Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on all neighboring and regional countries to step up an all-out fight against terrorism and extremism, saying major powers have created and supported terrorist groups.
Rouhani made the remarks in a Saturday meeting with Pakistani Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser, who is in Tehran for the second Speakers’ Conference on the challenge of terrorism and inter-regional connectivity.
He said the conference, attended by speakers from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey, was a “good and useful initiative” to improve security in the region and cooperation among regional countries, adding, “Those who have created terrorist groups in the past decades, had in fact committed high treason against regional nations.”
“The US, the West and the Zionist regime (Israel) are supporters of terrorist groups’ activities in Iran,” Rouhani pointed out.
He emphasized that Tehran and Islamabad must take serious steps to battle terrorism and stressed the importance of resisting US bullying and finding appropriate ways to expand relations among friendly countries.
The Pakistani National Assembly speaker, for his part, said Islamabad was prepared to cooperate with Tehran in the fight against terrorism and the promotion of regional security.
Qaiser expressed hope that Iran and Pakistan would strengthen trade and economic cooperation, saying no one would be allowed to harm mutual relations.
Iran firm to improve all-out relations with Turkey: Rouhani
In a meeting with Turkey’s Speaker of the Grand National Assembly Binali Yildirim, the Iranian president hailed the Turkish government’s positive stance vis-à-vis illegal sanctions imposed by the US against Iran and said Tehran was keen to expand all-out relations with Ankara.
“Iran regards Turkey’s security and stability as that of its own,” Rouhani said, calling on the two countries to immediately implement their agreements in all sectors.
Back in May, US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
Under the deal, reached between Iran and six major powers – the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, Tehran agreed to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
Last month, the Trump administration announced the re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran’s banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country’s oil sales and crucial exports.
A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran’s access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.
During the meeting, Rouhani also commended Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s constructive stance on issues facing the Muslim world and said regional countries should not yield to “wrong decisions” which would harm their interests and affect cooperation among them.
The Iranian president also said Tehran and Ankara had been facing the challenge of terrorism for years but managed to maintain positive cooperation in the battle against the scourge across the region during the recent years.
Yildirim, for his part, slammed ineffective US sanctions against Iran and said Turkey would keep its relations with Tehran under any circumstances.
He added that regional solution were the only viable way to fight terrorism and warned that any interference by extra-regional powers would create more complications in this regard.
Afghan stability, security important to Iran: Rouhani
Meanwhile, in a meeting with Afghan Speaker of the House of the People Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, the Iranian president said the defeat of terrorism and the establishment of stability, security and economic development in Afghanistan were of high importance to Iran.
Rouhani said Iran was ready to boost cooperation with Afghanistan in the economic sector.
He noted that the cultivation and smuggling of narcotics had harmed both the Iranian and Afghan nations and expressed Tehran’s readiness to cooperate with Kabul in this regard.
For his part, Ibrahimi said Iran and Afghanistan were among the main victims of terrorism in the region and across the world.
He added that bilateral cooperation in the campaign against terrorism would benefit both nations and the entire region and would improve stability and development in the region as well.