Tehran Ready for Engagement With Arab States

Tehran Ready for Engagement With Arab States  Tehran Ready for Engagement With Arab States

A senior diplomat says Iran is always ready for direct dialogue and effective engagement with Persian Gulf Arab countries to help settle lingering conflicts afflicting the region.

Following the recent announcement by Kuwaiti officials that Persian Gulf Arab states are open to talks with Tehran, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said in an interview with IRNA on Thursday that Iran welcomes such "positive" statements.

Referring to the conditions in the region as "sensitive", he said there is no other option open to regional states but to engage in dialogue and cooperation, adding that regional cooperation is a top priority for Iran.

"We expect all regional states to fully understand the danger of terrorism and extremism, move toward dialogue and [take part in] collective collaboration to stop violence and fight terrorism focusing on political solutions."

  Endorsing Russian Campaign

In a separate interview with IRIB News, the deputy minister said Iran welcomes Russia's decision to join the real battle against terrorism in Syria and probably in Iraq.

"Russia's decision to conduct military operations in Syria, following Syria's official request, comes one year after the US-led coalition began its fight against the Islamic State [militant group], which didn't produce any results," he noted.  

Amir Abdollahian said in view of the unfavorable consequences of the growth of IS and its impact on the neighboring countries and the wider region, Iran has always encouraged Russia to take effective measures against the terrorists.

Iran will also continue to help Syrians and Iraqis fighting terrorism, the senior official said.


  Yemen Crisis

Amir Abdollahian also met a delegation from Yemen's Supreme Revolutionary Committee in Tehran on Wednesday.

In the meeting, he stressed the responsibility of international bodies to take action to stop the Saudi-led offencive against Yemen.

"Attacking residential areas, schools and hospitals are clear violations of [human] rights and humanitarian rules," he said.

"The United Nations should adopt necessary measures to protect health and security of civilians, especially women and children, and   try to secure the lifting of the blockade of Yemen."

Pointing to Iran's support for Yemenis against foreign intervention, he said the Yemeni people's right to protect the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of their country is undeniable and internationally recognized.

"Yemen's conflict has no military solution," the diplomat reiterated, adding that the only way to get out of the current situation is a decision by regional countries to respect the views and rights of Yemenis clearing the way for dialogue involving all groups to work out a political solution based on popular aspirations.  

Naef Khaef, the head of the Yemeni delegation, pointed to the silence of international organizations in the face of foreign intervention and inhumane blockade of Yemen.

"The fact that the world needs to know is that the current situation in Yemen is not about a struggle put up by a single group [referring to the Houthis] against a foreign country [referring to Saudi Arabia], but is a fight by all Yemeni groups against foreign intervention to defend themselves and their sovereignty."

To safeguard Yemen's independence, over 13,000 Yemeni have been martyred and 20,000 wounded, he added.