Hassan Rouhani made the remarks upon arrival at Mehrabad International Airport of Tehran following his six-day tour of Southeast Asian counties during which he held talks and exchanged views with high-ranking authorities of Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand.
While in Thailand, the Iranian President also participated at the second Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) summit, which comprises 34 Asian states, and delivered a speech delineating Iran’s positions.
Private sector representatives accompanying Rouhani during the visit held talks with their counterpart and discussed venues for development of mutual cooperation.
Speaking to reporters, Hassan Rouhani described achievements of his visits to Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand saying “the trip aimed to exploit the opportunity emerged following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”
He outlined promotion of exports and gaining access to regional and global markets as main tenets of Resistance Economy noting that Asia’s developing states mark excellent targets as regards expansion of ties with foreign countries.
“East Asia and Far East could mark Iran’s targets in economic prosperity as the three visited countries are members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and possess great capacities since they each enjoy a foreign trade turnover of 400 billion dollars per year,” underlined Rouhani.
He pointed to the constructive meeting with the Vietnamese prime minister where economy ministers and a number of Iranian entrepreneurs were present; “a comprehensive discussion was made over capacities of both sides since Iran enjoys great potentials for attracting investors for being a regional and intracontinental transport hub between Asia and Europe.”
“Vietnamese have previously made investments in Iran’s petrochemical industry and are willing to continue the trend,” said Rouhani adding “they are also eager to boost exchange of tourists, an issue which Iran attaches great importance to.”
Iran’s president maintained that similar policies held by Iran and Vietnam towards regional and global issues need to be used to elevate level of bilateral collaboration.
He later described Malaysia as a major country and added “mainly due to sanctions in recent years, a downturn had emerged in the ties between the two sides while the recent visit paved the path to reinvigorate relations.”
Banking issues were hot debates discussed in all three countries since monetary ties are the main prerequisite to investment, said Rouhani.
President of Iran went on to enumerate possible venues for cooperation with southeast Asian countries including agriculture, fisheries, construction, steel, oil, gas and petrochemicals.
“Thais have made great advancements in automotive industries over recent years as they are now exporting one million cars per year,” highlighted Hassan Rouhani calling for cooperation with Thailand in auto part sector.
The official further touched upon his meeting with Malaysian scholars where regional and political issues were discussed; “a separate meeting was also held with Iranians residing there and they can act as mediators between Iran and destination countries.”
“I also visited Iranians and the leaders of Muslim societies in Thailand and took part in a mourning ceremony for the martyrdom of Imam Hossein (AS),” said Rouhani underscoring that Imam Hossein does not merely belong to Shias and Islam as all freedom-loving people of the world love him.”
He further underlined that the existing unity among Asian states can be well exploited within the framework of Resistance Economy.
Later in his remarks, President Rouhani outlined Yemen’s conditions as extremely regrettable; “innocent and oppressed people, who are in poor economic conditions, have been under bombardment of the Saudi government.”
“Current conditions are unbelievable since Muslims are being killed for no reason,” said Iran’s President emphasizing that development in Asia requires cooperation between West and East Asia.
He commented that the two Asian regions affect each other and no effort should be spared to bring security to West Asia by combating terrorism and prevention of illegal aggressions which are contrary to humanitarian principles.
At the end of his remarks, Hassan Rouhani expressed hope that the culture of Ashura and Imam Hossein (AS) will be used to bring stability to and develop both the Muslim world and Asia.