Amir-Abdollahian to Al Mayadeen: We will not accept any Israeli influence in the Gulf
Al Mayadeen Network CEO Ghassan Ben Jeddou interviews Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the wake of Yemen’s seven years of war, Vienna talks, Lebanon's economic crisis, and the path of the Gulf-Iranian relations.
In an exclusive interview with Al Mayadeen's CEO Ghassan Ben Jeddou, Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian assured that Iran’s foreign policy is stable in terms of its political independence from both the West and the East.
Amir-Abdollahian stressed that President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration pursues smart diplomacy, openness, and effective cooperation with all countries, adding that “our foreign policy has steady tenets, but there may be differences in approaches between one government and another”.
“The Arab countries are an important part of the Islamic world, and we extend the hand of cooperation to various neighboring countries, most notably the Gulf countries,” he added.
Iranian-Saudi rapprochement: Ready for the 5th round of talks
On the Iranian-Saudi issue, Amir-Abdollahian told Al Mayadeen that relations with Saudi Arabia are not good, but Iran is not responsible for that, and has expressed its readiness for the fifth round of dialogue.
“Some contradictory and inappropriate behavior on the part of Saudi Arabia affects relations, including the execution of 81 Saudis,” he noted.
Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Saudi Arabia was the one to initiate cutting ties with Iran, confirming that Iran’s relations with most Arab countries are brotherly and good, including relations with Kuwait and the UAE.
“The Saudis do not want good relations with us, while we do not forget the martyrdom of 460 Iranian pilgrims in the Mina incident,” he said.
The top Iranian diplomat made it clear that despite Iran’s criticism of Saudi policies, it didn’t sever its relations with the kingdom.
The affairs of Yemen belong to the Yemeni people
Regarding the aggression on Yemen, Amir-Abdollahian confirmed to Al Mayadeen that Iran told the Saudis that the affairs of Yemen belong to the Yemeni people, affirming that linking everything that is happening in Yemen to Iran is erroneous.
“The Yemenis’ defense of their sovereignty is a matter of their own, but we welcome the cessation of the war and the lifting of the sanctions, and we won't neglect to work towards this direction,” he added.
Vienna talks: The ball is in the US' call
On the developments in Vienna Talks, Amir-Abdollahian said that all parties in the region will win if an agreement is reached in Vienna, adding that “we are approaching the point of consensus in the nuclear talks, but what is important for us is how sanctions will be lifted as well as guarantees.”
“In recent weeks, there have been the many US attempts to negotiate directly with us on the pending issues,” he stressed.
Amir-Abdollahian made it clear that if the Biden administration is serious, it must show goodwill before considering direct negotiations.
He went on to assure that Iran has informed the Western side that the US should prove goodwill by lifting one of the sanctions imposed on Iran.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he mentioned that he has traveled to Moscow and met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to obtain clarifications regarding the Russian demands, emphasizing that Moscow informed Tehran that it will support the nuclear agreement the moment it is reached.
“The ball is now in the Americans’ court with regard to the nuclear agreement,” he said.
The top Iranian figure added that the US was thirsty for a regional agreement in 2015 after the nuclear agreement was signed, stressing that all parties in the region will win if an agreement is reached in Vienna.
Egypt's potential influential role
On the Iranian-Egyptians relations, Amir-Abdollahian said that Egypt has a position in the Arab world that allows it to have an influential regional role.
He divulged that Iran was not very happy with what happened in Egypt following the “Arab Spring”, however, he assured that the Iranian policy is set on strengthening relations with Egypt on solid and balanced foundations.
“We do not forget Egypt's stance towards the Syrian issue, but there are common points with Egypt upon which we could build,” he added.
Regarding the Sharm el-Sheikh tripartite meeting, Amir-Abdollahian told Al Mayadeen that Iran considers any meeting with any Israeli official a betrayal of Al-Quds and Palestine.
“The meeting of Sharm El-Sheikh taking place immediately after President Al-Assad's visit to the UAE was not a good sign,” he said.
He added that the Arab countries' recognition of their wrong policies towards Syria is important.
“Zionist entity is in a very weak position”
The top Iranian diplomat stressed that Iran will never forget its red lines regarding the Palestinian cause in the framework of its good ties with the UAE.
“We will not accept any Israeli influence in the Gulf, and the peoples will reject normalization,” he added.
He went on to say that the Zionist entity is in a very weak position now and suffers from many issues.
Amir-Abdollahian told Al Mayadeen that the battle of Seif Al-Quds is a major turning point that has proven the weakness and fragility of the Israeli society.
Iran is ready to provide all aspects of assistance to Lebanon
Commenting on the economic crisis in Lebanon, Amir-Abdollahian reiterated Iran’s willingness to provide all aspects of assistance to Lebanon and its people to overcome the ongoing difficult crisis.
“We presented proposals to Lebanese officials to establish two power plants in the south and north, and to supply Lebanon with Iranian gas,” he added.
He went on to say that “we informed our friends in Lebanon that the US will not help them and will not allow others to help them”.
Regarding his meeting with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the top Iranian diplomat divulged that he informed Sayyed Nasrallah of the latest developments in the Vienna Talks and the matter of lifting sanctions.