Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Persian Gulf can be a zone for peace and cooperation, dismissing the presence of extra-regional forces as an inappropriate way of easing concerns over its security.
“The Persian Gulf can be a region for peace and cooperation. Nevertheless, it is not a proper approach regarding concerns that the region’s security be ensured from outside,” Zarif said in a meeting with former French Foreign Minister Hervé de Charette in Tehran on Monday evening.
He added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran devised a plan several years ago aimed at the collective security of the Persian Gulf, which still enjoys a proper framework, and of course new issues can be added to it.”
The top Iranian diplomat further noted that the ongoing developments in the Arab states of the Middle East can increase the risk of extremism, and for that reason there is a need for new ideas and indigenous pattern for the region.
Zarif also stressed the need for an end to bloodshed in Syria and a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
“The Syrian nation’s fate must be determined by election. Even Westerners have acknowledged that in case of an election in Syria, the outcome would be something contrary to their expectations,” he pointed out.
Syria has been gripped by deadly crisis since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside the country.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for nearly three years.
The former French foreign minister, for his part, underlined Iran’s influential role in the establishment of regional and international peace and security.
On the ongoing talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US - plus Germany over Tehran’s nuclear energy program, he said that the negotiations can bear fruit through mutual trust.