Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran has no problem working with the US on the question of oil but "we will not cooperate with you on the issue of Israel."

"We believe that foreign presence in the Persian Gulf causes insecurity and you [US] should not be there," says Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (Reuters)

Iran may cooperate with the United States on oil and security in the Gulf, but not on Israel, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said. 

"In my personal opinion, we should define our relationship with the United States: To tell the US that 'we will not cooperate with you on the issue of Israel and we will disagree with you,'" Zarif said in an interview with the reformist Etmad newspaper on Saturday. 

Iran "will not allow you to interfere in its internal affairs, but we have no problem working with you on the question of oil," he said.

"We have no problem with ensuring the security of the Persian Gulf, though we believe that foreign presence in the Persian Gulf causes insecurity and you should not be there."

READ MORE: How Iranians feel about the new Biden administration

Frosty ties 

Ties between Tehran and Washington worsened under the administration of former President Donald Trump, who in 2018 unilaterally withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled its economy.

Iran called for action and "not just words" shortly after Joe Biden was sworn in as president on Wednesday. 

Biden has said Washington will rejoin the nuclear deal if Iran resumes strict compliance.

READ MORE: Will Biden continue Trump’s transactional Middle East policy?

Source: Reuters