“The United States is engaged in economic war against the Iranian people. It won’t be possible for us to engage with US unless they stop imposing a war, engaging in economic terrorism,” Mohammad Zarif told reporters on Thursday after speaking at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in the Malaysian capital.
“If they want to come back to the room, there is a ticket, and that ticket is to observe the agreement,” he said, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and world powers.
Zarif said Iran does not want to “meet for the sake of meeting”.
“The basic principle of civilized world is that you do not negotiate with terrorists,” said Zarif.
“If they want to negotiate, they have to abandon terrorism.”
Earlier at the forum, Zarif alluded to Trump as a person who believes building real estate will solve problems.
“I don’t want to bash anybody, but the mentality that wants to buy Greenland looks at every international development in terms of real estate … believes that by building real estate property, you solve the problem,” said Zarif.
Iran’s top diplomat made no comments in Kuala Lumpur about his Biarritz meeting with Macron.
At the security forum on Thursday, Zarif also warned that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) armed group remains a threat even after losing its territories.
“ISIS became a non-state actor with important role in international affairs and that is why it was important to defeat ISIS and that is why Iran participated actively … in Syria and Iraq,” Zarif said.
“We are happy that the territorial ISIS has been defeated, but the ISIS has not been defeated and we need to be very concerned and cognitive of this fact and continue to be united in the face of this threat,” said Zarif.
During his visit, Zarif also met Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and held talks with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
Saifuddin posted a video on social media showing him welcoming Zarif and Ambassador Marzieh Afkham, Iran’s first female ambassador since 1979 who represents Tehran in Kuala Lumpur.
Zarif praised Mahathir, saying he has “deep respect” for the Malaysian prime minister “for the role he played in developing the Muslim world”.
Zarif later paid a courtesy call to Mahathir at his office in the administrative capital of Putrajaya where he was warmly welcomed.
“Today I received His Excellency Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Islamic Republic of Iran at my office in Putrajaya. We discussed several issues of mutual interest as well as improving bilateral ties between our two countries,” said Mahathir on Twitter.
Meanwhile Zarif said Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir is going to visit Iran soon.
Zarif, who has travelled to Kuala Lumpur in the final leg of a three-nation tour of Asia, said that the Malaysian prime minister is scheduled to pay a visit to Iran.
“We’ll be expecting Mr. Mahathir in Iran in the near future,” Zarif told IRIB.
Commenting on the purpose of his visit to Malaysia, the Iranian foreign minister said, “We have very good relations with Malaysia and it was necessary to hold consultations with the Malaysians friends about the bilateral relations, regional cooperation, and the Islamic world cooperation.”
“Moreover, the two countries are involved in extensive talks on various issues, particularly cooperation in the Islamic world,” he added.
“Iran and Malaysia, as two major and advanced countries in the region and the Islamic world, have always had a lot of common grounds for mutual cooperation. We need to study these grounds,” Zarif stated.