Region's security can't be purchased from outside: Zarif

TEHRAN, Sep. 05 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addressed a meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in Dhaka on Thursday.

Addressing the 3rd meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in Bangladesh on Thursday, the top Iranian diplomat said that there are plenty of natural resources in the Indian Ocean which need to be identified and discovered for the benefit of the littoral communities and countries.

Zarif added that the social dimension of the Indian Ocean is related to the important role of the ocean in the food security and welfare of the littoral communities and countries, therefore food safety and maritime security should be given a priority in the region.

The Iranian foreign minister added that the Indian Ocean faces many challenges, including human trafficking, drug trafficking, smuggling of arms, illegal fishing, pollution and illegal exploitation of marine resources, adding that “the ocean is very important to us all.”

He also described the rise of unilateralism, extremism and diplomacy of gunboats as serious obstacles to the rule of law, adding that illegal actions against citizens lead to economic terrorism. These problems are not only one of the most important challenges facing the Indian Ocean but also they are challenges to the global achievements, which have been achieved over the past decades.

He emphasized that the boom in the water economy needs security and stability in the entire region, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that this asset can be achieved through the cooperation of regional countries and cannot be bought from outside, because it leads to an increase in the number of military bases in the region.

"We are ready for collective cooperation in this region," Zarif said.

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is a dynamic inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 22 Member States and 9 Dialogue Partners, according to its official website.

KI/IRN83466071

News Code 149729

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