If Saudi Arabia Wants to Be Secure, Best Way Is Set Up Ties With Neighbours, Not to Trust US- Zarif
Speaking to a Turkish outlet ahead of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's reported visit to the area for talks with both Rouhani and Saudi leadership, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has argued that while Iranians continue to be open to both direct and intermediary-facilitated talks, the Saudis can't "buy their security" by "buying weapons", Sputnik reports.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has asserted his country welcomes efforts by intermediaries to set up talks with Saudi Arabia, which, he stressed, needs to kickstart good relations with its neighbours without relying on the US, as long as it wants to be secure.
"Buying weapons will not buy you security. If Saudi Arabia wants to be secure, the best way is to end the war in Yemen, to start good relations with its neighbours and the neighbourhood, and not to trust the US", Zarif told Turkish broadcaster TRT World in an interview released late on Friday.
He also put emphasis on their own preparedness for talks:
"We've always been open to discussing anything with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is our neighbour. We're going to be here together permanently", Mohammad Javad Zarif noted stressing they “don’t have any choice but to talk to each other”.
“We've never rejected any intermediary... We've always been open to mediation, and we've always been open to direct talks with our Saudi neighbours", the top diplomat noted when asked about an upcoming visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Tehran.
Iran’s top diplomat brought up a peace plan, suggestively dubbed Hormuz Peace Endeavour (or HOPE), proposed by President Hassan Rouhani during the latter's recent speech at the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly, noting the initiative calls on "all eight countries in the Persian Gulf region to join in an attempt to bring peace through dialogue". He expressed his hope for the peace plan to be developed:
"We hope it can be discussed and further enriched by our neighbours", he added.