|Iran expresses profound willingness to develop ties with Albania: ambassador||
TIRANA – “We hopefully expect more mobilization in Iranian-Albanian bilateral relations. The Islamic Republic of Iran has always been expressing its willingness to expand relations with the Republic of Albania in areas of mutual interests,” says Abdolmajid Mozafari, the Iranian Ambassador to Tirana.
In an exclusive interview with the Albanian Daily News on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Mozafari says the two countries’ relations in all economic, parliamentary, cultural, political and security fields, especially in the combat against drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crimes, has the potential to improve.
“But the current level is far behind of the potentials of the two countries,” the ambassador said.
The interview was conducted by Genc Mlloja, the editor in chief of the Albanian Daily News, on the eve of Iran’s National Day which fell on February 11.
Following is an excerpt of the interview:
Q: Please explain about the importance of the Islamic Revolution?
A: The Iranian nation’s struggle for freedom for more than a century resulted in the victory of the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of Islamic Republic of Iran (in 1979). This establishment manifests the will of a nation who sought an independent system free from the domination of arrogant powers. The revolution was built on the basis of the people’s will and Islamic principles. Less than 3 month after the triumph of the revolution, the Iranian people in a referendum voted for a political system, titled “Islamic Republic of Iran”. Decades after on, on average every year an election has been held as a result of which people directly or through elected representatives, elected leader, president or MPs.
Q: What are the social and economic advantages of the revolution?
A: Today’s Iran is never comparable to 35 years ago. Before Revolution in which a king dominated the country, the nation’s capabilities were ignored for the other’s objectives. Political, social and economic freedom of all citizens is secured without any discrimination by Iran’s constitution, which Iranian people, relying on it, has been able make use of all their capabilities to stand at the first place among Middle Eastern countries in many scientific, social and economic fields. Iran’s economy has the capacity to be among the 10 strongest economies of the world in next 3 decades. Hence, the Islamic Republic of Iran, relying on its rich resources, expresses its readiness to cooperate in supplying energy to the world for a long term.
Q: A nuclear deal has been struck between Tehran and the West. Does your country feel relieved? And which are your expectations from the mutual implementation of the deal?
A: Nuclear negotiations between I.R of Iran & P5+1 and the Geneva agreement, manifests Iran’s good will in developing nuclear technology, as well as country’s will to clear up ambiguities and to build trust.
Supreme leader of Islamic Republic of Iran has so far repeatedly emphasized Iran’s objections to nuclear weapons and its use as “Haram” in Islamic teaching. Peaceful usage of nuclear energy is sole goal of Islamic Republic of Iran in pursuing its nuclear program, and never tolerates any obstacle in its path to scientific development. The other side of negotiating table after 10 years of insisting on incorrect policies, finally found out that the Iranian nation at any circumstances will not ignore its right of enjoying peaceful nuclear technology, and so imposing sanctions had no success for both sides instead of direct or indirect increase of expenses. This realism created hope for resolving crisis and making both sides able to reach primary agreement, eyeing final and comprehensive resolution. In this regard, global stability and security, economic development, saving environment and fight against violence and radicalism are among common interests of all sides.
Q: Besides what’s happening with many western countries there seems a thaw even in Iran’s ties with the U.S. What seemed a taboo even in the near past now we see your foreign minister talking ‘amicably’ with the U.S. state secretary, pictures of which have been carried even by the Albanian Daily News. How do you consider this development? Is everybody pleased with this?
A: It’s obvious that in any country, there exist opposition circles and in this case Iran is not an exception. And it is recognizable political pluralism in Iran by simply studying press, (and noticing the views of) political parties or groups and NGOs. The most important phenomenon is the unity of all abovementioned circles in the issues of national importance. Iran in its long history has never been a colony and the unity of all factions has been the only reason of it. The best sign of this unity is participation of tens of millions of Iranian citizens in flowing to city streets around the country to celebrate anniversary of February
11th. So far the Iranian nation along with their spiritual leader expresses its satisfaction with negotiations, but if opposition groups criticize the government’s policies, it is aimed at not happening even small deviation in following national objectives. In addition, the new Iranian government which have chosen the title of “prudence and hope” for itself, has managed to function as moderate in foreign policy, so is ready to cooperate with all countries including Europeans.
Relations with the U.S. in the past months have entered a new phase and authorities of the two countries for the first time started negotiations to solve the nuclear dispute which is an important development in post- revolution period. The Islamic Republic of Iran expects that P5+1 distance itself of hostile propaganda and seriously continue the negotiations to reach the final stage of the Geneva agreement which is lifting sanctions.
Q: The relations between Albania and Iran seem to have been at its lowest point for many years. Do you expect the things to change? And which are the potential fields where they can improve?
A: Sure, it is realistic and logical expectation; as an ambassador I strive to develop bilateral relations between the two countries. Regarding recent developments in the Iranian foreign policy and at a time in which there is heavy traffic to send diplomatic and economic delegations especially European ones
to Tehran and the overall relations is improving so fast, of course we hopefully expect more mobilization in Iranian-Albanian bilateral relations.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has always been expressing its willingness to expand relations with Republic of Albania in the fields of mutual interests. I believe that relations in all economic, parliamentary, cultural, political and security fields, especially in the areas of combating against drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crimes has the potential to improve, but the current level is far behind of the potentials of the two countries.
Q: Iran is sending signals that it is willing to recognize Kosovo whose statehood is accepted by 106 countries among which many members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation which Albania is also a member. Will we see any positive development especially when Kosovo is going to celebrate its independence soon and Pristina and Belgrade make a historical progress in an effort mediated by EU’ Ashton to overcome their disputes? Or are you among those countries waiting Belgrade first to recognize Kosovo?
A: The Islamic Republic of Iran has emphasized the need to maintain stability and security in the sensitive region of the Balkans and believes that the only solution is to respect the will and wish of nations, implementing democratic and peaceful means, respect the rights of all minorities in the region and avoid recourse to violence. Peace and stability in the Balkans that historically has had a lot of ups and downs is of major importance to Iran. We believe that peace and tranquility between Serbs and Kosovars, along with other nations and ethnic minorities in the Balkans is possible only through dialogue and understanding. In this regard Iran as an effective member of the OIC and also rotating head of NAM, supports every initiative which strengthens peaceful coexistence in the region. The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the agreement signed between Serbia and Kosovo, and believes the negotiation process will lead to a positive direction.
We believe that continuation of this process by Baroness Ashton’s mediation, which resulted in salient agreements, can bring peace and stability to the region. Iran closely monitors developments in the region and its stance will be in accordance with the circumstances.
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