Iran FM at TDF 2022:

Tehran ready to reopen embassies, ball in Riyadh court

December 19, 2022 - 22:41

TEHRAN- Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Foreign Minister of Iran, on Monday stated that he is prepared to meet with his counterparts from the countries on the southern shores of the Persian Gulf as well as other neighbors.

Amir Abdollahian made the comments at the third Tehran Dialogue Forum (TDF 2022). The forum is entitled “Neighborhood Policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran: An Approach to Friendship and Trust”. 

Nearly 70 politicians, including think tank representatives and research institute representatives from 36 nations, participated in the conference. 

Key individuals also delivered the inaugural keynote speeches, including former Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada, and Kamal Kharrazi, the former Iranian Foreign Minister and current chief of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations (SCFR). 

Other attendees at the gathering included chiefs of Iranian think tanks, diplomats, and heads of international offices based in Tehran.

The Tehran Dialogue Forum's first and second rounds took place in 2019 and 2020. The two rounds served as a crucial forum for interaction and communication between political figures and academics who specialize in international and regional studies and West Asia in particular.

Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian emphasized that Tehran is willing to assist dispel the notion that security would be provided from abroad, insisting on Tehran’s seriousness to build trust with its neighbors in the region and the Persian Gulf in all domains.

He anticipated that regional collaboration would result in long-term security for the region.

Additionally, Amir Abdollahian said the Tehran forum is intended to address the global and regional issues through an exchange of ideas.

He defined the Tehran Dialogue Forum as an initiative intended to foster mutual respect and exchange viewpoints.

The Iranian government has focused on local issues while making significant efforts to increase trust and deepen friendship in the region, the chief diplomat remarked.

The foreign minister then emphasized the steps taken by the Islamic Republic to protect regional stability and combat the danger posed by the Daesh terrorist group, which is a menace to mankind.

Regarding the conflict in Ukraine, the foreign minister insisted that his country opposes any pressure and concentrates on political means as a way to end the war.

He again refuted allegations that Iran had sent drones to Russia for use in the conflict in Ukraine. The chief diplomat said such allegations are intended to hide the West's effort to inflame hostility in the Ukraine war.

Regarding security, the foreign minister emphasized that it would be granted once everyone could benefit from it.

Amir Abdollahian also said Beijing and Tehran had just increased their collaboration to a maximum degree, therefore Iran did not anticipate China to simply endorse the 2014 statement issued by the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

In similar remarks, Nasser Kanaani, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said a few days ago that Iran rejects any claims over its territorial integrity and opposes involvement in its domestic affairs.

Given the current events in Iran, the foreign minister said the United States has been resorting to any means to intervene in Iran.

The foreign minister also discussed the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), from which the U.S. unilaterally withdrew in May 2018, stressing that the U.S. must abandon its dual-track approach to the nuclear agreement.

Amir Abdollahian pointed out that the U.S. officials talk about last stages to revive the JCPOA, however it supports efforts to undermine Iran and sow unrest in the country.

He emphasized that the Islamic Republic continues consultations with the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs regarding the JCPOA.  

Talking on the sidelines of the forum, Amir Abdollahian also stressed that “the political process in Iraq is the key topic of discussion at the Amman summit. At the same time, we'll take advantage of this chance to talk about regional and global issues with the invited leaders.”

Amir Abdollahian is participating in the summit in Jordan which opens on Tuesday.

According to Iran’s top diplomat, discussions with European foreign policy representatives, including Joseph Borrell and his deputy Enrique Mora, will take place during the Amman summit.

The key message of the Amman meeting, based on the remarks of Amir Abdollahian, should be regional cooperation free from outside intervention.

He also stated that consultations between Tehran and Saudi Arabia had been cut short. The minister went on to say, “Official diplomacy is what we discuss with Saudi Arabia. When the Saudi side is ready, we are prepared to resume regular ties and reopen embassies. The Saudi government must choose how to engage the Islamic Republic of Iran in a positive way.”

“We should take advantage of the Amman meeting to wrap up such debates. I am hoping we will see a shift in strategy and more realistic behavior from the American side,” he pointed out. 

Kharrazi says Iran ready to resume JCPOA obligations 

Addressing the forum, Kharrazi said there is optimism for addressing the unresolved concerns as Iran is ready to resume its obligations under the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Kharrazi was referring to the suspended negotiations to resurrect the 2015 nuclear agreement.

He added that “Iran has complete access to peaceful nuclear technology thanks to the work of our experts.”

The veteran politician indicated that economic development in the region entails cooperation, and that while it is reasonable for the regional countries to receive assistance from developed countries for technology transfer and investment, such assistance should not be accompanied by foreign political and military interference.

Noting that Iran has always welcomed and encouraged conversation concerning issues in the West Asia region, he said, "the countries in the region should settle their concerns and challenges through dialogue."

