The enhancement of relations with the neighbors constitutes a top priority in Iran’s foreign policy agenda, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said.
Amirabdollahian made his remarks in a speech at the First National Conference of Iran and Neighbors in Tehran on Monday.
“Promotion of relations with neighboring countries is a basic priority in Iran’s (diplomatic) initiatives. This priority had not been realized up to now due to various reasons… (but) increasing cooperation and interaction with neighbors has been one of the basic priorities since the inauguration of the new administration,” he said.
With the priority of interaction and dialog with the neighboring states, he added, the Iranian administration is making efforts to seriously pursue and achieve such a goal by maximizing the existing capacities and optimizing bilateral ties.
The foreign minister also noted that the conference raised the expectation that the great capacities of neighbors should be used to obtain the maximum benefits to achieve sustainable development of the region and settle some of the existing crises.
“The most important task for Iran is to pursue a policy focusing on (promotion of ties with) neighbors without the destabilizing presence of extra-regional countries,” Amirabdollahian said, emphasizing that such a policy which seeks to promote security can tackle this challenge in the medium and long run.
Elsewhere in his address, the Iranian foreign minister cited the Yemeni issue as another challenge for the Islamic Republic, saying, “Currently, there is an issue going on between Yemen and another neighbor. What is happening between Yemen and some of the neighbors as well as those countries that are participating in the military operation against Yemen is a Yemeni business.”
He once again voiced Tehran’s concern about the ongoing war in Yemen and said, “Since the beginning of the Yemeni crisis and the war against the country, Iran has openly presented a four-point political plan and has always supported the realization and pursuit of the plan.”
The top Iranian diplomat called on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to pursue a political and constructive approach to end the humanitarian siege and war in Yemen and promote intra-Yemeni talks as the continuation of the crisis in the impoverished country would not be beneficial to the region.
Amirabdollahian further said the door is open to Riyadh to restore ties with Tehran, adding, “Whenever Saudi Arabia decides to restore its diplomatic relations with Iran, we welcome the reopening of embassies, restoration of ties and even the expansion of relations with Saudi Arabia.”
He added that it is up to Riyadh to make a decision about the time of the embassies’ reopening, saying Tehran welcomes a new round of talks.