israel in the killing of six nuclear scientists. I think it is important for the international community to rise up and say this is not jungle. We don’t run the law of the jungle. That you interfere in the legitimate defense of another country. I ask you a question: does Iran have the right to defend itself? And if we have the right to defend ourselves, do we do it with swords? Do we do it with, whatever, guns? Or do we need sophisticated means of defense? The most sophisticated means of warfare are being sold to our region, and President Trump conveniently calls them “beautiful military equipment.” Now we’re not getting any of those “beautiful military equipment.” The “beautiful military equipment,” the Yemenis are getting -- they’re being killed with it. I don’t think they call it beautiful.

DOUCET: Ok, that’s ok. Missiles is one issue. We don’t have a lot of time, I just want at least to touch on some of the issues that both Europe and the United States agree on. Last month the European-
ZARIF: They’re simply repeating the American claims. Why they agree on? I mean this is-

DOUCET: But they don’t do it for the sake of doing it. They also have concerns-

ZARIF: Tell me, tell me. Any European should tell me because, you know, this didn’t come out of the blue. We had these discussions during the JCPOA. And we decided, because each one of us had something to say, we decided to set this aside.
DOUCET: Ok, that’s ok-

ZARIF: It’s not that- It’s not that somebody has all the right and somebody is just doing mischief in our region.

DOUCET: Ok, let’s set that one for the side. 

ZARIF: Ok, good.

DOUCET: Last month the European Union- this will be, it will be, unfortunately, will be negotiating this for many months if not years to come. European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran. Last month they put two Iranians on its, ah, its list as well as an intelligence unit after there were attacks in Denmark and France and the Netherlands. So the European leaders are saying, “what is Iran doing trying to carry out assassinations on European soil?” They also see this as part of a, of a kind of behavior that they want to stop.

ZARIF: Well--

DOUCET: They’ve imposed sanctions, so it’s not simply just allegations. And, well, people have been arrested in France.

ZARIF: Well, sanctions based on allegations. Not sanctions based on facts. Let me- let me make a couple of comments, because this is very important and I want to really address this. First of all, the arrest of the person who is charged with the Villepinte bombing happened on the day of arrival of our president in Europe after many months of preparation. Do you think we are really crazy, that we do this on the day? At least we do it a day before, a day after, ten days after, wouldn’t I? We do it on the day that our president comes here? Give us some credit. 

DOUCET: So perhaps it was a rogue-

ZARIF: Now, let’s see. Let’s see. Hold on.

DOUCET: Rogue operation within Iranian agency-

ZARIF: It must- it could be a false flag operation, it could have been an entrapment, it could have been a rogue operation, but it’s certainly not the work of a government that you should call crazy, if we did it. And you don’t gain the influence that we have by being simply crazy. Now, let me address another issue. They’re allegations. Now the Netherlands made allegations. They kicked out two of my diplomats – my diplomats, career Foreign Ministry officials, and now their intelligence is saying that they had no evidence. No evidence. Now we are the aggrieved party. Second point, what is clear is that there are people in Europe who have been on Europe’s terrorism list up until 2012. What happened all of a sudden that they were withdrawn from the terrorism list? You see, I followed these issues for a long time. In 1984 – let me take you back a bit in history – in 1984-

DOUCET: An unfortunate date to use, but let’s go on.

ZARIF: The United States removed Saddam-

DOUCET: Let’s not touch this, these history will take us-

ZARIF: The United States removed Saddam Hussein from its terrorism list and put Iran on terrorism list. Then again in 1990 Saddam Hussein was put back on the terrorism list. 

DOUCET: We cannot keep going back to Saddam-

ZARIF: In 1998, the United States put MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq) on the terrorism list, in 2012 they took it off the terrorism list. This is a game. This game needs to stop. A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist. Terrorists don’t change. Rudy Giuliani yesterday spoke for the MEK. John Bolton has spoken for the MEK. John Bolton is angry because he promised the MEK that he would celebrate in 2019 in Iran with them. They are still in Paris.

