If Saudi Arabia faces any foreign aggression Iran would be first country to help: FM Zarif

IRNA — Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif says if God forbid Saudi Arabia faces any foreign aggression or terrorism Iran will be the first country to come to its assistance.

“We believe that security of our neighbors is our security and stability within our neighborhood is our stability, I hope they have the same feeling and I hope that they come to talks with us for resolving these problems,” he said while responding to a question during talk on “70 Years of Pakistan-Iran Relations and Future Prospects” at Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad.

“We offered dialogue to Saudi Arabia and we responded positively to all initiatives including the initiative by former prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif,” he said.

Zarif added ‘The problem is that our Saudi neighbors believe that it is in their interest for the world to perceive that they are suffering from a threat.’

“We understand that we cannot exclude Saudi Arabia from this region but it is also important for them that they cannot exclude Iran from the region and why we should exclude each other from the region,” he said.
The minister said Iran and Saudi Arabia can invest heavily in Iraq and Syria and these are all possibilities that we have put on the table.

“We do not see any cause for us or even for them for animosity, and we tell them you can’t buy security from outside,” he said.

Responding to another question, he said: ‘We will never allow anybody to hurt Pakistan from Iranian territory as we know Pakistan will never allow anybody to hurt Iran from its territory that is absolute commitment by Iran.’

He said: Our relations with India are not against Pakistan as we understand that Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not against Iran.’

“We want to develop Chabahar as a complementary port to Gwadar not as a competing port because we believe that this area requires a great deal of development,” Zarif said.

The foreign minister went on to say that Iran should also need to participate with Pakistan in China Pakistan Economic Projects (CPEC) and we have offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chabahar.

“We believe that Chabahar and Gwadar need to be linked together through sea and land. There is an open invitation for Pakistan to join Chabahar project,” said the minister.

To a question Zarif said US President Donald Trump believes that Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a valid multilateral agreement and his trying to violate it would bring the isolation for the United States.
“Of course the US is not faithfully implementing the JCPOA and one of the reasons for this is to prevent Iran from benefiting from JCPOA which is itself violation of the agreement,” noted the foreign minister.

He said that the Europe should send a clear message to the US that trying to violate or amend the agreement would isolate the US.

Responding to yet another question, Zarif said presence of Daesh in the region is a threat to all of us. He noted that Daesh fighters have been rescued and airlifted from battle fields.

He said unfortunately there is a competition in Afghanistan between Daesh and Taliban for more violence and this is threat against, Pakistan, Iran, China and Russia.

“I believe that if Afghanistan’s neighbors work together with the government of Afghanistan we can bring about transformation. We certainly encourage dialogue among all Afghan including Taliban,” Zarif said.