Zarif heading to Asia in push against US sanctions

Zarif heading to Asia in push against US sanctions

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will head to East Asia on Sunday, his office said, as part of a diplomatic push to win relief from biting US sanctions, France 24 reports.

Zarif would visit China, Japan and Malaysia fresh on the heels of a tour of Western European nations, spokesman Abbas Mousavi said late Friday on the ministry's Telegram channel.

"Bilateral relations and most importantly regional and international issues are some of the topics our foreign minister will discuss with the aforementioned countries' officials during the trip," said Mousavi.

The United States slapped sanctions on Zarif late last month in a bid to target any assets he has in America and squeeze his ability to function as a globe-trotting diplomat.

But Zarif hailed his visit to France on Friday following trips to Finland, Sweden and Norway.

In a post on Twitter, he said "despite US efforts to destroy diplomacy" he met French President Emmanuel Macron, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and had interviews with media in Paris, including AFP.