Regional Dialogue Will Help Improve Security

Regional Dialogue Will Help Improve SecurityRegional Dialogue Will Help Improve Security

Talks between Iran and the six Persian Gulf Arab states expected to go ahead by September 22 could promote security in the region by helping improve relations between the parties involved, a lawmaker said.

"Relations with our Persian Gulf neighbors have soured in recent years due to foreign intervention in regional affairs, the support of the US and its allies for terrorist groups and international sanctions against us," Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said.  

"So such meetings with Persian Gulf countries are necessary to increase bilateral cooperation which will contribute to regional security, in addition to helping exploit Persian Gulf resources more effectively."

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Friday, "The talks are aimed at clarifying misunderstandings, reaching a common and mutual understanding on ways to tackle current regional crises and helping promote lasting peace, stability and security in the region."

He added that the initiative had been proposed by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's first regional tour after Iran reached a nuclear deal with major powers on July 14, which took him to Persian Gulf Arab countries.

"The foreign minister's regional trip helps put on track bilateral ties with the six Arab states, leading to a restoration of previous close economic, political, cultural and social relations," Naqavi Hosseini said.

  Favorable Conditions

Referring to the conclusion of a long-pursued nuclear deal with major powers last month, which will give Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for temporary constraints on its nuclear program, the lawmaker said conditions have emerged that bode well for greater cooperation with other regional countries.  

"The main priority in our foreign relations is countries which stuck by us in difficult times during the sanctions years and spared no effort to help provide for our needs," the member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said.  

In an article published in several Arab newspapers on August 3, Zarif had called for the establishment of a "regional dialogue forum" to facilitate interaction between regional states to help address common challenges.

Commenting on the foreign minister's proposal, Naqavi Hosseini said, "Given the existence of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman along the southern borders as an economic zone shared between Iran and other Persian Gulf countries, cooperation with Persian Gulf Arab states has always been atop the list of our foreign policy priorities."