Zarif to be invited to EU for talks over Iran protests

Zarif to be invited to EU for talks over Iran protests

The European Union plans to invite Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for talks about the recent protests in the country, Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told German public broadcaster ZDF.

The minister said that together with the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, he agreed to invite the Iranian foreign minister, if possible next week.

"We very quickly affirmed that we support the freedom to demonstrate and that the state should support this," Tasnim cited him as saying.

At the same time, Gabriel said Berlin would not follow the lead of US President Donald Trump, who pledged to help Iranians "take back" their government.

He added that Germany and France have "warned against attempts at instrumentalizing the domestic conflicts in Iran".

Last week, peaceful protests over rising prices and economic problems broke out in some Iranian cities, but the unauthorized gatherings turned violent after a number of opportunists, some of them armed, vandalized public property and launched attacks on police stations and government buildings.