Iranian presidential candidate Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh says his potential administration will have relations with all world countries, “especially the United States,” if he wins the June 18 election.
“In case of victory in the election, I will interact with all countries, especially the United States of America, while considering national interests and safeguarding the dignity and esteem of the Iranian nation and our country’s national security,” Mehr-Alizadeh told Al Mayadeen television channel on Monday (June 7), according to a Persian translation provided by IRNA.
He said there was no barrier to having relations with countries, except the ones “that persist in enmity with Iran.” “Iran is a great country… an ancient civilization, and hostile countries must [learn to] respect Iran and the Iranians,” Mehr-Alizadeh said.
Relations with the Arab world
He also said that Iran and the Arab countries shared a religion and, in some cases, common borders. “If foreign pressure does not impact the policies of these countries, we have no problem with them.”
“If I win the upcoming election, we will be able to protect the region together, and we will have to prevent the presence of forces that seek to sow discord between us,” Mehr-Alizadeh said, emphasizing that he would continue former President Mohammad Khatami’s policy of interaction with the Arab world and Saudi Arabia.
Iran is holding its 13th presidential election on June 18. Mehr-Alizadeh is running against six other candidates, including a fellow-Reformist. His Monday remarks were the first by almost any candidate about Iran’s relations with the Arab world.
‘They were not allowed to’
Speaking separately at a presser at IRNA, Mehr-Alizadeh expressed regret that the mood of the 2021 election had been made “cold.” That happened, he said, because, on the one hand, one faction’s candidates were disqualified from running, and, on the other, because of the arrangement of the candidates from the other faction.
“We must exploit any opportunity to maintain the republican aspect of the Islamic Republic establishment so the vote of the people… [remains] the pivotal factor,” Mehr-Alizadeh said, urging people to turn up at the ballot box in the June 18 election.
He said the President Hassan Rouhani administration had intended to carry out “very good” plans, but had been barred.
“They (the officials) couldn’t do those things, but I’m not saying that they did not have the ability to or didn’t really want to — on many occasions, they were not allowed to,” Mehr-Alizadeh said.
Speaking in the first live presidential debate on Saturday (June 5), Mehr-Alizadeh complained about interference by elements outside of the administration in executive work.