Iran rejects sectarianism as basis of its foreign policy: Former envoy

Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Iran rejects sectarianism as the basis of its foreign policy and believes in Muslim unity worldwide, Iran’s former ambassador Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour said Wednesday. “Iran by no way looks for rivalry and competition on sectarian basis with any other country,” said Sajjadpour, the Head of Tehran- based Centre for International Research and Education in response to a question on Iran’s relations with Saudi Arabia.
Speaking at a public talk on ‘Iran and its surroundings’ organized here by Institute of Strategic Studies, Sajjadpour, who has the status of Iran’s deputy foreign minister and is currently on a visit to Islamabad, rejected the impression that sectarianism was the major building-block of Iran-Saudi relations.
“You cannot find a single statement by Iran which shows that it supports sectarian policy,” asserted Sajjadpour, who has also previously served as Iran’s deputy ambassador at United Nations in Geneva.
Sajjadpour said linking conflict between two countries as sectarianism was a “strategic misintention” on behalf of some international elements, for which, he said lot of foreign investment was being poured-in.
He mentioned that similarly, the Iran-Iraq conflict was also given the angle of sectarianism internationally. However, he expressed displeasure over Saudi Arabia’s growing relations with Israel, asserting that aligning with Zionists was not “digestible” for Muslim world in view of the latter’s 60-year-long oppression on Palestinians.
Sajjadpour said Iran’s relations with Pakistan were based on “solid foundation” and appreciated Pakistan’s support for Iran’s security concerns.
When sought comments on Iran’s position on plight of Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir, he said, “We condemn any inhuman behaviour, anywhere in the world”. On Iran’s close ties with India and its impact on Pakistan, he said Iran-Pakistan relationship was “independent of other factors”.
Iranian ambassador Mehdi Honordoost speaking on Pak-Iran ties said there was an immense improvement in terms of materialization of development projects.
He mentioned that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, power transmission line and cooperation between the two business chambers were significant projects, however stressed that bilateral trade deserved more attention in accordance with the potential of good neighbourly relations. Former ambassador Khalid Mehmood stressed not to let foreign powers influence the relationship between Pakistan and Iran.

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