Iran's look to East policy doesn't impede cooperation with rest of world: Ex-diplomat

Tehran, IRNA – A former Iranian diplomat said that the Look to East policy didn’t mean not to work with other countries and Tehran may have good ties with the West if they stop being hostile towards Iran.

In interview with IRNA on Monday, former Iranian Ambassador in Azerbaijan Republic Mohsen Pakaein said that Iran’s permanent membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was so important for the entity due to Iran’s rich natural sources and its stabilizing power.

That means that both sides enjoy the benefits of the membership and can mutually use their capacities, he explained.

Given the importance of security in today’s world and its relationship with economy, Iran’s ability in establishing peace and stability in the region and in its southern waterways as well as Iran’s strong fight against terrorism and drug trafficking is important to the regional organization, the former diplomat noted.

Pakaein also said that Iran could enjoy preferential tariff agreements with the member states of the SCO to facilitate trading with them.

Member states like China, India, and Pakistan are high energy consumers and willing to import Iran’s oil and gas, he said, adding that, on the other hand, Iran seeks to enjoy foreign investments from China, Russia, and India, as they have also made investments in different sectors of Iran.

He also pointed to Iran’s role in transportation as the connecting point of eastern, central, western Asia, as well as Africa and Europe, which can be an appealing area of cooperation for the SCO.

The former Iranian ambassador to Zambia, Uzbekistan, Thailand, and Azerbaijan Republic also underlined that the SCO membership does not mean Iran didn't seek cooperation with other countries.

Iran could have good ties with Europeans if they adopt mutual respect approach, he elaborated, but due to its established animosity with Iran, the US is an exception .

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