FILE PHOTO: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a news conference following a meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) in Moscow, Russia, December 30, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
BERLIN (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister said on Saturday he did not believe Saudi Arabia wanted to defuse tensions with Iran as it was firmly under the influence of the U.S. campaign to pressure Tehran.
“I believe our neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia, do not want to (de-escalate),” Mohammad Javad Zarif said at the Munich Security Conference.
He said French and Japanese efforts to bring Iran and the United States around the negotiating table had “fallen on deaf ears” because U.S. President Donald Trump believed Iran was on the verge of economic collapse.
“He is wrong,” Zarif said. “Everything they want is about regime change.”
Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Paul Carrel