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Call for Constructive Dialogue With Persian Gulf Neighbors

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Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday reiterated Tehran’s call for constructive dialogue with its neighbors “with a view to dispelling misunderstandings and restoring friendly relations” among all littoral states of the Persian Gulf.
Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the call while addressing a virtual session of the UN Security Council on the current status of the region chaired by Russia. 
“Our first and foremost priority should be to build mutual trust and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, avoid interference in each other’s internal affairs and promote cooperation on an equal footing in order to create a better and safer region,” he said. 
The envoy, however, also took the opportunity to respond to allegations that Iran is destabilizing the region. 
“Some baseless allegations have been made against my country this morning, which I categorically reject,” he said. 
He referred to remarks by Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, secretary-general of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council, who accused Iran of spreading violence and instability in some regional countries and called for countering what he claimed as Iran’s support for terrorist groups and militias.  
“Iran, especially since 2011, has adopted a policy of hostility, violence and destabilization in the region to achieve its political goals,” ISNA quoted him as saying, citing Rai al-Youm, an Arab world digital news and opinion website.
Iran’s UN envoy denied the accusations, stressing that his country has played an incontestable role in ensuring energy security, commercial navigation and stability in the Persian Gulf region and it will continue to contribute to the promotion of peace and security in this sensitive region.
He blamed some (P)GCC countries for turning the region into a powder keg by their huge military expenditure and for using their sophisticated weapons against innocent people in Yemen who are experiencing the worst manmade humanitarian catastrophe of contemporary history and a clear case of war crime. 
“There is a long list of internationally wrongful acts attributable to those who make unsubstantiated accusations against Iran,” he said.
Takht-Ravanchi also explained that Iran’s defensive requirements, including its missile program, stem from both geostrategic calculations and significant historical experience, such as the eight-year aggression by former Iraqi dictator Saddam in the 1980s, which was supported by the United States and a number of (P)GCC countries. 
“Simultaneously, unjust sanctions and restrictions deprived us of the rudimentary means of self-defense. It is our responsibility now to prevent the recurrence of such an appalling situation,” he said. 

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