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Zarif: US escalating situation unnecessarily

New Delhi, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran has always defended itself, adding that the US is escalating tensions with Iran unnecessarily.

'Unfortunately the United States has been escalating the situation unnecessarily,' The Asian News International quoted Zarif as saying.

'We do not seek escalation but we have always defended ourselves,' he added.

Commenting on the objectives of his Indian tour, Zarif said: 'India is one of our most important partnerseconomic, political and regional.'

He went on to say: 'We have regular consultations with India on various issues and I'm here to have consultations with my counterpart on most recent developments in the region as well as our bilateral relations.'

Earlier on Sunday, Zarif, heading a highranking economic delegation, arrived in Ashgabat for a series of talks with senior Turkmen officials.

During his stay in Turkmenistan, the Iranian foreign minister met with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.

Zarif and Turkmen officials discussed various bilateral, regional and international developments.

Iran and Turkmenistan share over 1,000 km border, including the Caspian Sea coastline.

The two sides have enjoyed good relations since Turkmenistan gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

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