5:21 pm - Tuesday July 19, 1633

Iran: Some people consider peace ‘an existential threat’

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London : Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters are trying to create “an atmosphere of hysteria” and “fear-mongering,” the Iranian foreign minister said Thursday.

“The only explanation that you can have here is that some people consider peace and stability as an existential threat,” Javad Zarif told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

“Because a deal cannot be threatening to anybody unless you want conflict and tension and mistrust and crises.”

In a highly controversial speech to the American Congress on Tuesday, Netanyahu said that far from stymieing Iran, the deal currently being negotiated in Switzerland would pave Iran’s way to nuclear weapons.

Zarif told Amanpour that the prime minister’s speech had “no effect on the negotiating table.”

He spoke from Montreux, where Iran, the U.S., and five other countries are trying to hammer out an agreement that would trade sanctions relief for guarantees on Iran’s nuclear program.

Zarif told Amanpour that he believed they were “very close” to such a deal, but only if everybody eschewed “the path of confrontation.”

“Everybody has to make tough choices. We have made the choice to engage in negotiations, although we believe that this entire exercise was unnecessary, this was a manufactured crisis.”

“People have been predicting for the past twenty years that Iran was a year away from making a bomb, and that prediction has been proven wrong time and again.”

“But unfortunately that is a reality that this hysteria that has been fanned continues to be fanned. And we try to resolve that problem.”

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