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Iran's FM: Anniv. of Saddam’s invasion must be day of peace, not war

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (file photo)

Iran's foreign minister says the invasion of the country by the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, has knocked the entire region off balance ever since, emphasizing that Tehran seeks peace not war.

Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in a tweet on his official Twitter account on Sunday, which was the start of the Sacred Defense Week, marking the anniversary of the 1980-88 Iraq-imposed war.

“We want to make 9/22 a day of peace- not war,” Zarif said in his tweet.

Noting that “9/22/1980 is a dark day for Iranians as it marks Saddam's invasion - with support of global powers,” Iran's top diplomat added, “Our region has been in turmoil ever since.”

In another part of his tweet, Zarif pointed to the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's initiative, which aims to promote peace in the region, especially the strategic Strait of Hormuz, further emphasizing the peace-seeking nature of Iran's regional plans.

“Today @HassanRouhani launched Coalition for HOPE: Hormuz Peace Endeavour. Details at UNGA,” Zarif wrote.

Rouhani unveiled his initiative while addressing a military parade in Tehran, which was held to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War on Sunday.

“This year at the United Nations, we will present to the world the Hormuz Peace Initiative — the gist of which is love and hope — with the slogan ‘The Coalition for Hope’,” he said, adding, “The security of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Sea of Oman is indigenous… Foreign forces could cause problems and insecurity for our nation and region.”

Rouhani said the initiative will envision the provision of security for the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman, and the Strait of Hormuz with cooperation among Iran and other regional countries.

President Rouhani is scheduled to travel to New York for the annual UN General Assembly meeting on Monday.

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