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Non-aggression pact can boost confidence in West Asia: Iran

A senior Iranian diplomat has described dialog with regional countries as a priority for Tehran, saying that the signing of a non-aggression pact — an Iranian initiative — can boost confidence among the Persian Gulf littoral states.

According to Press TV, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi, who is on a three-nation tour of regional countries, made the remarks in a meeting with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Ale Thani in Doha on Tuesday.

“Neighboring countries can pave the way for building confidence and constructive interaction through mechanisms such as the establishment of a regional dialog forum in the Persian Gulf and the conclusion of a non-aggression treaty,” he said.

He made the comments days after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said during a visit to Iraq that Iran had offered to sign non-aggression agreements with all countries in the Persian Gulf region and those offers were still on the table.

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.

The Iranian foreign minister had in 2017 called for the formation of a regional dialog forum for the Persian Gulf littoral states in an attempt to restore peace and stability to the region.

Araqchi further said full security will be established in the region if national security and economic interests of all countries are fulfilled.

Iran “has always played a role in securing the region, but the US and the Zionist regime of Israel and the countries which follow in their footsteps must accept responsibility for the consequences of their provocations,” the senior Iranian diplomat added.

Araqchi further pointed to US President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign and economic war against Iran.

He once again ruled out the possibility of holding negotiations with the US and said the Islamic Republic gives priority to dialog with regional states.

For his part, the top Qatari diplomat expressed concerns over the developments unfolding in the region.

He also welcomed Tehran-Doha consultations as well as the exchange of visits by senior officials of the two states on the issue.

Araqchi’s trip to Doha follows a visit by the Qatari foreign minister to the Iranian capital, Tehran, earlier this month, which was meant to help defuse the tensions in the Persian Gulf region, according to Al Jazeera.

Before his stop in Doha, Araqchi was on a visit to Oman on the weekend. In a meeting with Omani State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah in Muscat, the Iranian official rejected all reports about any form of direct or indirect talks with the United States.