Didier Reynders meets with Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders met today with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. Among the issues discussed, he raised the case of Ahmadreza Djalali and the fact that the death penalty should not be applied. Didier Reynders repeated that Belgium was, as a matter of principle, opposed to death penalty and in favour of a fair trial. The case of Hamid Babaeï and other issues related to human rights were also discussed.

The two ministers also discussed the implementation of the JCPOA nuclear agreement. Earlier in the day, Minister Zarif already had contacts in this regard with the European Union and with his German, French and British colleagues. Minister Reynders underlined the importance of the JCPOA. According to him, all parties must respect the conditions of the agreement. This does not affect however the fact that other subjects of concerns such as the ballistic missile program and the regional role of Iran must be looked at in a critical way. Didier Reynders appealed to his colleague to make good use of Iran’s influence in the region, including by exerting pressure on the Syrian regime to take part in a constructive way to the Geneva negotiation process under the direction of Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura.

The recent events in Iran, where thousands of Iranians protested against the social and economic situation in their country, were also raised by Minister Reynders who underlined the importance of freedom of expression and the right to protest peacefully. The ministers discussed also bilateral relations between Belgium and Iran and the need to strengthen amongst others economic bands.