Iran, Persian Gulf Arab states can establish security, defense ties: parliament speaker

January 3, 2022 - 22:13

TEHRAN - Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has said Iran welcomes dialogue with Persian Gulf Arab states, suggesting that Iran and these countries can even establish cooperation in areas of security and defense.

“We can have close political, economic, cultural and even security and defense cooperation with each other,” Qalibaf said in an interview with al-Manar TV on the second anniversary of the assassination of Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

“We have seen and will see no limit in having contacts and negotiations with Muslim and neighboring countries, whether Arab or non-Arab, and even we have not set any preconditions for negotiations with Saudi Arabia,” Qalibaf pointed out.

However, the parliament speaker expressed his dismay over reproachment between certain Arab countries and the Israeli regime, asking, “Why should we be under the influence of the Zionist regime and America?”

Censuring normalization with the Zionist regime under the Abraham accords, he predicted that the Islamic ummah will react to this move.

“We see leaders of certain countries who are pioneer in (normalizing ties with the Zionist regime) and this will not be in the interests of the Islamic community.”

Tehran and Riyadh’s relations started to nosedive after the Saudi Kingdom attacked Yemen in March 2015.

The relations worsened after Saudi Arabia kingdom hanged a pro-democracy Shia cleric and 46 others in January 2016. However, the two sides have taken steps to repair the ties through mediation by Iraq.

Iran also is complaining that Saudi Arabia acted too late to allow the transfer of the Iranian ambassador from Yemen to Tehran for medical treatment. 

Sanaa airport is under the siege of Saudi Arabia.  

The ambassador, Hassan Irlou, who had contracted the Covid-19 pandemic, died one day after his arrival in Tehran.

Qalibaf said for the sake of the unity of the Islamic world and cooperation among Muslim nations Iran does not raise certain issues despite certain unkind behaviors by the Saudi Kingdom.

“Of course, we have held four rounds of talks (with Saudi Arabia) so far and they will continue.”

The senior lawmaker went on to say that it is the desire of the Islamic Republic that the Islamic countries get united.

He added, “We believe that today we need empathy and cooperation between Muslim countries.”

Iran wants all Muslim and regional countries “join hands” for progress and security, he suggested.

The parliament speaker reiterated Tehran’s long-held policy that Iran does not pose any security threat to any Muslim or neighboring countries. Instead, he said, Iran is standing on the side of Arab states in the face of real threats by the Zionist regime. 

“Neighboring and Muslim nations should know that there is no threat on the part of the Islamic Republic and we are on their side and the main danger that is exorbitant demands by the Zionist regime.”

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