Neighbors are priority for Iran: president

March 5, 2022 - 17:56

TEHRAN – On Friday, President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi stressed that dealing with all countries of the world is on the agenda of his government, and that neighboring countries take priority in developing the country's foreign diplomacy.

In a press statement at the end of his visit to Golestan province, northeastern Iran, Raisi said a balanced view prevails in Iranian foreign policy, and attention to the East or West is not on the agenda.

He pointed out that some former officials put their hopes on the West, which resulted in the suspension of the country's activities, but despite Iran’s current negotiations with the Westerners and its efforts to lift sanctions, Tehran relies on its zealous youth to preserve national independence and power.

Raisi stated that some of his government's actions in expanding neighborly relations or strengthening ties with the regional countries are interpreted as “look to the East,” adding, "Our message is that there should be a balance in foreign relations. In the past, the view of the West in the field of foreign policy was heavy and all the government had hoped was in the hands of the West."

"The country cannot be limited to relations with certain countries," he said, adding, "The country must move forward. For example, in the core negotiations, our hope is first in God and then in the Iranian people. We do not hope for a miracle in Vienna. We seek to lift sanctions, but more importantly, we seek to neutralize sanctions."

The president also said his government plans to use the capacity of the North-South corridor to economically develop the eastern part of the Caspian Sea. Pointing to the status of this region in expanding neighborly relations, he said, "The government has put interaction with all countries around the world, especially neighboring countries, on the agenda."

Ayatollah Raisi added, "Today, relations with neighbors are not commensurate with the existing capacities, and our economic and trade interactions with neighboring countries can be at a much higher level. During my travels to neighboring countries during the period since the beginning of the government, it became increasingly clear to me that the capacities of the country's neighborhood relations have not been realized as they should be put in practice."

The president said, "During our visit to Turkmenistan, which happens to be a neighbor to Golestan province, we came to the conclusion through negotiations that there is a lot of potential for improving the level of relations, and one of these capacities was the gas swap agreement, which contributes to not having gas outages in the northern regions of the country."

Ayatollah Raisi also pointed to his government’s plans to solve the people’s problems. 

Speaking in a press conference at the end of his trip to Golestan province on Friday evening, Ayatollah Raisi said, "The proposals for resolving the problems were prepared and finalized in a meeting with the first vice-president," according to the official website of the presidency.

Saying that Golestan province is one of the agricultural hubs of the country, the president added, "In Golestan province, unlike most parts of the country, the population of villages has not decreased and therefore in this trip, most of the funds allocated to Golestan were allocated to agriculture to address the concerns of the people in the field of agriculture."

Raisi also talked about the state of industry in Golestan province. "We also have industrial towns in Golestan province, but the industry in the province is not as prosperous as it should be and therefore it was decided to form a working group under the governor-general and with the presence of representatives of related agencies including the Ministry of Industry."

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