Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday called for dialogue among regional “actors” in order to create a “strong region”.
Delivering a speech at the University of Tehran, Zarif said “strengthening security cooperation, respecting territorial integrity of other countries and preventing foreign interference” will help build a “strong region”.
“Unfortunately, instead of negotiating with each other, we talk about each other,” he said, noting that such a “process must stop”.
Zarif also said regional countries need to understand that they “can compete with each other” but they “cannot dominate or eliminate each other”.
A neighboring country cannot be eliminated but foreign forces can be expelled from the region, he stressed.
He took a swipe at Saudi Arabia who, according to the top diplomat, “still believes that it can ignore Iran” in regional developments.
“Saudi Arabia thinks that the Arab world has nothing to do with Iran. The region cannot be divided into Arab and non-Arab parts,” Zarif said, arguing that “their security overshadows our security and our security overshadows theirs”.
He urged rulers of the Arab kingdom to jettison such a policy as it “does not work in today's world”.
The Iranian minister pointed to a recent deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize relations and said “The UAE has turned to the Zionist regime to buy security while Israel cannot provide its own security."
Security cannot be bought and must arise from within the region, Zarif added.