A senior Iranian diplomat has warned that the US policy of imposing sanctions against other countries poses a threat to the security of the entire Middle East region.
“The US sanctions policy has, in fact, endangered the security of the entire region, and regional countries must remain vigilant in the face of such a threat,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said in a meeting with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah in Kuwait City on Monday.
US President Donald Trump in May 2018 pulled his country out of a nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticisms.
Under the JCPOA, reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the United States, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — in 2015, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Araqchi said Iran is pursuing a “responsible” approach to regional developments, adding, “Dialog and consultation with regional countries are among the principles of our country’s foreign policy.”
The senior Iranian diplomat then expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to establish regional mechanisms with a view to engaging in dialog and constructive interaction with countries in the region.
Stressing that Iran’s principled policy is based on establishing peace and stability in the important Persian Gulf region, Araqchi said security is an “integrated and indispensable” concept that includes both political and economic aspects at the same time.
The Kuwaiti foreign minister, for his part, said regional countries should maintain their consultations and meetings to solve any crises.
‘Iran ready for constructive talks with Persian Gulf states’
Earlier on Monday, Araqchi ruled out the possibility of negotiations with the United States, though expressing Tehran’s readiness to hold “balanced and constructive” talks with any Persian Gulf state.
In a post on his Twitter account, the Iranian deputy foreign minister reiterated that there will be no direct or indirect talks between Tehran and Washington.
However, he emphasized that the Islamic Republic is “ready to negotiate with each and every country in the Persian Gulf for a balanced and constructive relations based on mutual respect and interests.”
Araqchi is currently on a three-nation tour of the region. On the first leg of his trip, he visited Oman and is currently in Kuwait with Qatar being the next destination on his itinerary.
In a meeting with Omani State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah in Muscat on Sunday, the senior Iranian diplomat rejected all reports about any form of direct or indirect talks with the United States and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to establish balanced and constructive relations with all countries in the Persian Gulf region based on mutual respect and interests.”
He added that the Islamic Republic does not seek to stoke tensions in the region, saying that ending the US sanctions against Iran and allowing all regional countries to benefit from the interests of economic cooperation would guarantee regional peace and stability.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that Iran had offered to sign non-aggression agreements with all countries in the Persian Gulf region and those offers are still on the table.
At a press conference alongside his Iraqi counterpart, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, in Baghdad, Zarif also said that Iran sought the best of relations with the Persian Gulf littoral countries and would welcome any proposals for dialog and de-escalation toward that end.