Tehran keen on good ties with neighbors: Larijani
KUWAIT/TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani sent a letter yesterday to HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, state media reported, a further sign that the two might be trying to defuse tensions between the Islamic Republic and the Gulf Arab states. Predominantly Shiite Iran and the Sunni Arab-dominated Gulf countries, notably Saudi Arabia, support opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen, but in January, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah paid a rare visit to Tehran. He delivered a message from the Amir to Rouhani, describing a “basis of dialogue” between Gulf Arab states and Iran.
Iran’s state news agency IRNA said Rouhani replied to the message in the letter delivered by Iran’s ambassador yesterday. Kuwait state news agency KUNA said Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled received Alireza Enayati, and “during the meeting, a letter was delivered addressed to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani”. Neither news agency gave details of the letter’s contents. Rouhani visited Oman and Kuwait in February on his first visit to the Gulf states since taking power in 2013. He said Kuwait was among at least 10 countries to have offered to mediate in Iran’s escalating feud with Saudi Arabia.
In Tehran, Speaker of Iran’s Shura Council Ali Larijani said Iran pursues peaceful policies with neighboring states based on conservative religious principles. In a press conference, Larijani referred to Rouhani’s visit to Kuwait and Oman as “positive”. Following the visit, it was decided to continue talks with the foreign ministers of both states, he said.
Referring to the ties with Egypt, Larijani said Tehran welcomes all moves that would lead to normalizing ties with Cairo. He highlighted Egypt’s pivotal role amid the current events in the region. Ties between Cairo and Tehran strained in the wake of Egypt’s peace pact with Israel in the late 1970s, but conditions have considerably changed since then, Larijani stressed. He also defended Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers as a “right decision”. – Agencies