EghtesadOnline: Iran’s top diplomat highlighted the importance of Asia as a first priority of the government’s foreign policy.
“The Asian continent enjoys unique features in the 21st century, including the emerging economic powers that have created new opportunities for Asia itself and the world,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a meeting with foreign ambassadors and representatives in Tehran on Monday, IRNA reported.
Within Asia, neighboring countries take priority without an exception, according to the foreign minister.
“We have many friends and allies among neighbors and in Asia and will pay special attention to these two groups in our foreign relations,” he said.
This, however, does not denote our disregard for other parts of the world, as the current Iranian administration aims to adopt a “balanced, active, dynamic and smart” foreign policy, he added.
“On this basis, taking note of Arab, Muslim, African, Latin American, European and western countries constitute part of our active and dynamic foreign policy,” he said.
Dialogue with regional countries is also an important principle for the Iranian government which deems it a practical way out of the current situation.
“We consider foreign intervention and securitizing regional issues harmful and support any platform that encourages intra-regional dialogue and can lead to peace, stability and development of the region,” he said.
Referring to the situation in Afghanistan, Amir-Abdollahian reiterated Iran’s stance in supporting an inclusive government with the participation of all Afghan ethnic groups.
Sending humanitarian aid is top on Iran’s agenda in this regard, according to the minister.
“Despite the difficult conditions, we have tries to keep our border crossings open for the dispatch of aid and trade,” he said.
During his address, Amir-Abdollahian once again emphasized that negotiation is an effective diplomatic instrument and the Iranian government will never keep away from talks.
However, “negotiation for the sake of negotiation alone has not benefit for Iran, nor for any of the other sides,” he noted.
He made the remarks in reference to the present talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal that have been paused for months as they reached key areas of difference.
The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action, is on the verge of collapse with the United States already out and Iran rowing back on its nuclear commitments in response to the US reimposition of tough sanctions.
The talks in Vienna, Austria, aim to work out how both sides can resume compliance, but they have been halted as they failed to reach an agreement on certain issues.
Iran blames the US for impeding the process by refusing to revoke its sanctions unconditionally and making excessive demands.
“The Americans struck the main blow to JCPOA and are not only the accused, but also the main culprit for violating the deal,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
He said Iran welcomes any negotiation that can guarantee the interests of the Iranian nation, but would not assent to fruitless talks in which time is wasted.
Part of the responsibility of addressing this problem rests with the three European powers, he said, adding they now have an opportunity to revise their methods and show their will to cooperate with Iran.