News ID: 100322
Publish Date : 22 February 2022 - 22:02
FM Amir-Abdollahian:

Expansion of Neighborly Ties Top Priority in Iranian Foreign Policy

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian says the Islamic Republic attaches great significance to the promotion of all-out relations with neighboring countries, especially Arab states, and offers a hand of friendship to them.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Amir-Abdollahian said President Ebrahim Raisi was “warmly welcomed” by the emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani upon arriving in Doha on Monday.
He added that relations between Tehran and Doha have deep-rooted historical and cultural commonalities, and are based on common interests.
“Strengthening of relations with neighbors, especially Arab countries, is a top priority in Iran’s foreign policy. Our hand is extended toward our neighbors,” the Iranian foreign minister noted.
President Raisi said on Monday he intended to improve the Islamic Republic’s interactions and communications with the Arab littoral states of the Persian Gulf and activate good neighborly diplomacy during his visit to Qatar.
“The trip to Qatar is in line with the activation of our neighborly diplomacy, especially with Persian Gulf countries, and is meant to tap their capacities in order to develop political and economic ties,” he told reporters before departing Tehran for Doha to attend the sixth summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
The Iranian president also expressed hope that the trip would contribute to the promotion of political, economic, and trade relations with regional countries, especially the Persian Gulf states.
In an interview with CNN, on the sidelines of the 58th Munich Security Conference in Germany, Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran has not yet received a reliable and practical initiative from the U.S. on the issue of guarantees.
The Iranian minister said that the Islamic Republic is optimistic because the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi is serious to achieve a good agreement in Vienna, Austria.
Amir-Abdollahian went on to say that Iran tried hard to reach a good agreement and that in the sensitive situation if the U.S. and other Western parties do not take a realistic stance; they will be definitely responsible for the possible failure of the negotiations.
He noted that to get close to the good agreement in Vienna, a lot of initiatives and flexibilities have been shown by the Iranian delegation. Now it is the turn of the U.S. and the Western sides to show initiative and flexibility.
In reaction to the question about the reason for the lack of direct negotiations between Iran and the U.S., Amir-Abdollahian said that there is a tall wall of mistrust between Iran and the U.S., adding

that the U.S. needs to change its behavior.
He added that “Mr. Biden cannot speak of goodwill and on the other side, only in the past few months, he imposed new sanctions against Iran’s legal and real entities three times. This means that Mr. Biden is following the method of Mr. Trump and continuing the sanctions. But at the same time, he is interested in returning to the JCPOA. So, we cannot understand these paradoxical behaviors”.
Referring to the issue of repayment of British debt to Tehran in exchange for the release of one of the prisoners, Amir-Abdollahian said that “for us, the issue of swapping prisoners is completely a humanitarian issue. Last year, there was an agreement based on which prisoners were supposed to be exchanged, regardless of the Vienna talks. But unfortunately, at the last minute, the Americans announced that all of this should be included in a complete package. So, the release didn’t take place”. 
He added that “maybe the Americans are interested in covering the issue of exchange of prisoners as part of the Vienna negotiations. We believe this is a humanitarian issue and can be considered as an urgent measure outside the Vienna negotiations”.