Rouhani: We have no problem to resume ties with Saudis

December 3, 2019

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Iran has no problem with expanding relations with neighbors and resuming ties with Saudi Arabia.

“From the Islamic Republic of Iran’s point of view, there is no problem with expanding relations with neighbors and resuming ties with Saudi Arabia,” Rouhani said during a meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Yusef bin Alawi in Tehran.

Rouhani said, “All countries should stand beside each other to maintain security and stability in the region.” 

The president said all the regional countries should play an active role in maintaining security in the region and in this line Iran proposed the Hormuz peace initiative.

“We should maintain security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz through expanding cooperation and we should not let foreigners interfere,” the president pointed out.

At the United Nations summit in New York in late September, Iran officially unveiled the proposal for regional security, officially called the Hormuz Peace Endeavour (HOPE).

“Based upon the historical 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,” Rouhani told the UN delegates.

Foreign Minister Zarif has invited all regional states to join Iran’s initiative for securing the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

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

In a post on his Twitter account on October 15, Zarif renewed Iran’s call to all countries bordering the Persian Gulf to join Tehran’s initiative to “forge a blueprint for peace, security, stability, and prosperity” in the region.

‘Yemen war has brought nothing but murder and destruction’

In his talks with the chief Omani diplomat, Rouhani also said that the war on Yemen has brought nothing but destruction and murder of people.

“The Yemeni war has brought nothing but destruction, murder of the people, threat against territorial integrity and also hatred between the people of the two countries,” the president lamented.

He added that the United States and Europe have no interest in establishing peace in Yemen in order to sell arms.

The U.S. and certain European countries, including Britain, France and Germany, are the main suppliers of arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in their attacks on the impoverished Yemen. 

“We all should make efforts to stop war in Yemen immediately and stabilize the country through inter-Yemeni talks,” he said.

Rouhani also said that Saudi Arabia’s policies in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon have not brought any achievement for Riyadh and expressed hope that the Saudis would change their policies.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015. 

The U.S.-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past four and a half years.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

Rouhani describes Iran-Oman ties “brotherly”

Rouhani also said that Iran and Oman have “brotherly” and “friendly” ties and called for expansion of relations.

“Oman can be a center for Iran’s trade in the region,” he added.

Omani FM says expansion of ties is beneficial to the entire region 

For his part, bin Alawi said that expansion of relations between Iran and Oman is beneficial to all the countries in the region.

“Oman attaches great importance to expansion of relations and cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said.

Elsewhere, he said the Hormuz peace initiative will benefit regional security and stability.

Bin Alawi also held talks with Foreign Minister Zarif, Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Shamkhani, and Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani on Monday.

NA/PA

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