Jan 30, 2021, 2:21 PM
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Decoding Zarif's recent regional diplomatic tour’s message

Moscow, Jan 30, IRNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s last week diplomatic tour of five regional countries had a common message: Cooperation is the only way for the restoration of peace and strengthening the foundations of stability in the region.

Zarif’s tour that began last Sunday and ended on Friday included visits to the Azerbaijan Republic, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, and Turkey.

During the tour, he held intensive talks with his counterparts and high ranking political personalities on regional proximity and cooperation to secure peace and stability for all.

Multilateral, strategic and significant consultations among all regional players, particularly in the Caucasus region set the foundation for this tour that according to analysts was a turning point for the development of spectacular developments aimed at securing peace and stability in this sensitive, geopolitical region.

Six-sided cooperation was the main message of this tour, that was accepted by the authorities in all of Iran’s northern and western neighbors, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia, Russia, and Georgia, and once it will hopefully be materialized in practice its result will be not only collective regional peace and stability, but also blossoming of regional countries’ economies, and development of Iran’s cultural relations with Moscow, Ankara, Baku, Yerevan, and Tbilisi.

According to the Iranian topmost diplomat, the six-sided regional cooperation will not only be of extreme importance for Iran, but also for the whole region. Meanwhile, this initiative of the Islamic Republic clicks on a new phase of development and welfare for the entire regional nations amid the prevailing tough, sensitive, and perilous international conditions.

Strengthening regional proximity in collaboration with Armenia and the Azerbaijan Republic, two of Iran’s neighbors, that were very recently at war against each other with hundreds of casualties from both sides, was one of the main objectives of Zarif’s recent regional tour.

The Karabakh issue was the main topic of Zarif’s talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, while bilateral and six-sided-proximity among Iran, Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan in political and economic fields were in the focus of attention of all sides in those visits.

IRNA has talked to two prominent Russian analysts on the extent of the success of Iran’s diplomatic initiative.

***Proximity in six-sided format, a dire necessity

Alexander Mariasov, a prominent political analyst at Russia’s Valadi Political Club, when asked about the probability of materializing the six-sided regional cooperation in the Caucasus region, reiterated, “Iran and Russia are two great regional powers in the north and south of the Caucasus region and the Caspian Sea and both shoulder the very important responsibility of ensuring regional security and economic blossoming of this major geopolitical region.

The former Russian ambassador to Iran, added in his exclusive interview with IRNA, “The Iranian foreign minister’s diplomatic tour of the regional countries, including Russia was in line with that responsibility, and the joint Moscow-Tehran efforts to ensure the Caucasus region’s peace and stability, comprising of Zarif-Lavrov talks were very fruitful, keeping in mind the points that both foreign ministers made there.

Mariasov believes Iran and Russia’s cooperation in this six-sided cooperation will in the first place benefit Armenia and the Azerbaijan republics, that will thus rapidly resolve the wounds of their recent 44-day painful war, paving the path for their broad political and economic cooperation in a new phase of regional cooperation.

***Precious opportunity for turning enmities into cooperation

Irina Feodorova, a top analyst at College of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, too, told IRNA in an exclusive interview on Karabakh conflict, “Today a very good opportunity for solving the Southern Karabakh conflict and turning the enmities into cooperation has been provided and this precious chance should not be neglected.

Ms. Feodorova said that the important point in the Karabakh conflict is the intervention of the forces from beyond the region in the Caucasus region's affairs, while such foreign interventions can lead to instability of the whole region, the Caspian Sea, and its neighbors.

The Russian analyst believes America and some western powers should not be permitted to have a military presence in the Caucasus region to create instability and promote terrorist activities that will bear very perilous fruits for all regional countries, including Iran and Russia.

The Iranian ambassador in Tbilisi, too, told IRNA that the Iranian foreign minister’s regional tour initiative was a turning point that will hopefully harbinger spectacular developments in line with strengthening the Caucasus region's peace and stability.


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