Iran after institutionalizing ties with SE Asia
Tehran, Signing of a document for joining Iran to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) is aimed at institutionalizing Tehran's relations with the Southeast Asian states, said a senior official at Iran's Foreign Ministry.
Director General of the Department of East Asia and Oceania, Mahmoud Farazandeh made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on the sidelines of a ceremony held to mark the 73rd anniversary of the Independence of Indonesia (August 17).
Commenting on the Iranian Foreign Ministry's plans for developing relations with South Asian states, Farazandeh said the Ministry has taken two approaches. First is to institutionalize bilateral ties with those countries and the second is to define necessary structures for achieving its goals.
Efforts should be made with respect to international atmosphere and the current developments, he added.
Accepting Iran's partnership at TAC has been stopped by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for many years, he said adding that Tehran, however, tried to join the body.
The document on Iran's joining to TAC was signed during Zarif's visit to Singapore where he attended the annual gathering of ASEAN's foreign ministers last month.
Signing the document was a preliminary step in institutionalizing bilateral relations with the South Asian states, he noted.
Unlike pressures from outside on the South Asian states to prevent maintaining cooperation with Iran, there are positive inclination toward having ties with our country, Farazandeh said.
He also urged government and the private sector to be homogeneous for promoting trade and economic relations.
Referring to the significance of working with international organizations, Farazandeh said signing the document to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was a major step to this end.
Elaborating on Iran oil purchase by the Southeast Asian countries, he said the main buyers of Iran's oil are China, India and Korea.
We are also monitoring these countries to see how to maintain ties with them, he added.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten Southeast Asian countries that promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration amongst its members and other Asian states.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA