(Photo credit: Reuters)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has urged regional nations to be cautious of Israel, warning them of Israel’s aim to gain a greater foothold in the region.
In a phone call between Raisi and Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan on 1 June, Raisi said Israel is not an ally to any of the countries in the region, and highlighted Israel’s “unprecedented” acts of oppression against the people of Palestine.
Raisi also reiterated Tehran’s efforts to help resolve the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is deeply committed to the point that regional issues must be resolved through consensus and cooperation among all countries in the region and on the basis of common interests and mutual respect,” Raisi added.
Armenian and Azeri officials announced last month that their respective nations would set up delimitation commissions and strengthen border security, as a step towards resolving the territorial disputes.
Tehran’s efforts to ensure regional security have been apparent in recent months. On 30 May, the president of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, was welcomed in Tehran to sign several cooperation agreements.
During the joint press conference, Raisi stated that the two countries agree on the need for all foreign occupying military forces to withdraw from West Asia.
“We believe that the presence of foreigners in the region has not and will not provide security in any way,” the Iranian leader said.
According to Raisi, Tehran has given up hope on the west and is relying on the Iranian people to achieve political and economic independence.
In a speech commemorating the 43rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on 11 February, Raisi said his administration’s foreign policy is built on balance, while implicitly condemning previous “look west” policies that have “caused imbalance in the country.”
“We must pay close attention to all countries, particularly our neighbors. But we have hope in God and in the people, which we never had in Vienna or New York,” he stated.
Foreign currency reserves generated by Iranian exports of oil, gas, and petrochemicals went up by more than 60 percent between 21 March and 21 May, as reported by the Iranian oil ministry’s news agency Shana.
The economic growth felt by the Islamic Republic comes after a major shift in Iranian economic policy, which combines both foreign and domestic policies.