A Conversation with Mohammad Javad Zarif

July 17, 2017


Council on Foreign Relations

Foreign Minister Zarif discusses current developments in the Middle East.

HAASS: Well, good evening. Welcome to the Council on Foreign Relations. As you can see, sitting next to me is the foreign minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif. I’m Richard Haass. And I also want to welcome not just those of you in the room but those of you who are joining us through all means electronic and digital from around the country and around the world. Just to say, this meeting is on—O-N—the record, and the minister and I will talk for about half an hour, and then we’ll open it up to you, our members. At the end of the meeting, we’ve asked that the members stay in their seats until the minister is able to leave Peterson Hall.

Foreign Minister Zarif has been to the United States in his current capacity for four—over the four or five last years, you’ve been minister—

ZARIF: Four years.

HAASS: —four years, many times. He was educated here, got his doctorate at the University of Denver, and he and I have worked together, one way or another, sometimes in parallel purposes, sometimes in cross-purposes, in government, and I would just say he is a consummate professional. And it is—we are very pleased to have him here. Timing could not be better given all that is going on in his part of the world and beyond.

As I said, I’ll start with a few questions, and then we’ll open up.


Read the full conversation at the Council on Foreign Relations