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Innledning til pressekonferanse med utenriksminister Zarif

I forbindelse med sitt besøk i Oslo møtte den iranske utenriksministeren Javad Zarif pressen sammen med utenriksminister Ine Eriksen Søreide - som holdt denne innledningen på pressekonferansen.

Utenriksminister Ine Eriksen Søreide sammen med Irans utenriksminister Javad Zarif.
Utenriksminister Ine Eriksen Søreide møtte pressen sammen med Irans utenriksminister Javad Zarif. Foto: Guri Solberg, UD

Ladies and gentlemen,
I am glad  to have had the opportunity to welcome Foreign Minister Zarif to Oslo. His visit today is the last stop on a ‘Nordic tour’ that has included visits to Helsinki and Stockholm.

We have just finished a substantial and constructive discussion on a broad set of issues – bilateral, regional and international, including human rights. 

Before going on to the substance of our discussion, I would like to emphasise the importance of maintaining a close dialogue during difficult times. I appreciate having had this opportunity to discuss sensitive and difficult issues with my Iranian colleague. 

First, I expressed our concerns about the recent escalation in the region, particularly in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and beyond. As a major shipping nation that has been directly affected by acts of sabotage against commercial shipping, Norway has a vital interest in maritime security in and around the Strait of Hormuz. I reiterated our consistent message to all involved parties to de-escalate the situation, and stressed the importance of avoiding actions and statements that could increase tensions. 

Second, on the nuclear agreement – the JCPOA – I expressed Norway’s commitment to support efforts to preserve the agreement. I urged Iran to return to full compliance with the JCPOA and to implement all of its nuclear-related commitments. The JCPOA remains important for regional stability, for our common security, and for the international non-proliferation regime. I believe this is in Iran’s interest too.

I reiterated Norway’s regret about the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and their re-imposition of sanctions. I underlined Norway’s support for the efforts by France, the UK, Germany and the EU to safeguard the JCPOA, in particular through the establishment of the Instex mechanism. 

Third, we had a constructive discussion on human rights, including the Universal Periodic Review process in the UN Human Rights Council, where both countries take part. I underscored Norway’s opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances. I also expressed concerns about the situation for human rights defenders and raised issues related to freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression and the right to political activity.

Finally, we discussed other regional issues. We had an interesting exchange of views on the ongoing peace efforts in Afghanistan, and on the need to achieve a lasting political settlement that will bring peace to the people of Afghanistan. 

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