Zero-Sum Games Belong to the Past

Zero-Sum Games  Belong to the PastZero-Sum Games  Belong to the Past

The foreign minister urged Persian Gulf Arab countries to work with Iran to combat a wave of instability in the region, saying “zero-sum games” are in no one’s interest.

“We should all accept the fact that the era of zero-sum games is over, and we all win or lose together,” Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted by IRNA as writing in an article published in several Arab newspapers on Monday.

The security of any country in the Middle East is interdependent on that of others, so no country can be indifferent to the security situation in other countries, he noted.

“Maintaining good and strong relations with neighbors has always been Iran’s top priority (in its foreign policy) and has been explicitly announced and pursued since this government came to power (in 2013).”

Zarif said his trip to Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq, shortly after the announcement of the historic nuclear deal with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) on July 14 in Vienna, was part of the effort to promote the policy.

Pledging that the Iran deal will profit all Middle Eastern countries, Zarif said, “The Vienna agreement was a starting point for the region. It is not to the detriment of any of our neighbors. But rather, it is an achievement for the whole region because it brought to an end an unnecessary 12-year-old tension which was a threat, particularly to the region.”

  Dialogue Forum

The chief nuclear negotiator called for the establishment of a “regional dialogue forum” to facilitate interaction between regional states to help address shared challenges.

However, he noted that such dialogue should be followed based on “common goals” and “established general principles” between regional countries.

The most important among these goals and principles are “respecting countries’ sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and borders, refraining from interfering in internal affairs, trying to find peaceful resolutions to differences, avoiding force or threat and promoting peace, stability, progress and prosperity in the region,” the article said.