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Tehran Wants Close  Ties to Neighbors
National

Tehran Wants Close Ties to Neighbors

President Hassan Rouhani reiterated that Iran opposes aggressive and interventionist policies and has been trying to help establish close, tension-free relations with neighboring countries.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran seeks and wants close relations with all its neighbors and does not want any tensions with them,” Rouhani was quoted by his official website as saying on Tuesday.
Addressing a Ramadan fast breaking dinner with commanders of the armed forces, he underlined the “interdependent” security of regional countries, saying, “We consider it our duty to help other nations in the region and that’s what we are doing now.”  
“The armed forces have been effectively confronting the enemies and will always maintain a high level of preparedness.”
Tehran supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his war over the past six years against armed insurgent groups sponsored and armed by Saudi Arabia and its regional and western allies.
Riyadh and Tehran also support opposing sides in the Yemen conflict where a Saudi-led military campaign aimed at restoring fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has been pounding the positions of Houthi rebels for 15 months despite on-off ceasefires.
Iran also plays a key role in war-ravaged Iraq, where it backs Shia volunteer fighters who are fighting alongside government troops to drive out Islamic State militants from the territory seized by the terrorist group in the early days of its onslaught on the Arab country about two years ago.
Allegations of meddling in the internal affairs of the Arab countries have been  denied by all senior Iranian officials. They have argued that Tehran has intervened in the Syria and Iraq wars upon the request of their governments.

  Strong Defense
Rouhani reaffirmed Iran’s stance, saying, “The Islamic Republic’s armed forces have never and will never violate the rights of other [nations] but are determined to maintain a strong defense [against aggressors].”
“We are fighting those groups that do not want to see regional security restored and are stoking insecurity.”
“We neither want to interfere in other countries’ affairs nor want other countries to meddle in our affairs. It is up to the regional nations to decide their own fate,” the president added.

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