Iran open to talking to Saudi Arabia: FM Zarif
ISNA - Iranian Students' News Agency
Sat / 12 October 2019 / 10:35
Tehran (ISNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that Iran has always been open to talking to Saudi Arabia directly.
"We've always been open to discussing anything with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is our neighbor. We're going to be here together permanently," Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with Turkey's TRT World.
"We don't have any choice but to talk to each other, and we have been open to talking to Saudi Arabia either directly or through intermediaries," Zarif noted.
"We've never rejected any intermediary... We've always been open to mediation, and we've always been open to direct talks with our Saudi neighbors," the top diplomat noted when asked about the upcoming visit of Pakistan's Imran Khan to Tehran.
In his interview with TRT, Zarif emphasized that Saudi Arabia needs to start good relations with its neighbors if it wants to be secure.
"Buying weapons will not buy you security. If Saudi Arabia wants to be secure, the best way is to end the war in Yemen, to start good relations with its neighbors and the neighborhood, and not to trust the US," he said.
The top diplomat also referred to a peace plan, officially called Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE), proposed by President Hassan Rouhani during his recent speech at the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly, saying the initiative calls on "all eight countries in the Persian Gulf region to join in an attempt to bring peace through dialogue."
"We hope it can be discussed and further enriched by our neighbors," he added.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif mentioned to Turkey's military operation in northern Syria, saying, "While Iran understands Turkey's security concerns, it does not believe that security could be achieved through acts of aggression and invasion against Syria".
"We have better alternatives, which we have presented to our friends in Turkey," Zarif added, referring to the Adana agreement.
"The Adana agreement is still valid," said Zarif, adding "we can bring the Kurds, the Syrian and Turkish governments together, so that the Syrian Army, in cooperation with the Turkish government, can be in charge of border security. This can be the better path to achieve security."
He once again rebuked Europe for its failure to comply with its nuclear commitments, saying, "Europe's national interests depend on preserving the 2015 nuclear deal and EU should show that it is an independent partner from US in international agreements".
Referring to US' unilateral sanctions against Iran, Zarif stressed, "US has imposed severe sanctions against Iranian people. We consider the imposing sanctions as declaration of war. The US has declared a war against Iran. Economic terrorism has been interpreted from maximum pressure".
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