No way but cooperation to establish regional security: Rouhani

April 22, 2020 - 17:36

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani said late on Tuesday that there is no way but cooperation among the countries in the region to establish security and stability.

“We believe there is no way but cooperation and friendship among the regional countries to establish long lasting security and stability in the region,” Rouhani said in a phone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Rouhani also attached great importance to expansion of cooperation among the countries in the world to contain the outbreak of deadly coronavirus.

Also, in a separate phone conversation with Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Monday, Rouhani said that there is no way but expanding regional cooperation and friendship to boost security and stability in the region.

The Kuwaiti Emir also said his country supports Iran’s proposed Hormuz peace initiative.

At the United Nations summit in New York in late September 2019, Iran officially unveiled the proposal for regional security.

“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,” President Hassan Rouhani told the UN delegates.

Foreign Minister Zarif has invited all regional states to join the peace plan 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 to “forge a blueprint for peace, security, stability, and prosperity” in the region.

In a press briefing on November 25, the Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi announced that three countries have accepted to join Iran’s Hormuz peace plan.

“Three countries have given written response to Iran’s invitation and other countries are studying it,” he said.

He also called on certain Persian Gulf Arab states to abandon reliance on foreign forces for their security, saying dependence on foreigners is just an “illusion” 

“We called on the countries to respond to Iran’s peace-seeking call and abandon illusions. We have stressed that the presence of foreign countries undermines security and stability. We hope this initiative of Iran would face with a positive response,” Mousavi stated.

‘U.S. sanctions violate intl. law’

In his phone conversation with the Qatari leader, Rouhani also said that the United States’ “cruel sanctions” against Iran violate international law.

The U.S. impedes Iran to receive loan from the International Monetary Fund which is a violation of humanitarian principles, the president said.

“In this situation, all countries must stand together in fight against the coronavirus and announce their position against the United States’ hostile actions (against Iran) clearly,” he noted.

The Qatari Emir said the U.S. must remove sanctions when the countries are fighting the coronavirus.

For the first time since 1962, Iran applied for emergency IMF funding in March to help it fight the coronavirus outbreak. Washington has indicated it will block IMF funding for Iran.

Rouhani said on April 9 that the IMF must fulfil its duties unbiasedly.

In an interview with Bloomberg published on April 19, Iran’s central banker Naser Hemmati said, “We have not asked the United Sates for help! We have asked the IMF for support: an international, apolitical institution affiliated with the UN, and for which, we were one of the founder members and contributors over the past 75 years.” 

Hemmati added, “The United States is a member of the IMF as all 190 or so other countries. The last time I checked, the United States is not running the IMF, but it’s management and the Board of Governors who oversee the work and ensure that the IMF delivers on its mandate. But I would like to repeat that all UN organizations, say the IMF or WHO, should stay away from politics and deliver on their institutional mandates.”

The central banker also said, “I believe we were among the first countries who requested support through a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) on March 6, 2020, more than 40 days ago. Remember, we were among the first five countries who were hit hard by the coronavirus and when the managing director of the IMF announced that the IMF is ready to help countries using the RFI, we, as one of the member countries, submitted our request to access this facility.”

In a tweet on March 26, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “Even the world's largest economy (the U.S.) needs others to help it fight the pandemic, yet refuses to halt its Economic Terrorism against Iran.”

Zarif said the Covid-19 is ravaging the world and sparing no nation.  

“Does the U.S. want a ‘forever pandemic’?” Zarif asked.

The chief diplomat said it is “moral imperative to stop observing the bully’s sanctions”.

NA/PA

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