Iran should welcome de-escalation gesture with Arab neighbors, MP says

July 27, 2019 - 21:3

TEHRAN - Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, is of the opinion that Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region are seeking to de-escalate tension in the region, a movement which he says Iran should welcome.

“We should move towards de-escalation. Tension is a reality in Iran’s foreign policy. Iran has many enemies that naturally cause tension. This situation should be managed. This is the opposite pint of Trump’s policy of increasing tension,” he told ISNA in an interview published on Saturday.

He noted, “Today, certain countries such as Saudi Arabia and the Emirates [the United Arab Emirates] have adopted a different stance which shows a kind of green light to de-escalate tension in the region. These countries have reached the conclusion that insecurity in the region harms them.”

Abdullah al-Muallemi, the Saudi envoy to the United Nations, said on July 18 that Saudi Arabia seeks “diplomatic interactions” with Iran.

“Saudi Arabia does not want war with Iran, neither in Yemen and nor anywhere else,” the Mehr news agency quoted him as saying.

Mohammad Javad Jamali Nobandegani, the deputy chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, has said that Saudi Arabia can be a “strategic partner” of Iran if it abandons following the United States.

“If Saudi Arabia abandons animosity and stops blindly obeying America it can have a good strategic partner like the Islamic Republic, which will be to the benefit of all regional countries and Muslims,”  Jamali Nobandegani told ISNA in an interview published on Friday.

The MP said Iran and Saudi Arabia have a common religion and have joint borders,” he said.

He added that Iran has always “extended hands of friendship to its neighbors”, citing Qatar as an example in which Iran opened its arms to the country when it was surrounded from land, sea and air by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“Iran has always announced that it has no fundamental problem with its neighbors and extends hands of friendship to them. As a powerful country in the Persian Gulf region, we are ready to be a safe harbor for our neighbors,” he noted.

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 policy 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 then 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 senseless 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 took the helm at the White House in 2016, has also misused the frosty relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia to sell more arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has proposed non-aggression pact with regional Arab states to invalidate claims by the Trump administration that Iran is a threat to its southern Arab neighbors. 

NA/PA

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