Iran Urges Efforts to Resolve Regional Disputes through Diplomacy

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for efforts to resolve all regional disputes through dialog and diplomacy.

Rouhani said Iran pays particular attention to the expansion of ties with the regional countries.

"The development of all-out relations with neighboring countries is one of the priorities of Iran's foreign policy," he said, adding that the Islamic Republic welcomes any "idea and initiative to increase interaction and cooperation with its neighbors."  

The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic is based on cooperation, synergy and finding ways to fulfill common interests, he said, adding that Tehran follows "a win-win policy."

The Iranian president said interaction among Tehran, Moscow and Baku can help develop and promote the latent capacities and capabilities of the three sides and create new opportunities to counter the existing challenges in the region.

"It goes without saying that such arrangements are not against any country or third party and are merely a framework for dialog focused on the development of regional cooperation among the three countries," Rouhani said.  

He pointed to the close bilateral relations and consultation between Iran and Russia, saying that in recent years, relations between the two countries have spanned different areas such as the resolution of the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, reaching a nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries followed by the implementation of the deal, and constructive cooperation to manage the foreign-backed crisis in Syria.

The Iranian chief executive added that the Tehran-Moscow cooperation on the nuclear issue and the Syria crisis can serve as an example and model for collaboration in other areas of common interest and can even be applied to trilateral ties.

He highlighted the importance of interaction and cooperation among Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan, adding that all countries must work together to achieve common objectives.

Rouhani noted that terrorism, extremism, meddling by trans-regional countries in the internal affairs of the regional states and using sanctions as a tool to advance their political agendas are major plights, whose elimination requires the cooperation of the three countries.

The Iranian president said Iran and Azerbaijan have taken constructive steps to boost bilateral ties, adding that the ties between Tehran and Moscow are also on the right track.

He further proposed that Iran host the next ministerial and summit meetings among the three countries.

The Iranian President also said the Islamic Republic is ready to help Armenia and Azerbaijan settle their dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region through negotiations.

“Iran, as a neighbor of Azerbaijan and Armenia, has always sought to pave the way for negotiations and the settlement of disputes,” Rouhani said.

He emphasized that Iran would spare no effort to help Yerevan and Baku resolve their territorial dispute over the Karabakh region.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that peace and stability must be established in the region and disputes and differences between regional countries must be ultimately resolved through negotiations and dialogue," Rouhani pointed out.

The Iranian chief executive also stressed the importance of safeguarding the territorial integrity of all countries, including Azerbaijan, and preventing any shift in regional borders.

Rouhani also pointed to growing trend of relations between Iran and Azerbaijan over the past three years and said the two countries have managed to take very good steps to improve ties.

He added that the exchange of visits between the Iranian and Azeri presidents and their meetings on the sidelines of international conferences were steps toward expanding relations between the two nations, who share common culture, history and religion and have had peaceful co-existence for many years.

The Iranian president also said he had held discussions with his Azeri counterpart about the threat posed by the spread of terrorism and violence in the region.

“We held talks about the issue of terrorism and the threat that violence and terror can pose to the Caucasus region, the Central Asia and the Middle East as well as the entire world,” Rouhani said.

He added that Tehran and Baku agreed to make more efforts in the field of culture and the promotion of Islam as an anti-violence religion of fraternity and moderation.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said the US losses as a result of its lack of commitment to its obligations under last year’s nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries outweigh any benefits Washington may reap.

“It is election year for the Americans and they are more inclined to choose a method that will serve their interests in the election,” Zarif said.

“US officials are making a mistake because what they have lost so far as a result of the escalation of the Iranian nation’s distrust due to the US lack of commitment has been far greater than what they can achieve,” he added.

He emphasized that all countries which have signed the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are duty-bound to implement it, adding, “We are also pursuing its implementation with seriousness.”

“The Islamic Republic has shown that it has negotiated [with the P5+1 group of countries] with seriousness and has insisted on [the Iranian] people’s rights in these negotiations. Iran has also showed the world that the Islamic Republic is a country that seeks negotiations and dialogue in order to reach a solution,” the Iranian top diplomat pointed out.

Zarif said Iran has envisaged different measures under the directives issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei during the nuclear talks to prevent any possible loss as a result of the violation of the nuclear agreement by the opposite side.

*Photo Credit: ISNA 

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