Ex-diplomat: America must support Iran’s regional dialogue initiative
– Iranian former senior diplomat Seyyed Hossein Musavian said at Virtual Conference of Canadian League for Peace and Democracy that bilateral and multilateral dialogues are necessary for restoration of peace and stability in Middle East and America, as a UNSC member must therefore support Iran’s regional dialogue initiative.
Musaviam who was speaking at the virtual event, titled ‘Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council during Biden’s Tenure’ said on Monday that the Middle East is currently suffering from three types of disputes, adding, “They include the tension among Iran and the PGCC member states, a sample of which was the tension between Iraq and the PGCC when Saddam invaded Kuwait, and another one was the tension between Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, on the one side and Qatar on the other side.”
In the virtual conference in which in addition to Musavian, who is now a professor at the American Princeton University, there were Ilan Goldenberg, the head of Middle East Desk of the Center for New American Security, Al-Bastam al-Kutubi, the head of UAE’s Center for Political Thoughts, and Oman University Professor Abdullah Abud, there were participants from about a hundred world countries.
The conference was chaired by the head of Iran Studies Think-Tank of the American Atlantic Council, Barbara Slavin.
Musavian meanwhile referred to eight bitter realities in Persian Gulf littoral countries’ relations, namely Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, including lack of trust, feeling threats, misconceptions, complaints, accusations, blaming, enmities, lack of proper comprehension, and reciprocal mistakes.
The former Iranian ambassador in Germany reiterated that the eight Persian Gulf littoral states are faced with two options in shaping up their future relations, “The first one is keeping up the current confrontation status, which has existed during the past couple of decades based on enmity, whose result is lose-lose for every country, leading to a loser region result in the long run, while the second one is peace and cooperation, in which the eight countries must work together for establishment of peace and cooperation, based on making six moves,”
He said that among them, the mutual blame game must end, proper cognition about reciprocal threats must be achieved, whether those threats are real, or just imaginary, and bilateral and multilateral dialogues must take place.
“The countries need to pave the simultaneous path of bilateral and multilateral dialogues and in their multilateral dialogues, too; and they also need to establish an eight-sided council for holding dialogues,” said the Princeton University professor.
Musavian said that the other move aimed at restoration of peace and stability in the Persian Gulf region is mutual trust building moves, which can begin with moves aimed at uprooting Corona, and lead to greater moves, such as cooperation aimed at achieving peace in Yemen.
He said that the sixth move is establishment of diplomatic relations, arguing that currently the establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran, Saudi Arabian and Bahrain should be in the focus of attention.
The Iranian former senior diplomat reiterated that in the long run such relations are in need of roadmaps, which might be the most important move. As they say, all’s well that ends well, and that could be the establishment of a comprehensive Persian Gulf cooperation and security system.
Musavian said that such a system can resolve all the existing worries of the entire member countries, establish mutual trust aimed at securing mutual interests, establish equal status in bilateral ties, establish respect for territorial integrity and recognition of each country’s international borders, ensure lack of interference in each other’s internal affairs, and secure collective commitment to peaceful resolving of all disputes.
“In addition, refraining from resorting to force, or threatening the others, confronting sectarianism, respecting the Vienna Convention on diplomatic immunity, security of diplomats and the diplomatic centers, campaign against terrorism, negating hegemony and domineering status of any country in the region, ensuring the naval security of the Persian Gulf and safe transfer of energy, and clearing the region from weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are among the other necessary moves in a cooperation and security council of the Persian Gulf.
Most of the participants at the virtual conference welcomed Musavian’s proposals, but the UAE analyst expressed suspicion on Iran’s real intentions and readiness for establishment of such ties with its southern Persian Gulf neighbors.
In response to the chairman’s question on Biden Administration’s role in such relations, Musavian said that the UN Security Council, that is in charge of securing the internaitonal peace and stability is the highest world authority for the purpose.
More than 100 participants from different countries were present at the virtual event, one of whom asked Musavain, “Will such a council’s establishment be possible without former recognition of Israel’s legitimacy?” He further asked, “What is Iran’s status regarding the Abraham Agreement on establishment of peace between Israel and some Arab countries?”
The Iranian former senior diplomat said that Iran will not recognize the legitimacy of Israel, will keep on supporting the Palestinians, and is opposed to some neighbors’ peace agreements with Israel, but meanwhile, if a collective cooperation and security council based on opposing interference of countries in each other’s affairs and respecting all countries’ sovereignty will be established, the relations among the eight littoral countries of the Persian Gulf should not be tied to relations of each of them with other sides.
“The type of Iran’s relations with such countries as Syrian, China and Russia, or the Arab countries relations with America and Israel must not be obstacles for restoration of peace and stability among the Muslim littoral countries of the Persian Gulf,” he said.
He said that no foreign country should be allowed to have military presence in the Persian Gulf and the eight countries in the region must ensure the region’s security all on themselves, as their past history shows they are quite capable of doing so.
The UAE’s Al-Bastam Kutuabi said during the last minutes of the Internaitonal conference, “We fear Iran’s missile and have to keep on hoarding arms and musicians to confront that treat.”
Both American participants in the conference, Ms. Slavin and Mr. Goldenberg responded that the security concerns of “all countries” need to be respected.
They said that Iran, too, has security concerns as its Arab neighbors have stockpiled lots of advanced armories, and therefore, Iran’s improvement of its missile defense capabilities is a logical response to that.
“If limitations to conventional arms are to be exposed, it should be for all counties in the region, and if some countries are capable of accruing advanced conventional arms, such as fighter jets, all of them should be provided the chance to do so,” said Goldenberg.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA