If Saudi Arabia faced any foreign aggression, Iran will be first country to defend Holy Land: FM


Islamabad, IRNA -- Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif says if God forbid Saudi Arabia faces any foreign aggression or terrorism Iran will be the first country to come to its assistance.

“We believe that security of our neighbors is our security and stability within our neighborhood is our stability, I hope they have the same feeling and I hope that they come to talks with us for resolving these problems,” he said while responding to a question during talk on “70 Years of Pakistan-Iran Relations and Future Prospects” at Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad.

“We offered dialogue to Saudi Arabia and we responded positively to all initiatives including the initiative by former prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif,” he said. Zarif added 'The problem is that our Saudi neighbors believe that it is in their interest for the world to perceive that they are suffering from a threat.'

“We understand that we cannot exclude Saudi Arabia from this region but it is also important for them that they cannot exclude Iran from the region and why we should exclude each other from the region,” he said. The minister said Iran and Saudi Arabia can invest heavily in Iraq and Syria and these are all possibilities that we have put on the table.

“We do not see any cause for us or even for them for animosity, and we tell them you can’t buy security from outside,” he said.

Responding to another question, he said: 'We will never allow anybody to hurt Pakistan from Iranian territory as we know Pakistan will never allow anybody to hurt Iran from its territory that is absolute commitment by Iran.' He said: Our relations with India are not against Pakistan as we understand that Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not against Iran.'

“We want to develop Chabahar as a complementary port to Gwadar not as a competing port because we believe that this area requires a great deal of development,” Zarif said. The foreign minister went on to say that Iran should also need to participate with Pakistan in China Pakistan Economic Projects (CPEC) and we have offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chabahar.

“We believe that Chabahar and Gwadar need to be linked together through sea and land. There is an open invitation for Pakistan to join Chabahar project,” said the minister. To a question Zarif said US President Donald Trump believes that Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a valid multilateral agreement and his trying to violate it would bring the isolation for the United States.