Not after forming coalitions against others in region: Iran

Tehran

Iran says it is not bound to set up coalitions against other countries but rather pursues a policy that would contribute to regional peace. Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Sunday touched on the worrisome conflicts in the region, saying they originate from big mistakes made by world powers decades ago, among them an unconditional US support for Israel.
Asked whether Iran was open to the idea of forming a coalition with Iraq, Syria and Turkey to counter threats and solve crises in the region, Qassemi said what the Islamic Republic wants is to maintain peace and security.
“At the current juncture, the Islamic Republic, beside preserving its independence and creating necessary foundations for boosting and upgrading its position, has a positive outlook that would help security, peace and stability in the region,” he said.
“We have to want peace and stability for all; therefore, there is no need to build such a coalition against others,” Qassemi added.
For instance, “if our relations with Turkey or Azerbaijan are good, they won’t be against any other country,” the spokesman said.
“There is the difference of views and misunderstanding but in a coalition, we have to decide whom we are for or against because we can’t have dual behavior.”
Iran, Egypt likely to step up ties: Qassemi touched on Iran’s relations with other countries, including Egypt with which it has had no full diplomatic ties since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Bilateral cooperation between the two countries, he said, is at the level of interests sections, but they have exchanges of views and their foreign ministers have been in contact whenever necessary.
“It is possible to increase relations; we have special respect for the Egyptian people and its civilization,” Qassemi said.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi speaks at the office of Tasnim news agency in Tehran on July 16, 2017. The official said there are “complexities” in bilateral ties between Tehran and Cairo which they have not been able yet to solve in “a desirable fashion”, calling on Egypt to have “a more realistic look” at Iran.
“With prudence, Egypt can return to its past days and retake its superior place in the Islamic world,” Qassemi said, adding “Egypt is different from many newly-born countries in the region.—Agencies

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