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Iran’s President Raeisi: Foreign presence in West Asia increases insecurity, concerns

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) meets with the visiting Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani (4th L) in Tehran on Thursday, January 27, 2022. (via IRNA)

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi says presence of foreigners in the West Asia region only serves to increase insecurity in the region as they consider themselves masters of the world.

Raeisi made the remarks in a Thursday meeting with the visiting Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, during which the two sides discussed the importance of boosting cooperation among regional countries.

“Deepening of relations and increased synergy among neighboring countries can help establish security” in the region, Iran’s president said.

“Presence of foreigners in the West Asia region only leads to increased insecurity and raises concerns,” Raeisi said, adding, “Foreigners have no respect for the identity and character of regional nations and governments and believe that they are masters of the world.”

“However,” Raeisi noted, “they must give up their arrogant and complacent spirit and recognize the identity and culture of [regional] nations.”

Raeisi stated that the Iranian nation has always  stood on its principled positions on various issues and moves ahead without caring for what the enemies want. “This is why the Americans officially announced that their maximum pressure policy has borne no fruit.”

Former US President Donald Trump launched what he called the maximum pressure policy against Iran in 2018 after he pulled the US out of the 2015 multilateral agreement with Tehran, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), claiming he could “get a better deal” than the one reached under his predecessor Barack Obama.

Iran flatly refused to negotiate a “Trump deal” and rejected his repeated calls to hold talks at any level.

On Tuesday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran has been an “abject failure.”

Speaking at a press briefing, he added that the previous US administration left behind a “terrible set of options,” including its escalations towards the Islamic Republic.

Raeisi added that under the new administration, the Islamic Republic of Iran prioritizes expansion of relations with regional and neighboring countries.

“Tehran believes that regional cooperation is in favor of [the promotion of] peace, security and advancement of regional nations and hails it,” Iran’s president said.

The Qatari foreign minister, for his part, conveyed an invitation from Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for Iran’s president, inviting Raeisi to take part in the next summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.

“Qatar is determined to boost all-out relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in various political and economic fields and the Emir of Qatar is personally following up on this issue,” he said.

He noted that Qatar shares Iran’s stance on the negative outcome of foreign presence in the region, adding, “We believe that regional countries must move toward peace and progress through regional cooperation.”

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