Former Iranian FM calls for strategic ties with China

 IRNA – Iran and China should elevate their relations to the strategic comprehensive partnership, Iranian former foreign minister said.

‘Iran’s relations with all countries in far east are friendly, but with China as a great, ancient country, is of great importance,’ Kamal Kharazi said Monday evening at a forum on Iran’s current foreign policy at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

There is much room to increase the relations between the two countries, he said.

Kharrazi who is also Head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, urged Iran and China to elevate their ties to a strategic comprehensive partnership on the basis of the joint statement signed in 2016 in Tehran by the presidents of the two countries.

‘The cooperation can guarantee China’s energy needs in long term, and enhance their bilateral cooperation within the framework of One Belt, One Road,’ he said.

The two countries are enjoying high geographical and geopolitical capacities, he said, and Iran is sharing borders with 15 countries and plays the role of interface among them.

The veteran diplomat also referred to the maritime Chinese initiative for restoring the ancient Silk Road, cooperation in reconstruction of Iraq and Syria, trilateral strategic cooperation between Iran, China and Pakistan as ways that can be used for enhancing ties between Tehran and Beijing.

Iran is seeking the best relations with all countries with its neighbors on priority, the Iranian former foreign minister said.

Some neighbors to the south of Persian Gulf, however, are following the US policies against Iran, he said.

Iran has the best relations with its western neighbors, namely Iraq and Turkey, Kharazi said adding that to the east, the relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan are developing, and to the north Caucasian and Central Asian countries are making strong relations.

‘Meanwhile, Russia is of great importance to Iran as the two countries are increasingly expanding their cooperation in resolving regional crises,’ according to the Iranian official.

Europe is also trying to reduce the effects of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Kharrazi said, however we expect the Europeans to take swift measures in fulfilling their obligations.