Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has stressed the importance of adopting approaches based on dialog, logical coexistence, regional consultations and realities on the ground to settle the ongoing crises in the Middle East.
In a meeting with Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari in the capital, New Delhi, on Friday, the top visiting Iranian diplomat said Yemeni people are facing the “worst humanitarian situation” which contravenes all international principles and regulations.
Since March 26, Saudi Arabia has been pounding various areas in Yemen without a UN mandate. The Saudi military aggression is meant to undermine the Ansarullah fighters and restore power to Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a staunch ally of the Riyadh regime.
The UN says the Saudi war on Yemen has killed over 4,000 people, nearly half of them civilians, since late March. Local Yemeni sources, however, put the fatality figure at a much higher number.
Zarif expressed hope that a nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers in July would lead to rational solutions to the current crises in the region.
On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 countries – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – and Germany succeeded in finalizing the text of the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.
The Indian veep, for his part, said the nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers was a diplomatic move which could help settle regional crises.
He expressed India’s firm determination to improve relations with Iran.
Iran-India oil cooperation
The Iranian foreign minister and Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj called for strengthening cooperation in transit and oil sectors.
In a Friday meeting in New Delhi, Zarif and Swaraj discussed ways to improve cooperation, particularly in transportation, petrochemistry, oil and gas as well as the North-South Corridor.
The Iranian diplomacy chief said Indians can invest in Iran’s infrastructure.
Zarif added that the fight against terrorism and narcotics as well as consular facilities for Iranian businessmen can speed up Tehran-New Delhi cooperation.
Iran-India joint economic commission
Swaraj said the Iran-India joint economic commission would open in December at the deputy ministerial level.
She called for the implementation of agreements on preferential tariffs, avoidance of double taxation and India’s participation in the development of Iran’s Farzad-B gas field.
The Farzad-B gas field is estimated to hold 21.68 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in place, of which 12.8 tcf is recoverable.
Urgency to combat terrorism, extremism
The Iranian foreign minister and Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Kumar Doval in a meeting maintained that extremism is a major problem in the region and called for fighting terrorist and extremist groups.
Zarif and Kumar condemned acts of violence by terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan and exchanged views on ways to find a solution to such crises.
Iran supports the promotion of democratic approaches in Afghanistan, Zarif said.
He added that Iran and India should prepare the ground for cooperation in the fields of transit, energy and mutual exchanges.
Kumar warned against threats posed by the Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri terrorist group and said all countries should make joint efforts and work together closely to fight the terrorist group.
He commended Iran’s campaign against terrorist groups and said oppressed people in the region have suffered at the hands of Daesh’s anti-human moves.
No military solution to regional crises
The Iranian foreign minister said there is no military solution to the ongoing problems in the Middle East, stressing that dialog and the countries’ contribution to the establishment of peace are real solutions to regional crises.
Addressing Indian journalists in New Delhi on Friday, Zarif added that Iran and six Persian Gulf littoral states would hold talks on regional developments by September 22 based on respect for people’s will, non-interference in one another’s internal affairs and dialog to find rational solutions.
“The Israeli regime has always had a racist, aggressive and occupying nature and is a problem to the region and therefore cannot be part of a solution,” he said.
The Iranian foreign minister wrapped up his second regional tour after the conclusion of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries and arrived in Tehran on Saturday.
Zarif paid visits to Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan and India and held talks with their senior officials on bilateral ties as well as the latest regional and international developments.
By Press TV