Xinhua| Wang Jiangang: Iranian envoy to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo, a seasoned diplomat, on Wednesday warmly praised the Belt and Road Initiative, saying it is good for Iran, the Middle East and the rest of the world.
The Initiative would also dramatically boost the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said Khoshroo, the Iranian permanent representative to the United Nations, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua while citing the initiative’s characteristic of connectivity.
CONNECTIVITY BENEFITS ALL
“China is a great power, but this initiative is not based on interference, and not based on colonialism,” said the ambassador, “it is based on mutual benefit.”
Having visited China for many times, Khoshroo said he loves China, and believes the Belt and Road Initiative would benefit all the countries involved.
“If we look in a comprehensive manner, it should be science and technology, investment, trade and people-to-people relationship — all these benefit all countries in one way or another,” he said.
“We are living in a world that is so interconnected, so we need this connectivity” offered by the Belt and Road Initiative, said the Iranian ambassador.
“Because in the era of globalization, no country is isolated, and no country can have walls around itself,” he explained.
Emphasizing that Iran was a very important country on the ancient Silk Road and is also a very important country in the Belt and Road Initiative, the country takes an important strategic position by connecting the East with the West, linking Asia to Europe, the ambassador said.
He is contented with his country’s active involvement in the Initiative. “Iran is a great country, culturally, economically and strategically, and this connectivity brings it development, prosperity and jobs.”
Speaking about the initiative-based interaction between China and Iran, the ambassador said, “This can be a good solution for both sides.”
“Iran can benefit from this interaction, which may be in different fields, such as energy, transportation, science and technology and investment,” he said.
Khoshroo stressed that the two countries should strengthen cooperation in the energy sector so as to make the initiative more meaningful and constructive.
Statistics show that more than half of China’s total imports from Iran are oil and the rest are mineral and chemical products.
“Energy is the advantage of Iran, and China has many advantages (like huge market) as well, so we will exchange these advantages in a way that is beneficiary for both sides,” he said.
Highlighting poverty, underdevelopment, foreign intervention and other issues as major causes for tensions and turmoils in the Middle East, Khoshroo stressed that the Belt and Road Initiative “would help reduce tensions in the Middle East through economic development, economic cooperation and creating jobs.”
“We need (the initiative) for development, for trade and for investment, and we need security, China can play a role through this cooperation,” said the ambassador.
Furthermore, the initiative is “not only good for the Middle East,” but also helps fight against terrorism around the world, Khoshroo noted.
“We are facing an international terrorism network,” he said, “we need international cooperation” to develop economy and uproot terrorism.
The initiative can help reduce these tensions “through cooperation and development.”
“I look at the initiative in a more comprehensive way, and in cultural, economic and political ways, it will surely bring peace and development to the world,” the envoy said.
“If all countries take it seriously, everybody will benefit from that,” he noted.
Speaking of the benefits that the initiative will bring to the UN SDGs, Khoshroo said it “can strengthen the 2030 development goals of the United Nations, as the initiative can improve the economic situation in many poor areas if economic projects are beneficial for all.”
The SDGs, officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, includes 17 global goals with 169 targets to achieve.