Moscow: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has drawn world attention to a new power equation by stating here on Monday that contrary to US, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia are determined to maintain peace and stability in the region.
Referring to Iran-Russia-China joint military drills, Zarif said it indicates the significant role and efforts of all parties in establishing peace in the region. On December 27, Iran, Russia and China started staging a four-day trilateral naval exercise in the north Indian Ocean and Sea of Oman to share experiences in fight against terrorism and piracy.
IRNA (Islamic Republic New Agency) reports, Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Zarif arrived in Moscow late on Sunday to hold talks with top Russian officials including his counterpart Sergei Lavrov on wide range of issues.
Zarif said the relation between Iran and Russia is in its best historic situation and Iranian officials are determined to consider Russia as a big and important neighboring state acting as a great international power, he said.
“In contrast to those who promote warmongering in the region, Iran and Russia have presented initiatives which are similar to each other aiming to maintain peace in the region”, Zarif said.
IRNA further reports: Referring to US recent attack on Iraqi forces, Zarif said this was just one example of US behavior.
The Iranian foreign minister described Iran-Russia cooperation in Astana format as a successful example of joint cooperation for bringing back peace to Syria. He also expressed the hope for dialogue on regional and international issues linked to Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and went on to underscore that Russia follows peace initiative while Iran pursues Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) initiative.
It may be recalled, the Iranian president had presented the Hormuz Peace Endeavor HOPE initiative at the 74th UNGA session on 25 September 2019, calling for collective cooperation of the Persian Gulf coastal states to safeguard peace in the Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz.
After that, the Iranian government had sent letters to the southern Arab states in the Persian Gulf to seize the opportunity to reduce tensions with Iran and provide free maritime navigation in the Strait of Hormuz.
The move shows how serious Iran is in ending differences with its neighbors, Zarif said, adding the presence of the US and its allies in the Middle East is the main source of tensions there like the events that are taking place in Iraq and Lebanon these days.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that Javad Zarif will leave Moscow for Beijing in the second leg of his regional tour. In China, he will discuss bilateral issues including the July 2015 nuclear deal.