DOUCET: Do you think John Bolton represents what some say, that a lot of the statements of President Trump’s administration verge on regime change, want to regime change?
ZARIF: I think the United States administration is not doing anything but regime change. Only regime change. It wouldn’t have withdrawn from JCPOA the way they withdrew from JCPOA had it not had the illusion that there would be regime change within a month.

DOUCET: Let’s stop, let’s stop.

ZARIF: The United States in this administration is listening to wrong folks. These guys have been, have had the illusion that Iran will evaporate for the past 40 years. And we are still here. Seven administrations have gone and we are still here.

DOUCET: Let’s-

ZARIF: And I think we will be here for a long time. You see, we had an empire-

DOUCET: Let’s not go back to history.

ZARIF: -that lasted more than the life of their country.

DOUCET: [laughing] At this rate we’re going to be back to the seventhcentury, we don’t have time for the 7th century right now, although we’re very cognizant-

ZARIF: -earlier than the 7th century! [laughing] That goes 7,000 years ago!

DOUCET: I’m going to take the privilege of the chair and introduce at least the history of a year. Last year when we all gathered here at the Munich Security Conference you will remember, ladies and gentlemen, that there was a real concern that the region was slipping towards war between Israel and Iran, a proxy war being carried out in Syria. Now as we meet, last month there was another series of Israeli attacks on what they said was your weapons depot, training bases, hitting Damascus International Airport, which, I’m sure, the Russians and the Syrians and Iran fired back. Is the risk of war, of a real confrontation, even greater than it is, greater this year than when we met last year?

ZARIF: Well certainly some people are looking for war. We are in Syria-

DOUCET: Who is looking?

ZARIF: Israel. We are in Syria on the invitation of the Syrian government for the sole purpose of fighting terrorism. No other- no other reason for our being there. I think last I checked international law, violating Lebanon’s airspace and shooting into Syria is a violation of international law. And the- and the international community and all people in Europe, which believes international law is the foundation of international order, is blaming us and not blaming the Israelis for violating international law. So, let’s wake up.

DOUCET: So, the risk is great.

ZARIF: The risk is great. But the risk will be even greater if you continue to turn a blind eye to severe violations of international law. These are violations of international law. Let’s say we live in a jungle, and let’s allow everybody- so let’s not talk about human rights, because Khashoggi put human rights in the shelves. I mean, anybody who claims human rights, just remind them of Khashoggi and I’ll tell you, it’s gone. Let’s not talk about international law because Israeli behavior is putting international law on the shelves. U.S. behavior is putting international law on the shelf. Let’s all just rid ourselves of all these non-essential restraints, according to the United States, because John Bolton once said, when he was my colleague in the United Nations, that international law is “a tool in our toolbox. We use it whenever we like to.” It’s not- it’s not a tool in the toolbox. It’s either the foundations of international relations, or nothing. 

DOUCET: Ok, I’m glad you put human rights on the agenda, because we’ve all agreed here at the Munich Security Conference that we do have to pay greater attention to human security. You mentioned human rights. The Europeans are also saying to you, what about eight environmentalists who have been imprisoned for the last year? Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation. And I know the Europeans are saying, “we cannot finance environmental projects in Iran if environmentalists are going to jail.” Even Iranian officials have said there is nothing against them. Can you assure people here that there will be justice in this case – and many others?

ZARIF: Hold on. As I have said, I think concern for human rights, after Khashoggi-

DOUCET: Not just concern, but action.

ZARIF: After Khashoggi-

DOUCET: Let’s leave that to the side.

ZARIF: Why should I? You are still selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. Why should I set aside Khashoggi? Hold on-

DOUCET: Tell me about the eight environmentalists. No, no, no, we don’t have time- we have three minutes left-

ZARIF: Ok, I’ll tell you about the environmentalists. Let us put this charade away, this hypocrisy away-

DOUCET: Your Excellency, we all here, all of us, condemn the terrible crime that is the murder of Jamal Khashoggi-

ZARIF: And what happened?

DOUCET: And may it be- may it be-

ZARIF: What happened afterwards? What happened afterwards? Same type of relations, no stop in environmental support for Saudi Arabia--

DOUCET: Your point is taken. The point is taken, but let us focus-

ZARIF: Ok, good. Now let’s, let’s walk down-

DOUCET: Your partners here want to know about your human rights record.

