EghtesadOnline: Iran's power stems from domestic growth, but looking inward should not mean ignoring the importance of foreign relations, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.
"Using domestic potential is the main source of our country's power, but it should not be interpreted as turning a blind eye to foreign potential and not having cooperation and interaction with other countries," he told a Cabinet meeting in Tehran, his website reported.
Rouhani, who won two landslide elections on promises to open Iran to the world, said making meaningful progress in the fields of economy, science and technology requires engagement with other nations.
"Iran collaborates with all countries in the world, except those who engage in hostility. The fact that our exports have increased, we have made progress in science and technology and our students are studying at foreign universities means that we are interacting with the rest of the world," he said, stressing that Iran should talk to the world and cooperate with other countries, Financial Tribune reported.
The president was also quoted as saying that utilizing domestic potential and strengthening foreign relations not only do not contradict each other, but also complement each other.
He said Iran should expand its relations with Muslim, likeminded and neighboring states in particular, because it could serve national interests and help reduce the problems facing the country.
This is the policy being pursued by the government, he said, noting that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's frequent diplomatic visits, including to France, in recent months demonstrate the administration's efforts to realize the will of the people.
The top diplomat has been on a tour of Asian and European countries to clarify Iran's stance regarding latest developments in the Middle East and the internationally brokered 2015 nuclear deal.
The foreign minister made a flying visit for talks with host France at the G7 summit on August 25, as Paris ramped up efforts to ease the standoff between Tehran and Washington, a dramatic diplomatic move that the White House said had surprised them. He had earlier met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
European leaders have struggled to tamp down the brewing confrontation between the old foes since US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the nuclear agreement and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy. France has taken the lead in trying to defuse tensions.
Rouhani said some people unfairly criticize his government and insist on cutting ties with the outside world, but he promised that Cabinet members will continue to serve the people despite criticisms.