Iran Ready for Talks on Hormuz Initiative
EghtesadOnline: Iran is prepared to conduct more detailed negotiations on its proposed peace initiative for the Persian Gulf to develop the plan unveiled by President Hassan Rouhani during his address to the United Nations General Assembly last week, the government's spokesman said.
"[Iran] will deem it a benchmark of all states' earnestness and honesty about creating international stability in the Persian Gulf," Ali Rabiei said during his weekly press briefing on Monday, IRNA reported.
Iran's proposed Coalition of Hope (Hormuz Peace Endeavor) invites all countries directly affected by developments in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz as well as the United Nations as an “international umbrella” to work together to guarantee security in the region.
Rabiei said the Coalition of Hope is an alternative to the United States' "anti-Iran, provocative and hostile" plan for the region, Financial Tribune reported.
Washington had called on its allies and partners to launch an international maritime mission in the Persian Gulf to protect commercial shipping after several attacks on oil tankers in May and June, which it blamed on Iran without any evidence.
So far, Britain, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Australia have joined the American "International Maritime Security Construct".
Rabiei said Iran's proposal has three fundamental differences with that of the US.
He explained that unlike the American initiative, Persian Gulf security in this plan originates inside the region and is not dependent on powers outside the region.
"It does not leave any country out of the coalition because a security mission that excludes one or several countries cannot eventually ensure the overall security," he added.
Moreover, "it is not against any country" and focuses on establishing peace rather than eliminating violence, according to Rabiei.
Rouhani said during his speech that "the goal of the Coalition of Hope is to promote peace, stability, progress and welfare for all the residents of the Strait of Hormuz region, and to enhance mutual understanding, peaceful and friendly relations among them."
In a tweet on Thursday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said the "Hope" proposal entails dialogue, confidence-building, freedom of navigation, energy security, non-aggression and non-intervention.
The spokesman pointed to the European countries' failure to meet their commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, saying their inaction cannot be justified by the US obstructive actions.
Washington pulled out of the deal last year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, but European parties stayed committed and vowed to support Iran against the US pressure. However, they have failed to meet their commitments and their feeble efforts have borne no fruit so far.
"The United States' ducking of its responsibilities … cannot justify their [European parties'] inability to fulfill their legal obligations," he said.
Rabiei also censured the three European parties to the deal (Britain, France and Germany) for "making hasty judgments" and blaming Iran for Middle East incidents, including the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi oil facilities.
The assaults were claimed by Yemeni Houthi fighters, but the US accused Iran. Britain, France and Germany also backed Washington and issued a statement during the UN event last week, blaming Iran for the attack.
Rabiei stressed that the European countries have "issued a provocative statement against a member of the United Nations" without any compelling evidence.
"[The accusation] indicates their incomplete information and their inadequate knowledge about the Yemeni Army's military progress," he said.
The US and its allies have claimed that the scale of the attack was beyond the Yemeni fighters' capability.