Dr. Seyyed Kamal Kharrazi said in the opening session of the Arabs and Iran dialogue in Doha’s Aljazeera Center for Studies that the meeting aims to accomplish a common understanding of the standing challenges and opportunities in the relations between Iranians and the Arabs in the “severely-transformed” world of today.

Referring to the mutual services and relations between Iran and the Arabs throughout the history emphasized that the great Islamic civilization has been the source of pride and honor for the Iranian and Arabs, and added that we should learn lessons from that great civilization and try to revitalize it once more in the modern era.

Dr. Kharrazi said the Islamic Republic of Iran primarily views the world of Islam from a civilizational perspective and never considers itself separate from other Muslim nations and especially its Arab-speaking neighbors.

Referring to the provisions of the Iranian Constitution and general policies of the government to forge unity and coalition among Muslim nations, he said Iran is trying to strengthen its cooperation with the countries of the region as a principled policy in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Dr. Kharrazi said history has indicated that the presence of foreign forces in the region has resulted in tensions and even wars, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran considers the security of the Persian Gulf states as Iran’s security and the insecurity in any parts of the Persian Gulf as its own insecurity.

“The opposition of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the presence of foreign forces in the region and specifically the presence of the United States and Zionist regime is precisely aimed at safeguarding the security of the whole region”.

The President of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations further said that the tensions in the West Asia region and the geography around Iran and the Arabs are “regrettable”, adding that the only solution to ensure regional convergence is to talk to each other in confronting the regional problems and disputes.

He said that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always insisted on the employment of talks to resolve misunderstandings, settle disputes and strengthen commonalities. And for this reason, he said, Iran considers brotherly but frank and honest talks between the countries of the region as the best solution to security problems of West Asia and the Persian Gulf, albeit without the presence and intervention of outsiders.

Dr. Kharrazi referred to the initiatives such as the Hormuz Peace Endeavor presented by Iran and the priority given by Iran to its neighbors and said that such measures demonstrate the determination, will, and seriousness of the Islamic Republic of Iran in strengthening and consolidating relations with its southern neighbors and members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council.

He added that there are signs of such a mutual interest in the countries of the region such as the reconciliatory efforts of Qatar, Oman, and Iraq, and continued that all capacities should be utilized to strengthen bilateral and multilateral regional ties.

On the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, he said that the Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to Saudi Arabia as home to the Qibla of Muslims and the two holy shrines, and as an important regional country. He added that Iran and Saudi Arabia can complement their capacities to ensure peace, stability, and development in the region.

On the crisis in Yemen, Dr. Kharrazi said the Yemeni conflict is one of the major concerns of this region which is not merely the product of internal conflict and dispute in Yemen and the Islamic Republic of Iran has always maintained the belief that there is no military solution to the crisis in Yemen—a fact which has been exposed to all after seven years of war and destruction.

“We have made many efforts to stop and prevent the killing of innocent people in Yemen and to find peaceful solutions to this bloody conflict. The establishment of a ceasefire, termination of the blockade, facilitation of Yemeni-Yemeni talks, and formation of a government based on the will of the people of Yemen are Iran’s roadmap to peace and stability in Yemen.”

On the question of Iraq, he said that the Islamic Republic of Iran supports the formation of a solid and popular government in Iraq because the security of Iran and Iraq are interdependent.

“We consider a safe and strong Iraq in the interest of our security and the security of the whole region and we believe that Iraq’s positive role in regional developments will help the formation of a collective security mechanism in the region. Therefore, we encourage all the political parties of Iraq to reach an agreement to form a government.”

Pointing to the issue of Palestine, he said that the atrocities of the Zionist regime and violation of the rights of the Palestinians are on the rise in the occupied territories. He referred to the killing of a journalist by the Zionist regime in recent days, adding that the world was witness to the targeted assassination of Aljazeera correspondent Martyr Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces and Zionists indicated once again that they consider no boundary in their crimes and even journalists are not immune from their brutality.

“Unfortunately, while Arab countries are expected to defend the oppressed nation of Palestine against the crimes and atrocities of the Zionist regime, some Arab states have chosen to normalize their relations with the Zionists. The Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes that inviting the Zionist regime to the Persian Gulf would not bring stability and security to the region, because the Zionist regime is pursuing no goal, but to escalate tension in the Persian Gulf and bring more divisions among the members of this region. Anyway, the Islamic Republic of Iran would not allow the Quds-occupying regime to nest in this region.”

Yusef bin Alavi, the former foreign minister of Oman was the other speaker at this meeting.

The full text of the statement by Dr. Kharrazi can be accessed here.