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Iran calls for dialogue with neighbors after Trump’s election defeat

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (YouTube)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran has called for dialogue with neighboring countries now that Donald Trump has lost the U.S. presidential election.

“Trump’s gone in 70 days. But we’ll remain here forever,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on November 9, after Democrat Joe Biden clinched the presidency following the November 3 vote. Biden will be inaugurated in January.

“We extend our hand to our neighbors for dialog to resolve differences,” Zarif wrote, adding: “Only together can we build a better future for all.”

Mainly Shi’ite Iran’s relationship with the United States and its Sunni-ruled allies in the Persian Gulf — particularly Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — have dramatically deteriorated during Trump’s presidency.

Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers in 2018 and launched a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran that included crippling economic sanctions.

But the Trump administration has failed to achieve its stated goal of forcing Tehran to negotiate a new accord that would place indefinite curbs on its nuclear program and restrict Tehran’s ballistic-missile program.

And in response to the U.S. sanctions, Iran has gradually stopped adhering to its commitments under the nuclear accord.

Tehran has signaled its readiness to return to commitments under the agreement if the United States returns to the deal and lift sanctions imposed under Trump.

Biden has suggested Washington may rejoin the landmark nuclear agreement struck when he served as vice president under President Barack Obama.

“We urgently need to change course,” Biden wrote in September in an opinion piece published on CNN, saying he was “ready to walk the path of diplomacy if Iran takes steps to show it is ready, too.”

In comments carried by the semiofficial news agency ISNA, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeid Khatibzadeh said that Tehran is “realistic about the United States.”

“We pay attention to its actions, not to speculation and media analysis,” Khatibzadeh added.