Iran Calls for Reinforcing Regional Solidarity

Terrorism, divisive moves and unwarranted interferences in others’ affairs have set fire to the region, whose containment needs closer regional solidarity and cooperation
President Hassan Rouhani (C) meets Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi (4th L) in Tehran on July 12.
President Hassan Rouhani (C) meets Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi (4th L) in Tehran on July 12.

President Hassan Rouhani said the Iranian government backs efforts at overcoming differences and ending clashes in the region, warning "certain states" not to endanger their interests and those of Middle East nations by pressuring other countries.

Speaking in a meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi on Wednesday, the president was apparently referring to Saudi Arabia, which is at loggerheads with Tehran over various regional conflicts and cut Iran links early 2016.

Rouhani said "wrong decisions" made by some governments have led to troubles in the region, including in Yemen, Syria and Bahrain, and the only way out of these conflicts is dialogue.

"The continuation of this trend is not to the benefit of regional countries and those who adopt these policies would suffer the biggest harm," he said.

"Trying to pressure, intimidate and hem in countries such as Qatar is also wrong. We all should try to bring an end to tensions in the region."

Rouhani was referring to the weeks-long diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf that has seen Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt boycotting Qatar.

The Saudi-led bloc has set several conditions for resuming normal relations with Qatar, including an end to its friendship with Iran and support for Muslim Brotherhood.

Qatar has so far resisted the pressure, saying the demands were meant to force it to surrender its sovereignty.

Oman and Kuwait, which are also Persian Gulf Arab states, have stayed neutral and are playing a mediatory role.

  Need for Regional Convergence  

Rouhani said regional states need to work closer to counter "the contagious disease of terrorism".

"Today, terrorism, divisive moves and unwarranted interferences in others' affairs have set fire to the region, the containment of which needs solidarity and cooperation among regional states," he said.

Pointing to Iran's advisory support for Iraqi forces, which last week managed to retake Mosul from the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, and for Syrian forces fighting a lingering foreign-backed militancy, Rouhani stressed that Iran has done its best to respond to calls for help by the governments fighting terrorism.

Bin Alawi said diplomatic means can and should be used to bring an end to disagreements and confrontations in the region.

"The role of Iran in peaceful settlement of regional issues, including the Syria conflict, and also in the fight against terrorism and IS has been important and effective," he said. The two officials also discussed economic relations, expressing their eagerness to increase collaboration.

Bin Alawi, who left the Qatari capital Doha to visit Iran on Wednesday, also met Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the same day.

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