By staff and agency

Lavrov: Russia ready to facilitate non-aggression pact between Iran and Persian Gulf states

June 1, 2019

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that Moscow is ready to facilitate a non-aggression pact between Iran and other Persian Gulf states.

“I think, Tehran’s initiative on signing a non-aggression pact is a step in [the right] direction. I know that not everyone, but a number of member countries of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council are willing to consider the initiative. We will be ready to facilitate this process,” TASS quoted him as saying.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on May 26 that he has proposed the “regional non-aggression pact” with Persian Gulf Arab countries during his three-day trip to Iraq.

“In #Iraq, where I’ve held substantive and productive meetings with the President, PM, Speaker, FM & leadership of two parliamentary coalitions. Proposed regional non-aggression pact: #NeighborsFirst,” Zarif tweeted.

During a joint press conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim, Zarif said that Iran sought the best of relations with the Persian Gulf littoral countries and would welcome any proposals for dialogue and de-escalation toward that end.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi said on Tuesday that a “regional non-aggression pact” will pave the way for neighboring countries to build trust and have constructive interaction.

Among the six countries member to the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, Iran enjoys good relationship with Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait.

Iran also had good relationship with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. However, Saudi Arabia and the UAE changed their tact toward Iran as Tehran seriously entered nuclear negotiations with the 5+1 countries – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – to end more than a decade of nuclear standoff with the West. Saudi Arabia was so unhappy with the negotiations that it even sent its foreign minister Saudi al-Faisal to Vienna, the venue of the talks, in November 2014 to undermine the process of nuclear negotiations.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also unhappy with Iran which has strongly criticized their war on fellow Arab nation of Yemen. Iran has also condemned the Saudi suppression of pro-democracy movements in Bahrain.

In addition, the relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia started nosediving with the new leadership in Riyadh. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has used the worst insults against Iran and compared Iran to the Nazi Germany.

Donald Trump, a real estate magnate who succeeded to win the post of president in the U.S. in 2016, has also misused the frosty relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia to sell more arms to Saudi Arabia and the UEA.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain also welcomed the United States’ exit from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposition of sanctions against Iran. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have even promised Trump to pump more oil to the market as Washington has threatened to drive Iran’s oil exports to zero.

NA/PA

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