Saudi Arabia prioritizes ‘tension’ in regional policies

TEHRAN, May 23 (MNA) – In his weekly presser, FM Spokesman Jaberi Ansari said the Saudi government has prioritized escalation of tension and conflicts in the region, adding Iran has been pursuing the Hajj issue with ‘utmost self-restraint.’

In his weekly press conference on Monday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari answered a question about Iran’s reaction to the hostile positions of Saudi officials against Iran and their ‘Hajj sabotage’, saying “the issue on Hajj has been followed up on its proper track, but regrettably, the continuation of Saudis' sabotage has practically complicated the basic matters regarding the security and transport of Iranian pilgrims as well as the visa issuance.”

“Given the fact that Hajj is one of Islam’s obligatory duties, Iran’s government has been painstakingly following up on the resolution of the issue with the utmost self-restraint,” he added.

Jaberi Ansari went on to add, “if Saudi Arabia does not change its policy, it will be held responsible for preventing Iranian pilgrims from doing this Islamic obligatory duty.”

“The Islamic Republic will not be playing by the other side’s rules,” he stressed. “Today, the Saudi government has chosen the escalation of tension and conflicts in the region as its main policy, but Iran always seeks to expand cooperation and establish peace and stability in its surrounding region.”

To a question about a recent comment made by Hamid Baeidinejad, Director-General for Political and International Affairs of Iran's Foreign Ministry, in regard to a breakthrough in the country’s banking system following the implementation of nuclear deal, Jaberi Ansair said “economic and trade measures are time-consuming, and are slowly but surely taking place.”

He went on to add, “we are on the right track and the Islamic Republic’s series of measures in line with utilizing the outcome of the nuclear deal in regard to national economy are underway.”

Jaberi Ansari deemed the current visit of Indian Prime Minister Modi to Tehran highly significant, saying “before the sanctions, Iran was the second major supplier of energy to India; the country is currently making efforts to retake that position.”

“In the past few days, a part of India’s debt to Iran has been paid off via a banking network and the rest will be paid in installments,” said Jaberi.

“A trilateral meeting between Iranian and Afghan presidents as well as Indian PM will be held with a focus on Chabahar Port and aimed at boosting connectivity with Afghanistan and Central Asia will be held,” said Jaberi, expressing hope that the meeting would serve as a beginning point for further expansion of trilateral cooperation among these three countries.

About the recent Vienna talks on Syria in which an Iranian delegation headed by FM Zarif participated, Jaberi Ansari expressed his disappointment that the major part of the meeting was spent on the reiteration of previously-announced positions; “the summit’s document consisted of no new development, although what is important is the actual implementation of the documents.”

Regarding the implementation of Plan B in Syria by certain terrorist-backing countries which includes assignment of new weapons to Syrian opposition, he said “the escalation of crisis in Syria is the result of the implementation of plans proposed by countries such as Saudi Arabia.”

“A political solution is the only viable solution to settle the crisis in Syria, and its implementation depends on the efforts of regional countries in addressing and fighting extremism,” he stressed.

On controversies surrounding the Holocaust Cartoon Competition which was recently held in Tehran, he clarified, “the organizers of the exhibition were from an NGO and have explicitly stated that their aim was to showcase a holocaust which is currently taking place against the Palestinian people by the Zionist regime.”

About the US measures in activating a missile system in Romania against the Islamic Republic, he said “every measure that may involve a threat against Iran is unfavorable.”

He went on to reaffirm that Iran poses no threat to any country, but rather it is itself the target of various kinds of plots, adding “the military policy of Iran is based on a defense doctrine aimed at protecting the country’s national security. Any measure taken by governments which are themselves a source of frequent threats against our national interests is just a way to deviate the true path of events.”

To Mehr News Agency question about the details of the future visit of FM Zarif to Central Europe, Jaberi Ansari said, “Mr. Zarif will pay a 5-day visit to Poland, Sweden, Latvia and Finland next week which includes diplomatic consultations, delivering speeches and holding various meetings with the countries’ senior officials.”

He went on to add that Zarif will also visit other countries following this tour, the details of which will be released to the public in due time.





News Code 116768


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