Settling differences through dialogue always possible: Iran

TEHRAN, Sep. 30 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that Iran does not reject efforts of those countries who seek to de-escalate tensions, noting that the option of dialogue is always on the table from the Iranian side.

Asked about prospects of mediatory efforts of other countries between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Mousavi said in his Monday presser that “The possibility of settling differences through dialogue has always been there. Iran doesn’t reject the efforts of those who seek security in the region.”

He went on to say that some Asian and European countries have already made mediatory efforts to ease regional tensions and Iran has always announced that it welcomes such measures “but the other side is not ready for this due to their illusions and calculations; once this readiness is in place, we will be ready for de-escalation.”

Asked about the possibility of Iraqi PM’s visit to Iran in this regard, Mousavi answered “If he wants to visit Iran, we will warmly welcome him. This [visit] has not been finalized yet and we will announce it if it becomes certain.”

The remarks came as some Iraqi media had reported that Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who has made a trip to Riyadh, may embark on a visit to Tehran to discuss regional tensions. Also, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was acting as a mediator of the escalation between Iran and the US and Saudi Arabia. Khan said in a press statement on the sidelines of the recent UN General Assembly that "I cannot disclose more now, except that we are trying to do so and mediate."

This is while tensions have reached a new high after Yemeni forces’ attacks on Saudi oil facilities some two weeks ago. Saudi Arabia and its allies blame Iran for the attack without giving credible evidence and also threaten Iran with a military response. Tehran has strongly rejected involvement in the attack, warning that it will give a prompt and crushing response to any aggression against its soil.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in New York last week to attend the UN General Assembly where he proposed Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) initiative which seeks to establish security in the region through the cooperation of all Persian Gulf countries.

Mousavi said in his presser that details of the HOPE initiative will soon be announced. “Details of the plan will soon be offered in print, in particular for the eight countries that we have invited to join the alliance,” he said. “This initiative is presented under the aegis of the United Nations and aims to establish peace and security in the region.”

The Iran-proposed plan comes as the United States is trying to persuade its allies into the maritime coalition to allegedly secure free shipping in the Persian Gulf region. Tehran has condemned the move, highlighting that the presence of foreign forces in the region will do nothing but sow more insecurity. UK, Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE have so far joined the US-led coalition.

MAH/ 83496754

News Code 150658

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