Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iranian Foreign Ministry: Riyadh-Tehran Agreement to Foster Region’s Stability

Iranian Foreign Ministry: Riyadh-Tehran Agreement to Foster Region’s Stability

Sunday, 19 March, 2023 - 09:00
The Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Wang Yi (center) between heads of the negotiation delegations Saudi Dr. Musaad al-Aiban and Iranian Ali Shamkhani after signing the agreement in Beijing last week. (Reuters)

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said that the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran could foster regional stability.

He made his remarks hours ahead of top security official Ali Shamkhani’s visit to Iraq, which is his second regional visit since Saudi Arabia and Iran signed an agreement to reestablish diplomatic ties.

He termed the agreement “one of the most important events in the Iranian year which ends Tuesday in the neighboring area,” Kanaani wrote in an article published on the website of IRNA.

“The agreement will play a key role in convergence and further cooperation among the regional countries,” he added.

Kanaani confirmed that the Islamic Republic is aware of the role and efficiency of Saudi Arabia in the Islamic world, and that Iran has never overlooked the Kingdom’s role and position.

The spokesman added that the agreement to resume ties could lay the foundation for “a new approach and a growing role in serving the interests of the region’s countries and people”.

He stressed that the continuation of disputes among neighboring countries in this region and creating crises will only benefit the interests of transregional powers.

Moreover, he blamed “foreign interferences” for “long years of misunderstanding, crises, instability, and destructive wears in the region”, stressing that “it is time to resolve the current disputes”.

The article of Kanaani follows a tweet posted by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian to implicitly respond to some questions on assigning Iran's Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Shamkhani to handle negotiations with the neighboring countries, especially following his visit to the UAE.

Amirabdollahian confirmed that Shamkhani would soon visit Iraq.

The FM asserted that Shamkhani's visits to the UAE and Iraq were carried out within the framework of security relations.

He further stressed that all parties are in coordination regarding Iran’s foreign policy under the supervision of the Iranian President.

In a related context, IRNA published new details about Shamkhani’s visit to Baghdad.

It reported that he will visit Iraq soon to discuss security challenges as well as economic and banking issues that are key to helping Iran and Iraq maintain trade ties worth more than $10 billion per year.

An informed source in the government said a key issue on the Iranian official’s agenda in Iraq is to sign a memorandum of understanding on border security, Iraqi local news agency Shafaq News reported.

Shamkhani will meet with Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudan, and Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi.

He is expected to hold consultations with Masrour Barzani, the prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), and his Iraqi counterpart, Qasim al-Araji, during the visit.

Meanwhile, two Iranian deputies revealed in press statements that the stalled nuclear talks could be resumed in the coming days.

Deputy Director General and head of the Safeguards Department of the UN nuclear agency Massimo Aparo will visit Tehran for talks with Iranian officials, chairing a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The discussions would cover discovering traces of undeclared uranium at three Iranian sites and the origin of uranium particles enriched to up to 83.7 percent purity at the Fordow enrichment plant.

Meanwhile, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell called on Iran, in a phone call with the Foreign Minister, to speed up the implementation of the agreement between Tehran and the IAEA.

“We request Iran to change its behavior: respect human rights, end detention of EU citizens, stop its military support for Russia,” the tweet read.

A current member of parliament's national security and foreign policy, Jalil Rahimabadi expected a breakthrough in the nuclear talks in the coming months since the latest report by the international agency lacked challenges, and the western parties are convinced that dialogue is the best way to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis.

Another member Shahriyar Heidari said that “restoring ties with Saudi Arabia would lead to results in the nuclear deal”.

Editor Picks