Iran braces for renewed regional diplomacy

TEHRAN, Apr. 12 (MNA) – A total of three Arab ministers are expected to pay visits to Tehran on Tuesday or in the ensuing days at a time when Iran is adopting an open-arms approach toward West Asia region.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced on Monday that Iran is appointing a new ambassador to neighboring Iraq. Mohammad Kazem Al Sadeq, the newly-appointed ambassador, will soon travel to Iraq to begin discharging his duties, the spokesman said, adding that Iran seeks to become a facilitator in the internal affairs of Iraq and talk to all parties with the aim of achieving a smooth and democratic transition of power in the Arab country.

The change of ambassadors comes as Iraq is gearing up for government formation in the wake of the recent parliamentary elections which handed cleric Muqtada Sadr a victory. 

It also comes as Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein plans to visit Iran. Khatibzadeh said the visit of the top Iraqi diplomat is likely to take place at the end of this week. The spokesman said no exact date has been set for the visit but press reports suggested it could take place on Tuesday night. 

In addition, there are also press reports suggesting that two ministers from Qatar and Oman are expected to arrive in Tehran on Tuesday. Qatar's minister of transport and communications, Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, is expected to arrive in Tehran with an economic delegation. The Qatari minister met Sunday with Rostam Qasemi, the Iranian transport and urban development minister, in Iran’s southern Kish Island to discuss using Iran's maritime and port infrastructure as well as tourism capacities to support the holding of the 2022 World Cup.

More importantly, Sayyid Badr Albusaidi, Oman’s foreign minister, is also expected in Tehran on Tuesday. The Qatari-owned online newspaper Al Araby Al Jadeed reported on Monday that the Omani foreign minister will visit Iran on Tuesday accompanied by a political-security delegation. Citing well-informed Iranian sources, the newspaper said the purpose of the visit of Oman’s top diplomat is to discuss the completion of the latest procedures of a prisoner swap deal between Tehran and Washington and the release of Iranian assets amounting to $7 billion, in exchange for Iran releasing three citizens with dual citizenship.

The sources added that the Iranian assets will be deposited in the accounts of the Central Bank of Iran abroad, noting that the U.S. administration will also release Iranians arrested at a later time on charges of circumventing the U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The sources revealed that the visit of the Iraqi foreign minister also comes at the heart of the regional moves to exchange messages between Tehran and Washington, and bring the views closer between them to reach a solution to the outstanding issues, and reach an agreement to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.

As regards soothing tensions in the region, Iran has long said it wants better relations with the countries of the region, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In this regard, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian spoke over the phone just a few days ago with his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

During the conversation, Amir-Abdollahian also said good meetings and consultations have been held between the officials of the two countries. He added that the formation of the committees of bilateral ties regarding agreed-up issues and also the exchange of delegations have an effective role in strengthening and expanding relations. The top diplomat of the Islamic Republic of Iran added that there are no limits to the all-out expansion of relations.

First published in Tehran Times

News Code 185625


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