Rouhani's HOPE Initiative presented to UNGA must be taken seriously: Think-tank chief

Islamabad, Sept 28, IRNA -- A Pakistani defense analyst and chief of a think tank said on Saturday Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) Initiative presented to the UN General Assembly by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is a positive development and must be taken seriously by the regional states.

In an exclusive interview with IRNA on Saturday, Dr Maria Sultan, President of South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University said that it is necessary that the peace should be maintained in Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and other shipping lanes of the world.

President Rouhani made the proposal at the 74th United Nations General Assembly session for regional cooperation to ensure peace in the international waterway area.

Dr Maria Sultan added that President Rouhani has rightly said that there would be no talks with the US unless the unjustified sanctions on the Islamic Republic are lifted.

The analyst said that when the JCPOA was signed it was agreed that the sanctions on Iran would be lifted but the US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement and re-imposed sanctions on Iran which are illegal, unjustified and unlawful.

The expert expressing her views said that these sanctions are not at all acceptable. The US cannot put the state organizations and state armed forces as terrorist organizations there is no equality to that in any international law or any international framework.  “So this is unacceptable and totally illegal,” noted the security expert.

She said that United States is the trans-regional player and that is true it cannot be advocate of any nation; neither is it the guardian of any state in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.

“Technically speaking if the US wants to be here it must decide for peace and not for war and if it is deciding for war then the 28 littoral states of the Indian Ocean have a say in terms of how the ocean will proceed,” she noted. 

The analyst went on to say that security in the Persian Gulf and stability in the Middle East should be sought inside the region rather than outside of it.

She added there are 28 littoral states of the Indian Ocean and as per law of the sea they have the first right of passage and it is very important that the region talks to itself. “If the region does not make peace with itself then other powers will come in and other wars will be fought here,” she said.

The analyst said that it is the time that we understand that collective defense and collective security is inevitable.

She viewed that negotiations is the only way forward not only to avert catastrophe which is underway in the Persian Gulf but also in Indian Ocean.

Commenting on the attacks on Saudi oil facilities she said that it is a very serious development and must be investigated through an independent inquiry.

“Once an independent inquiry is carried out we will be able to ascertain that who were the primary actors responsible for these attacks, what were their intentions and would be their end game,” she noted. 

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