Published: 19:23, September 9, 2020 | Updated: 17:49, June 5, 2023
Iran's Zarif to visit Europe amid mounting US pressures
By Xinhua

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, mask-clad due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, speaks to reporters at Lebanon's foreign ministry headquarters in the capital Beirut on Aug 14, 2020. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit European countries next week, Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday.

During his European tour, Zarif will visit Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain

During his European tour, Zarif will visit Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The imminent trip of the minister comes at a time when the United States has mounted pressures on the UN Security Council for the return of pre-2015 nuclear deal sanctions against Iran.

He would likely to discuss the Europeans' help to block the U.S. fresh initiative against the Islamic republic.

Recently, the UN Security Council voted against Washington's move to extend a UN arms ban against Tehran, and has opposed the return of pre-2015 sanctions. 

Meanwhile, Iran's army will start large-scale drills in the eastern part of the country's southern waters on Thursday, Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army Habibollah Sayyari announced on Wednesday.

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Naval forces as well as air defense, air forces, and ground forces of the army will contribute to the three-day exercise, Sayyari was quoted as saying by semi-official Fars news agency.

Indigenous submarines, military vessels, aircraft and drones will participate in the war game to boost the readiness and military capability in naval, aerial, ground, and air defense fields, Sayyari said.

Long-range drones of the country will also carry out patrol and reconnaissance operations and engage in combat against hostile vessels by dropping smart bombs with pinpoint accuracy, he said.

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In the meantime, the exercise seeks to enhance the security of regional waters and international shipping routes in West Asia and prepare to repel trans-regional threats, he added.

The drills, codenamed Zolfaqar-99, will be held in an area of 2 million square km on the eastern part of the Strait of Hormuz, Makran coasts, Sea of Oman, and north of the Indian Ocean, he said.