Nuclear Settlement Would Help Promote Peace

Nuclear Settlement Would Help Promote PeaceNuclear Settlement Would Help Promote Peace

The deputy foreign minister for Asian and Pacific affairs said on Friday striking a final nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers would help reinforce global and regional peace and security.

Ebrahim Rahimpour made the remark in an address to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit which was held concurrently with the 7th summit of BRICS in the Russian city of Ufa on Thursday and Friday, IRNA reported.

Describing the nuclear talks as "the most significant negotiations of the 21st century," Rahimpour said Iran is making efforts to achieve a comprehensive and fair agreement with the world over its peaceful nuclear program.

He said Iran is now in a "critical stage" of negotiations to settle its nuclear dispute with the West, which is why President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are seriously engaged in the effort.

  Ties With Neighbors

Expressing Iran's interest to expand cooperation with member states of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the SCO (Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), he said, "The government of the Islamic Republic has based its policy on developing relations with the world, including its 15 neighboring countries."

He added that half of the member and observer countries in the two international bodies are Iran's neighbors.

Iran currently conducts 70 percent of its economic cooperation with SCO member states, said the official, noting that "in 2014, Iran's trade with these countries hit 90 billion dollars," which is an indication of Iran's interest to develop trade ties with the bloc.

"Once sanctions are lifted, the country's trade index will definitely get a boost," he added.

Rahimpour referred to the SCO's plan for developing transportation and voiced Iran's readiness to cooperate in implementing the Belt and Road initiative proposed by China to this aim.  

The initiative, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 is aimed at reviving the Silk Road as an ancient trade route between Asia and Europe. The network passes through more than 60 countries and regions, connecting a total population of 4.4 billion.

Pointing to security as another focus point of the SCO, the deputy said Iran plays a significant role in helping provide security to the region and beyond, adding that the capabilities of the Islamic Republic in this respect are known to many countries.

Rahimpour said currently nationals of about 60 countries are involved in the so-called Islamic State terrorist group, adding that IS terrorists neither follow Islam nor any other religion.

"Major world powers have been behind the creation of the terrorist group," he stressed.   

The senior diplomat said Iran has suffered heavy costs and offered numerous martyrs in the fight against drug smuggling, noting that the country is currently paying considerable costs to prevent IS terrorists from uniting with Taliban militants.  

The SCO is a political, military and economic alliance in which Iran has observer status. BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialized countries distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs.