Iran reiterates it is ready to hold talks with regional countries

July 20, 2020 - 22:32

TEHRAN - Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has reiterated Tehran’s long-held position that Iran is ready to hold talks with regional countries, noting there is no way but dialogue to bridge differences.

The comments by the spokesman come as Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi plans to visit Saudi Arabia and Iran to reduce tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.  

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in Baghdad on Sunday for talks with top Iraqi officials. The visit took place two days prior to Kadhimi’s trip to Tehran.
According to a report published by an Iraqi news agency, Zarif has reportedly delivered a message from Iran to the Persian Gulf Arab states, specifically Saudi Arabia, that Tehran is ready to reach a common understanding with them through Iraqi mediation. 

In an interview with IRNA published on Monday, Mousavi said that Iran has announced its principled policies and it depends on Saudi Arabia how its wants to respond to Iran’s proposal for talks and cooperation.

He also said that Iran seeks peace, security and stability in the region.

Iran believes in regional talks without any foreign interference, he said.

Mousavi added, “The only way to restore security and even flourish regional economy is cooperation.”

He also said, “A powerful region is important for Iran. If we have a powerful region, we will have powerful countries and can cooperate.”

Hossein Dehghan, a military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in June that Iran is ready to hold talks with Saudi Arabia without pre-condition.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads over a number of issues including the Saudi war on Yemen and Riyadh’s support for Donald Trump’s anti-Iran moves.

Middle East Eye reported in May that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has asked new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to mediate between the Saudi kingdom and Iran.

“The first call Kadhimi got after his nomination was from the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, who asked the new Iraqi prime minister to restart mediation with Iran, the sources said,” Middle East Eye reported.

The Saudi crown prince said in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes program aired on September 29, 2019 that he preferred a peaceful resolution with Iran, describing it as “much better than the military” option.

Saudi Foreign Minister Farhan Al Saud told Reuters on January 22 that Riyadh was open to talks with Tehran. However, he leveled some accusations against Iran. The Saudi minister said Iran should act like a normal country. In response, Zarif said a normal country does not invade its neighbors, an open reference to the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has welcomed a readiness by Tehran and Riyadh to hold dialogue to reduce tensions.

“We call for clearing up misunderstanding between two brotherly countries of Iran and Saudi Arabia,” IRNA quoted Qureshi as saying on January 24 on the sidelines of a press conference in Islamabad.



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