Araghchi: Regional stability not possible with foreign presence

Tehran, Jan 7, IRNA – Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Tuesday that regional peace and stability cannot be achieved as long as foreign forces are present in the region.

Speaking at Tehran Dialogue Forum this morning, Araghchi noted that several plans have been offered so far to ensure the security of the region, but none has come to fruition because of the presence of trans-regional forces who pursue goals other than regional security and stability.

“There is no comprehensive political structure in the Persian Gulf region to cover all players in the region," the official said, adding, "Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) is not an all-inclusive organization because Iran is not its member.”

Araghchi referred to some states' dependence on foreign forces on security issues as another cause of failure in guaranteeing the region’s security, noting that in this region either all are safe or no one is secure.

Deputy Foreign Minister mentioned Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) has been introduced by Iran as an initiative involving all the states in the region and paves the way for regional talks and cooperation.

He said that HOPE avoids minor disputes like those over place names and emphasizes common principles like non-intervention of foreign forces, peaceful settlement of all disputes, invariability of international borders, good neighborliness and freedom of navigation.

On the fifth remedial step to reduce commitments to the JCPOA announced by Iran's government on Sunday, Araghchi underlined that it is an attempt to redress the balance torn away by the US withdrawal from the deal; a measure that turned a win-win game into a lose-lose one, according to the official.

The first step was taken on the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the deal on May 8, 2019, when Tehran decided to reduce its commitments to the JCPOA, based on Article 26 and 36 and set a deadline for Europeans to remedy breaches.

About the Europeans' threat that they will use a snap-back mechanism devised to restore international sanctions against Iran in case of a significant breach of the deal, Araghchi said the end of the JCPOA will begin if they state such issues or set such conditions, however, this is not Iran’s desire.

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