Tehran Welcomes Dialogue With Arab Neighbors

Tehran Welcomes Dialogue With  Arab NeighborsTehran Welcomes Dialogue With  Arab Neighbors

Iran welcomes fence-mending talks with Persian Gulf Arab neighbors, particularly its regional rival Saudi Arabia, a lawmaker said.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has always sought peaceful relations with Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, without any preconditions," Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, spokesman for Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA on Tuesday.

"The Islamic Republic has and will never pose any threat to any country and does not favor aggression on other countries," Hosseini added.

The lawmaker's remarks came after President Hassan Rouhani's one-day tour of Kuwait and Oman a week ago in response to a late-January message of dialogue relayed to Iran by top Kuwaiti diplomat Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah on behalf of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council.

Rouhani told reporters in Oman that Tehran welcomes (P)GCC's message aimed at mending fences with Tehran and clarifying misunderstandings.

"Iran is keen to promote ties with regional and neighboring countries, and boosting stability and security across the region," he said.

The president reiterated that Iran's foreign policy is based on good neighborliness, not invasion or interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

(P)GCC members, particularly Saudi Arabia, accuse Tehran of interfering in Arab countries, which charges have been denied by the countries concerned. Iraq and Syria admit inviting Iran to extend advisory services in their fight against terrorists.

Relations between Iran and Persian Gulf Arab allies of Riyadh worsened after Saudi Arabia unilaterally severed diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic in January 2016 following the storming of its diplomatic buildings by Iranian protestors enraged by the Saudi execution of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr without due process of law.

Bahrain followed suit by cutting relations, while Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE recalled their envoys, and Oman simply expressed regret over the event.


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