EghtesadOnline: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reaffirmed Iran’s readiness for talks with neighbors amid tensions in the Persian Gulf region.
“Iran remains open to dialogue with its neighbors and we declare our readiness to participate in any complementary work that is in the interest of the region, and we welcome any step that restores hope to its people and brings them stability and prosperity,” Zarif said in a tweet on Thursday, ISNA reported.
The tweet was in Arabic, which suggests it was addressed to the Persian Gulf littoral Arab countries. It came a day after Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said Riyadh was ready for talks with Tehran “but it is really up to Iran.”
The top Saudi diplomat, however, repeated allegations against Iran’s role in the region, adding that the precondition for dialogue is for the Islamic Republic to accept it “cannot further its regional agenda through violence”.
Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prince Faisal said he was glad the region has “avoided any escalation” with Iran, and that “many countries” have offered to mediate talks with Tehran, AFP reported.
Meanwhile, Mahmoud Vaezi, the Iranian president’s chief of staff, said on Wednesday that Tehran and Riyadh should work together to overcome their problems.
“Relations between Iran and its neighbor Saudi Arabia should not become like the relationship between Tehran and the United States ... Tehran and Riyadh should work together to resolve their problems,” Vaezi said.
At an event in the Indian city of Mumbai on Friday, Zarif also voiced Iran’s readiness to hold talks with Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries to promote regional security.
He added that Iran has also presented proposals on ways to establish peace in the Strait of Hormuz.
In an address to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019, President Hassan Rouhani said as a steward of maritime security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, Iran invites all countries that are affected by developments in the strategic region to join the country’s new regional peace initiative, dubbed Hormuz Peace Endeavor.
Iran’s initiative comes as the US has been trying to persuade its allies into a maritime coalition purportedly seeking to boost security in the Persian Gulf, after it blamed Tehran for attacks on oil tankers in the Sea of Oman in May and June, without providing any credible evidence to back up the allegation, which Iran has categorically rejected.
Tehran has repeatedly said outsiders not only cannot safeguard the security of the region, but instead will fuel tensions. It believes only the region’s countries can ensure regional peace.
Prior to the Hormuz initiative, Iran had offered to sign non-aggression agreements with all Persian Gulf countries.
Zarif also said in late May 2019 that Iran sought the best of relations with the Persian Gulf Arab countries and would welcome any proposals for dialogue and de-escalation toward that end.