Tabnak – After discussing a range of bilateral and regional issues in Kuwait, Iranian foreign minister stated an official tour to three Scandinavian countries, with economic and nuclear issues on the top of his agenda. The new diplomatic outreach comes against the backdrop of Washington’s increasing hostility toward the Islamic Republic.
At the first leg of a three-nation Scandinavian tour, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has arrived in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for high-level talks with European officials on ways to ease tensions in the West Asia region.
Speaking to reporters upon arrival in Helsinki, Zarif said "it is necessary to hold broad consultations" on ongoing tensions in the West Asia given the "special situation" of the region.
"Today the situation in our region is special, and broad consultations are needed on this issue. Today (Sunday) I was in Kuwait. I'm now visiting Finland, and then will head to Sweden and Norway at this stage. In the next phase, I'll visit a number of Asian countries and continue the talks with them," Zarif said.
"Especially ahead of the UN General Assembly in New York, it is necessary to work for such coordination given the currently special situation we have."
"Finland, Sweden, and Norway are all active in our regional issues; Sweden was responsible for the first Yemen summit, and Norway seeks to organize a summit on Afghanistan. So it is necessary to hold dialogue with these countries on regional issues as well," the Iranian top diplomat said.
Zarif pointed to an initiative for dialogue in the Persian Gulf set forth in the past by Finland, and said it is almost similar to the plan Iran has earlier raised.
"A few years ago I came here, Helsinki, and raised the initiative of a regional dialogue forum in the Persian Gulf, and the Finnish have always been interested in these issues," he noted.
Zarif raised the idea of a Regional Dialogue Forum for the first time in an op-ed article in The New York Times on April 20, 2015, where he argued that "the establishment of a collective forum for dialogue in the Persian Gulf region, to facilitate engagement, is long overdue."
In a meeting with Zarif on Monday, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto voiced his country’s support for INSTEX, a financial mechanism that the European Union has developed to maintain trade with Iran and bypass the US sanctions.
In the meeting, the Finnish minister said his country supports INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) --the payment channel that France, Germany and Britain have proposed to continue trade with Tehran and bypass the US embargoes-- in spite of the US pressure on European companies.
The two diplomats also talked about the latest developments relating to Iranian supertanker Adrian Darya, formerly known as Grace-1, which has been released by the government of Gibraltar more than a month after it had been captured by the British Royal Navy on suspicion of attempting to breach global sanctions against Syria.
Haavisto and Zarif further discussed the latest status of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), highlighted the necessity to expedite the implementation of INSTEX, and discussed the Persian Gulf security as well as Iran’s initiatives for regional dialogue.
Stressing the need for a “cognitive evolution” in the region, Zarif said Iran, which has the longest coastline among the countries bordering the Persian Gulf, is ready to ensure the security of the region.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.