News ID: 4002446 -

Iran invites regional states to talks, restraint

TEHRAN, Jun. 12 (MNA) – Iran’s FM spokesman Ghasemi said the current challenge straining ties among regional states is the result of Riyadh Summit, calling on countries in region to hold talks and remain calm for settling their issues.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi made the remarks in his weekly press conference on Monday, in response to a question about Iran’s position toward the recent tension between Qatar and a number of Arab countries in the region.

“I said before that the bad timing of Riyadh Summit and the wrong list of participants in it could lead to adverse consequences in the wake of foreign meddling in regional affairs,” he said.

Ghasemi went on to add, “the sides need to settle their issues through political solution and negotiations. We invite all to show calm and restraint. We want to maintain relations with all our neighbors and we do have what it takes to further develop cooperation with them.”

Ghasemi was referring to the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh on May 21 in which Trump called for the international "isolation" of Iran. Following Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia and Saudi's purchasing tens of billions of dollars worth of arms from the US, tensions among regional states has escalated to the point where the Arab kingdom severed ties with Qatar and voiced blatant threats against Iran.

About the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Astana and Iran’s continued status as observer in the organization, Ghasemi said the issue of Iran’s full membership in the SCO needs to undergo its due process which is very ‘lengthy’ and ‘complicated’; “over 30 documents and statutes need to be carefully studied and approved before a country becomes a full member. Iran’s membership was not on the agenda of the recent summit and the process will take more time for us than other states.”

The SCO Summit was held on 8-9 June 2017 in in Astana, Kazakhstan, where India and Pakistan became the full members of the grouping, which at present comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Iran’s membership in the SCO has also been welcomed and supported by China and Russia, and the Islamic Republic is looking forward to it.

In reaction to US Secretary of State’s use of a fabricated name for the Persian Gulf, Ghasemi advised Tillerson to study world history and geography in addition to his studies on oil. 

“I believe that dollar, oil and trade cannot purchase and alter history, geography, culture and civilization. Trade cannot bring culture to a cultureless nation or vice versa,” he added. 

“Optimistically we assume that Mr. Tillerson has made a mistake and I think he will correct the mistake in the future,” Ghasemi said. “He needs to know that the great Iranian nation is very sensitive on the Persian Gulf name, which must be used accurately and correctly at all times.”

Tillerson’s use of a fabricated name for Persian Gulf caused Iranians to react passionately on Twitter, trending the #PersianGulf hashtag and addressing the US Secretary of State to study history and geography in order to learn its actual name.

Reacting to a decision by Iraqi Kurdistan Region to hold an independence referendum on September 25, Ghasemi said the referendum plan under current circumstances where the region is faced with many challenges is an ‘unwise’ move that can lead to adverse consequences for territorial integrity of Iraq. 

“Iran’s position toward this issue is clear and as we have repeatedly stated, the Islamic Republic backs territorial integrity and unity of Iraq. We have long-standing constructive relations with all ethnic and religious groups in Iraq and will continue to maintain our good ties.”

The Iraqi Kurdistan Region has announced its decision to hold an independence referendum on September 25. The decision has also been condemned by Turkey and Baghdad, with Turkish prime minister calling it “irresponsible" and spokesperson of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stressing the role of all Iraqis in deciding the future of their homeland.

About Saudis’ hostile anti-Iranian remarks, Ghasemi noted that some Saudi officials had voiced ‘meddling’ and ‘cheap’ remarks against Iran prior to the Tehran terrorist attacks which cast suspicion on their complicity; “relevant bodies are currently looking into [Saudi connection to the attacks] and once they reach a conclusion, the result will probably be made public.”

The June 7 terrorist attacks on Iran’s Parliament and the Mausoleum of Imam Khomeini left 17 people dead and 50 others injured. ISIL claimed responsibility for both attacks.

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