Zanganeh calls on regional countries to view Iran as their friend

October 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has said the enemy of Persian Gulf countries is not one of the region’s countries but it comes from outside the region, pointing to the United States.

“In my opinion, there is basically no enemy in this region. The enemy is outside the region,” Zanganeh told reporters on Thursday night, Press TV reported.

He also called on regional countries to view Iran as their friend, expressing Tehran’s readiness to cooperate with its neighbors to secure the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. “Iran is a friend of everyone,” Zanganeh added.

“We are prepared to join hands with other countries in the region and protect the security of Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz together,” he said.

“This must be carried out by ourselves (littoral states of Persian Gulf),” he added.

The comments came after President Hassan Rouhani said lasting security and peace in the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz could be established only through cooperation among regional countries.

During a speech at the 74th UN General Assembly on September 25, Rouhani said, “Based upon the historic1al responsibility of my country in maintaining security, peace, stability and progress in the Persian Gulf region and Strait of Hormuz, I would like to invite all the countries directly affected by the developments in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to the ‘Coalition for Hope’, meaning Hormuz Peace Endeavor.”

He added, “The Coalition for Hope is based on important principles such as compliance with the goals and principles of the United Nations, mutual respect, equal footing, dialog and understanding, respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, inviolability of international borders, the peaceful settlement of all disputes, and more importantly, the two fundamental principles of non-aggression and non-interference in the domestic affairs of each other. The presence of the United Nations is necessary for the creation of an international umbrella in support of the Coalition for Hope.”

In a tweet last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif invited all regional states to join Iran’s initiative for securing the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

Zarif said the initiative entails “dialogue, confidence-building, freedom of navigation, energy security, non-aggression, and non-intervention”.

MH/PA

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