Speaking to IRNA on Friday about the 13th government’s foreign policy to strengthen relations with its neighbors, Nusratullah Tajik said: “Prioritizing strengthening relations with neighbors is a positive thing in itself, but it requires a coherent and workable action plan because governments They have pursued this in the past but have not been successful in all areas.
The senior expert on regional issues added: “In addition to the program, strengthening relations with neighbors requires the political will of both sides and efforts to understand the concerns of the other side and provide grounds for trusting joint cooperation.” In the past, this issue has always faced challenges, and in some cases, the political will was not formed in us, and in other cases, the parties did not have the political will to improve relations.
Iranophobia prevents the strengthening of relations with neighbors
Referring to the efforts of the enemies of the Islamic Republic to create Iranophobia, Tajik said that in order to improve relations with its neighbors, Iran’s policies need to be properly translated and explained to the people and governments of the region to understand that we seek peaceful coexistence. Achieve this goal by using public diplomacy to build trust.
The former Iranian ambassador to Jordan also pointed to the structural problems of the region to improve relations and added: “Some of Iran’s neighbors, especially the countries on the southern shores of the Persian Gulf, have Iranophobia and consider improving the Islamic Republic’s relations with the world to their detriment.” have. To reduce Iranophobia and build trust in these countries, we need to create social, political, security, economic, cultural and civilizational contexts so that we can connect with the people and government of these countries.
Tajik likened the countries of the region to the passengers of a ship, adding: “We need comprehensive solutions to resolve disputes and improve relations in a way that takes into account the interests of all countries in the region and can play a win-win game for all.”
“Having 15 neighbors is an advantage for the country,” he said. “Each of our neighbors has different political, economic, cultural and social advantages, and we can benefit from working with them.”
He called the centralized administrative and sectarian system an obstacle to strengthening the Islamic Republic’s relations with other countries, especially border provinces with neighbors, and said: “The economies of neighboring countries can complement Iran’s economy and the two sides can use each other’s capabilities, but at the same time should not be hoped. That the neighbors can solve all our problems because they also face their limitations and requirements.
The need for social and historical commonalities with neighbors
Tajik called the creation of opportunities for expanding political, economic, social and cultural co-operation with neighbors the most necessary step in this direction, saying: “If we do not have an effective foreign policy with proper foreign arrangements and interactions, we will not be able to make good use of our neighbors’ capacity.” . So it is a set of issues that can move our economy forward. At the same time, we should not neglect the other capacities that exist in the world and focus only on the capacities of our neighbors and be satisfied with the regional balance.
The senior expert reminded the strategic issues, historical, civilizing and cultural depth of Iran and said: “Because of the historical depth that we have, we can claim that we have socio-cultural commonalities with all neighbors and different capacities for cooperation.” It is important that a strong will is formed to use these capacities in the various decision-making apparatuses.
He continued: “In the past, less attention was paid to the cultural, social and historical commonalities of the nations of the region and we were unaware of these issues, but the reality is the relative homogeneity of civilizational and cultural fields as well as common dangers such as terrorism, environmental problems and poverty.” They are a good platform for cooperation between the economic, political and security sectors of the countries in the region.
Oil is a major obstacle to using the neighbors’ capacities
“We have to interact with the world to sell oil,” Tajik said, noting that the country’s monopoly and dependence on oil sales are a major obstacle to using the capacity of neighboring countries. So in the current situation, working with neighbors alone is not enough, although it can alleviate our pain and problems and challenges, but it can not solve it.
“In addition to working with our neighbors, we need to solve international problems because using direct financial channels with our neighbors cannot meet our foreign exchange needs alone and completely,” he said.
Tajik called for a comprehensive view of the 13th government’s foreign policy, adding that maximizing the country’s interests depends on maintaining stability and security in the region and working with all countries. In this regard, it is necessary not to polarize the region. But at the same time, strengthening non-oil exports to neighboring countries and refraining from selling crude and using the capacity of mines, petroleum products, tourism and agriculture can reduce our economic dependence and better guarantee the country’s political independence.
He reminded: we should not miss any opportunity for countries to get closer to each other. In that case, we will prepare the conditions for the intervention of powers outside the region. The most important principle in this regard should be to solve the problems of the region with foresight, comprehensiveness and joint cooperation.
The former Iranian ambassador to Jordan added: “The continuation of the current situation in the region will lead to more capital outflows and its conversion into weapons, and as a result increase in the general poverty of the people in the region, which will lead to a difficult life for all.” And it is unlikely that we will see the growth and development of the region in the coming decades, and this will only fuel regional insecurity and instability.