Furthermore, Kharrazi hailed the Chinese president's recent visit to Saudi Arabia, stating that “in order to implement the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), more investments should be made” in the regional countries. 

In that situation “our region will develop further,” he noted.

“We hope China would compensate its mistake” 

He also expressed unhappiness over the Chinese president’s endorsement of the GGC’s territorial claims over three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf, saying it was a “blunder”. 

“It is like we make comments on Taiwan which is part of their land and make the Chinese annoyed,” he opined.  

The former chief diplomat expressed hope that China would compensate its mistake.

The veteran politician went on to say that Iran does not intend to manufacture nuclear bombs, which the Islamic Republic has outlawed due to ethical and religious values. "The JCPOA was negotiated and signed, and again the Westerners failed to meet their pledges, which led to the exit of the United States from the JCPOA," he highlighted. 

The former chief diplomat also said nuclear weapons does not bring security.

“NATO's behavior toward Russia's frontiers was provocative”

In comments on the Ukraine conflict, Kharrazi also said that Iran had been opposed to the conflict's rise from the inception. However, he said that NATO's behavior toward Russia's frontiers was provocative and that the U.S. and the West were eager to lure Russia into engaging in such a conflict.

“Iran ready to help end the Ukraine conflict”

“War is not desired, and we still think that the conflict in Ukraine should be resolved via negotiations. The means for such a conversation are ready to be provided by Iran,” he continued.

Kharrazi also provided his perspective on the happenings in Iraq, stating that Iran would be pleased to see a stable government in Iraq after the country was the scene of a string of events over the previous two years.

He expressed optimism that Iraq will be able to stop the spread of terrorism and maintain its territorial integrity, adding that Iran would provide any assistance the Iraqi government requires to deal with its problems.

The chief also advised the Taliban to stop any Western forces from entering neighboring Afghanistan and to halt the spread of terrorism. 

“They should build a government that is inclusive and allows all Afghan tribes and religions to participate in it, and they should not permit America to infiltrate the country of Afghanistan under various pretexts,” the SCFR chief suggested

In reference to the recent unrest in Iran, he warned that the West's intelligence services and media outlets propagate lies and attempting to create terrorist groups and thereby lay the groundwork for infiltration of terrorists into the country.

He noted that the adversaries use “cognitive warfare” to pervert the public's perception of an independent government in order to fuel the flames of a “hybrid war” against Iran.

“West has lost its military prowess”

Addressing the forum, the former Iraqi prime minister Abdul Mahdi also said the U.S.-Soviet bipolarity has vanished and new powers have emerged in mastering missile, nuclear, and drone technologies. 

The former prime minister continued, “Today, there are still disputes between the dominant and oppressed nations, and unless we comprehend these problems, we will not be able to fully understand the circumstances of any nation.”

He added, “Western nations have lost a lot of their military power, including their nuclear, missile, and drone capabilities.” 

The former premier noted that China is now the second largest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds. 

"We are witnessing a historical occurrence, and the center of gravity has shifted to former colonized countries like India," he remarked. 

He emphasized that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is still one of the major problems facing the region.

The former Iraqi official also listed the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean as the primary routes in world commerce.

"Our work is focused on lowering the strength of the dominance system and generating alternatives for it," he underlined, adding that “it appears that Asian, African, and Latin American powers are beginning to emerge in the 21st century.”

“U.S. collapse is imminent”

Addressing the third Tehran forum, Denis Moncada, the Foreign Minister of Nicaragua, also said the end of the United States is approaching, adding that "the world is changing for new goals and is on the verge of multilateralism of independent states."

"The world is moving for new aims and is on the threshold of multilateralism and independent countries," Moncada continued.

He said, "We hoist fair flags for the sake of mankind," stating that Iran's political credo incorporates politics and neighborliness and promotes international law and the growth of relationships based on trust.

"The U.S. administration has broken international law by leveraging the European bloc and Ukraine as means to assault Russia and the Russian border and has placed international peace and security at jeopardy," Moncada said in reference to the conflict in Ukraine.

The top Nicaraguan diplomat also highlighted his country’s support for the Iranian government and people, describing his nation's ties with Iran as cordial, inclusive, and anti-imperialist. He added, "We believe in multilateral friendship and for peace, security, and progress."

“Crises fuel instability, conflict on global scale”

Venezuela's Deputy Foreign Minister, Carlos Julio Ron Martinez, also told the forum that “we know that crises promote global instability and conflict.”

“We hope that dialogue and peace will be manifested in multilateralism; we must also institutionalize peace in the Latin American region” he added. 

“Qatar open to dialogue” 

Addressing the forum, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar's deputy emir, also stressed that “Qatar is not separate from this region and is trying to keep dialogue open. I thank you for the successful organization of this program.”

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