Iran A Friend, Not Rival of Regional Countries: Larijani

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s parliament speaker who is in Oman on an official visit said his country is a proponent of Islamic unity and has extended the hand of friendship to neighboring countries.

Iran A Friend, Not Rival of Regional Countries: Larijani

In a Thursday meeting with Speaker of the Omani Advisory Council Sheikh Khaled bin Hilal bin Nasser Al Mawali,  Iran’s top lawmaker Ali Larijani said Tehran considers all regional countries as its friends and is not after competition with them.

“We have no sense of rivalry with regional countries as all of them are our friends and neighbors, although we suffered at the hands of some of them during the 8-year-long imposed war. We have a strategic view of our relations,” said Larijani, referring to the war (1980-1988) the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, imposed on Iran.

He urged regional states to set aside their differences and strive for Islamic unity, saying a powerful Israel could rob the whole region of peace and security.

Larijani also touched on Iran’s nuclear program and Oman’s support for his country’s nuclear rights, saying the West’s nuclear dispute with Iran could be resolved through dialogue.

“We will not give into bullying and believe that the nuclear issue can be resolved through negotiations, but some powers seek to incite political hue and cry,” said the Iranian official.

On November 24, Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain and the US - plus Germany signed an interim deal that they hope can put an end to a decade of standoff over Iran's nuclear energy program.

In exchange for Iran’s commitment to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities and allow for more inspections of its nuclear facilities, the six world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against the Islamic Republic and not to impose any new one during the six-month period, while also agreeing to let Iran access a small part of its frozen assets.

He also touched on the Syrian crisis, saying Iran believes in election and popular vote and those countries which assume the conflict could be settled through use of military force are “seriously mistaken.”

Mawali, for his part, praised the stable ties between Tehran and Muscat and said economic relations between the two countries must keep pace with the political relations.

Iran’s parliament speaker had a separate meeting with Chairman of Oman’s State Council Yahya bin Mahfoudh al-Manthri on Thursday,  during which he condemned measures taken by Takfiri groups in the Middle East and warned that regional crises could give breathing space to the Zionist regime.

Manthri also expressed satisfaction with Tehran-Muscat relations which are growing on the basis of the political, religious and geographical commonalities between the two Muslim nations.

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