ZARIF: Ok. Let’s walk down together, let’s not take the high moral ground, because you certainly do not have it. Let’s walk down together. We in the government do not control the judiciary. We have our complains about-

DOUCET: This is what you always say-

ZARIF: Hold on, hold on.

DOUCET: You have an elected president who promised Iranians better freedoms, more freedoms, including human rights.  

ZARIF: You see, when I said we rely on our people for our security, we don’t get support from outside. We don’t have a Senator Lindsey Graham saying that we would be speaking Arabic if they didn’t support us for one week. We rely on these people. So respecting their rights, respecting their freedoms, is not just a moral obligation for us, it is a national security requirement for us. Without them we are nothing.

DOUCET: Can you see--

ZARIF: Without our people we are nothing. We have excesses. We have areas where I don’t disagree with – where I don’t agree with – the government doesn’t agree with, we have an independent judiciary, the president doesn’t have any power over the judiciary. We’re doing all what we can. They say, as the judiciary, and we have no way of testing the validity of the claim, that these people were charged with certain types of crime. It is for a court of law to decide. I am not that court.

ZARIF: I can call for humanitarian behavior with them, for clemency, for all of that, and we’ve been doing that. But it’s not our job.

DOUCET: Because it’s hurting you at a time when you would like greater investment to try to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive. You have the British foreign secretary taking the un-, the really unprecedented step, of telling dual nationals holding Iranian and British passports, or it could be another passport, don’t go to Iran because it’s too risky. More than 30 dual nationals are in prison.

ZARIF: No, you see-

DOUCET: That doesn’t help you, and it doesn’t help Iran or those people in prison.

ZARIF: We have hundreds of thousands of dual nationals who come to Iran every year. How many of them – rightly or wrongly- 

DOUCET: Yes, but that’s-

ZARIF: I’m not leading with that. Rightly or wrongly are in jail. I mean, there are more Iranian single nationals in jail. So, should every Iranian leave the country?

DOUCET: But it’s part of a package, isn’t it? When it comes to Iran’s engagement with the international community- we appreciate that Iran has its grievances, but Iran also has its own responsibilities to keep.

ZARIF: Our responsibility to our citizens is something, and we have mistakes, shortcomings, excesses that we need to address. But it’s not for Europe. As I said, the Europeans need to stop your dealings, your businesses need to stop going to Saudi Arabia to invest. So don’t tell me that your businesses are not coming to Iran because you’re concerned about human rights. Did they stop going to [Saudi Arabia] – I mean, the coffers were too big, maybe. They didn’t stop. So, I mean, let’s be honest with each other. I’m a human rights professor. I have taught human rights for over thirty years. So I have concerns about human rights. I believe human rights need to be respected. I believe human rights for us is a security requirement, not a moral nicety. It’s a security requirement. But I believe Europe, and certainly the United States, are not in a position-- I remember a time when Saddam Hussein was voting in favor of a resolution to get Iran--

DOUCET: May Saddam Hussein rest in peace, but we don’t have-

ZARIF: Saudi Arabia today. Saudi Arabia today in the United Nations was one of the major supporters of the human rights resolution against Iran. Is this the human rights the international community wants to uphold?

DOUCET: We know that this still resonates in Iran, that history still has a very strong, strong presence in Iran. And we-- your point is well-taken that you mention it.

ZARIF: No, I’m talking about last month. I’m not talking about history.

DOUCET: Ok. One last comment from you, sir, as we bring our conversation to a close. Our friendly conversation to a close.

ZARIF: It is friendly and for thirty-some-

DOUCET: Your Excellency, you’ve had many meetings here, and as you prepare to leave Munich this year, you’ve had many conversations with your allies, you’ve heard many statements. Are you leaving more worried about the future of the Iran nuclear deal and your position in the region, or are you more reassured that there can be a way forward?  

ZARIF: If we derive our security from here I would have been more worried. But since we derive our security from our people I’m not at all worried.