Iran FM underscores importance of Tehran-Baku ties

October 11, 2021 - 21:26
Amir Abdollahian says he will travel to Baku and Yerevan at proper time

TEHRAN - Stressing that what are highlighted in the media should not affect the atmosphere of Tehran-Baku relations, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has said "as the Armenian Foreign Minister visited Tehran, there is a possibility that the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan will also pay a visit to Tehran."

In an interview with the Russian state television, Abdollahian said, “Of course, I will travel to the capitals of both countries at the appropriate time."

Abdollahian visited Russia on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Abdollahian also said he had “good talks” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Abdollahian said he and Lavrov “reviewed all the issues that needed to be discussed," IRNA reported on Monday. 

The Foreign Minister said the two sides confirmed that the relations between the two countries were excellent at political level, describing Tehran-Moscow ties as strategic.

"We agreed that the leaders of the two countries have a serious will to strengthen and expand relations. In this regard, we criticized each other for not being able to fully implement the good intentions of the leaders of two countries."

Everyone should try to restore calm to the Caucasus region.

There is a lot of work to be done, especially in the economic sector, he said, adding that businessmen of the two countries had many areas for cooperation and implementing projects.
"Today, in cooperation with Russia, I examined the obstacles to the implementation of the measures."

Abdollahian pointed out that the Corona pandemic undoubtedly affected these measures, but two sides agreed to make up for the backlog and move forward quickly.

Iran’s chief diplomat added he and Lavrov “had constructive talks and consultations on the South Caucasus, Afghanistan, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and on international issues, the nuclear issue and the Vienna talks."

Pointing out that Lavrov was an experienced diplomat and had significant role in the development of cooperation, Abdollahian stressed: "I am very pleased with his positive view of the future of relations; we, in turn, will strive to make progress in all the areas we have explored."

The Iranian foreign minister also said the foreign ministries in the two countries are trying to activate “all our ministries, as well as the joint committees of the two countries and the tourism and cultural sectors.”

He added, “During this trip, we agreed to make a jump in the relations…, have long-term view of the relations so that we can say that the two foreign ministers and the two governments are on the right path based on the view of the leaders of the (two) countries."

Regarding the current situation in the South Caucasus and the conflicts between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia and peace and stability in the region, the minister underlined that one of the priorities of the Iranian administration's foreign policy was to focus on neighbors, including the northern neighbors. 

Azerbaijan and Armenia were two good neighbors of the Islamic Republic, he remarked. 

"First of all, we cannot work against each other. The title of the administration's foreign policy is a balanced foreign policy, that is, we regulate the relations between the two countries in line with the common interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran with Azerbaijan and the common interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran with Armenia."

Referring to his meeting with Azeri foreign minister in New York, Abdollahian said the talks were “friendly and frank”.
"We have some concerns about the South Caucasus region. The first concern is that some foreign interventions may lead the region in a direction where the geopolitics of the region and its borders is changed,” he warned, adding, “Border crossings are closed or relocated."

The top diplomat highlighted that terrorists had entered the region since the start of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. 

Oil and gas prices have been artificially kept low for several years.

This is an issue that was raised during the diplomatic meetings between Iranian officials and the officials of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and weeks ago they promised Iran to take the necessary measures to purge the region of terrorists, he explained. 

"The Zionist regime has also started provocative actions in our region through the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan," the chief diplomat warned.

"Iran thinks misunderstandings can be cleared up through dialogue"

Abdollahian underlined that the problems of the region should be solved by the countries of the region, and went on to say that there should be no foreign intervention in the region and all regional countries should regulate their relations on the basis of friendship and neighborliness.

"The two nations of Iran and Azerbaijan have a deep cultural and religious relations, and this is a great asset in the relations between the two countries, so at the political level we must manage issues as soon as possible and some remarks in the media outlets should not affect relations."

Regarding Lavrov's plan to resolve the conflict in the Caucasus titled 3+3, Abdollahian said there were several plans to resolve the conflict, one of which is the 3+3, which had been proposed since the escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. "Iran thinks misunderstandings can be cleared up through dialogue."

Iran’s senior diplomat also reiterated that in the talks, the territorial integrity of countries could be emphasized and its result could be implemented but there had been another format between Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan in the past. 

The aim of this format had been to develop cooperation in a tripartite dimension, he said, noting these initiatives strengthen consultations, political dialogue and joint and multilateral cooperation.

"We believe that new avarices complicate the situation and the result will be nothing but instability and will not benefit either side," Amir-Abdollahian stressed.

Insisting that all parties should try not to spread a tense atmosphere in the region, the Foreign Minister said: "The region has seen enough tension in the past few months and in this situation, everyone should try to restore calm to the region."

Dialogues should be in line with the literature expected from the neighbors, he said, noting Iran considers some of the recent statements made by Azeri officials as unconstructive. 

"I think if we deal with these issues wisely, we can experience the way forward with our two good neighbors, Azerbaijan and Armenia, like the other neighbors."

Amir-Abdollahian stated: "We hope that all parties will respect international law and that the main focus of our talks should be on constructive cooperation. What we are currently witnessing in parts of the region is worrying; in the Caucasus region, the provocation of the Zionist regime, foreign intervention and the presence of terrorists, which has intensified the atmosphere."

Regarding a request by the Russian Foreign Minister concerning a ratification of the convention on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea by Iran and its connection with resolving the conflict in the region, the Foreign Minister said: "We have this issue on the agenda of the administration and parliament. Mr. Lavrov has asked me to accelerate the resolution of this issue, and I will work on the issue after returning to Tehran, and then I will inform my Russian counterpart."

Asked about Iran's steps to return to the Vienna nuclear talks, he said: "We have intensified our studies on the recent Vienna talks and we are very close to the final conclusion.

We hope to set a date for a return to the Vienna talks."

At the same time, the other parties have time to show their intention to honor their obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal by taking practical steps, the foreign minister remarked. 

He went on to say that in any case, if all parties fulfill their commitments, Iran will do the same immediately.

Regarding cooperation capacities of Iran and Russia in oil and gas production, the top diplomat said, "All countries can start and develop their cooperation with Iran in the field of energy… This was done in the past. U.S. unilateral actions in violation of international law should not actually affect this cooperation, we have always wanted energy cooperation. Today, we also discussed the cooperation between Iran and Russia in this regard, and we look to the future with great optimism."

He also said oil and gas prices have been artificially kept low.

"I believe that in recent years, energy products, especially oil and gas, have been artificially kept at a low level, part of which is due to U.S. behavior and some go back to U.S. agreements with some oil and gas producers," he said of rising oil and gas prices and the European Union's disregard for Iran and Russia’s production capacities.

Amir Abdollahian added: "I think prices are approaching the real rate which is good news for owners of oil and gas resources because their prices have been artificially kept low for several years. Of course, it is natural that supply and demand determine the real price, but in recent years, political decisions have kept energy prices artificially low, and in this regard, both we and Russia have lost money."

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