Iran is to host an economic meeting of Eurasian countries next month as it eyes to strengthen its team-up with the sprawling intercontinental expanse against the United States’ illegal and unilateral sanctions.
The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)’s upcoming gathering is to be held in Bandar Anzali on November 17, a coordination meeting in the northern Iranian port city decided on Tuesday.
The meeting by the organization -- an international body aimed at regional economic integration that provides for free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor -- is to focus on the geopolitical role played by free economic zones in advancement of relations among Eurasian countries.
Eurasia is looked upon as the platform that helps open up Iran’s economy in the face of the US’s sanctions, said Yahya Rahim Safavi as he was chairing the coordination meeting in his capacity as head of Iran's Geopolitics Association.
The top military adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei then explained how the Islamic Republic was drawing on the economic opportunities that were being offered by the geographical stretch of the world.
Safavi said using the economic capacities and transit corridors that were being provided by the Caspian Sea’s maritime countries, the Islamic Republic was tapping into two strategic channels of international interaction and cooperation. An eastward channel passing through the littoral states connects Iran to China via Central Asia, while a westward one links the Islamic Republic to Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia, the official noted.
“By holding this [EAEU] meeting, we want to relay this message to [our] enemies that the strategy of maximum pressure and oppressive sanctions against the Iranian nation has been defeated,” he said.
Inside the EAEU, Iran plays an indispensible role by serving as a “transit crossroads” connecting southern and northern Eurasian countries and establishing a similar link between the eastern and western parts of intercontinental sphere, he noted.
“The Americans and Europeans understand the meaning and concept of these new relations and the message of this international meeting well,” Safavi remarked.
Strategic shift towards Caspian Sea
Safavi reminded how Iran’s northern ports could significantly help the country perform the role of the economic intermediary.
The southern Iranian ports used to host 70 percent of the country’s trade with outside, but 50 percent of this burden could be assigned to the northern hubs, he observed.
The country, the official said, was devising a 20-year development document, in which it would be assigning far greater role to the Caspian Sea’s maritime area.
The “strategic shift” would be awarding both Iran and the EAEU countries with “economic prosperity.”
Also attending the coordination meeting, Mohammad-Vali Rouzbehan, managing director of Anzali Free Zone Organization, said Iran’s enemies would never resort to military campaign to try and force the country into a retreat “because they are aware of Iran’s military and effective deterrence power.”
“They have chosen the economy as the target of their attacks against the Iranian nation and government,” he said, adding, “We should change this vulnerable spot into a point of strength.”
In 2018, the US left a historic nuclear agreement with Iran and other countries that is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Washington then returned the sanctions that the deal had lifted and began intimidating other countries into stopping their trade with Tehran.
The Islamic Republic has called the US’s campaign “economic terrorism,” but has vowed to face the US-led pressure victoriously.