Iran launches charm offensive among wary Gulf Arabs

Iran's deputy foreign minister: The goal of this visit is "strengthening ties and developing cooperation in all the fields" with Iran's neighbors.

By REUTERS
July 26, 2015 14:30
2 minute read.
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif talks with reporters before meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva in January.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Iran's foreign minister began a charm offensive in the Gulf on Sunday to defend a nuclear deal seen by some Arab states as heralding greater Iranian support for armed groups and governments opposed to the hereditary monarchies.

Most Gulf Arab states are worried that Iran's July 14 accord with world powers will hasten detente between Tehran and Washington, emboldening Tehran to increase backing for Middle Eastern allies at odds with Gulf Arab countries.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, began a one-day, three-country tour by visiting Kuwait. He was due to go on to Qatar and then Iraq.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, accompanying Zarif, said the goal of this visit was "strengthening ties and developing cooperation is all the fields" with Iran's neighbors.

"The fight against extremism and violence as well as strengthening regional ties are a fundamental necessity to achieve sustainable development and security in the region," Amir-Abdollahian told Iran's state news broadcaster.

Most Sunni Muslim-ruled Gulf Arab states have long accused Tehran of interference in Arab affairs, alleging financial or armed support for political movements in countries including Bahrain, Yemen and Lebanon.

Shi'ite power Iran denies interference but says the nuclear deal will not change its policies in the region.



Ahead of his Gulf visit, Zarif said in a statement posted on his ministry's website late on Friday that Tehran would continue supporting its allies in Syria and Iraq to fight against militant group Islamic State.

Echoing that message in a speech on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on a visit to Iran's Kurdistan Province: "The Iranian nation supports all oppressed nations."

"If it wasn't for Iran, Erbil and Baghdad would have also fallen to the terrorists (of Islamic State) ... Just as we defended Dahuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah (in Iraqi Kurdistan), if any country in the whole region is a victim of aggression, the Iranian nation will defend the oppressed," Rouhani added.

Bahrain said on Saturday it had foiled an arms smuggling plot by two Bahrainis with ties to Iran and announced the recall of the Gulf island kingdom's ambassador to Tehran for consultations after what it said were repeated hostile Iranian statements.

Commenting on the allegation, Iranian deputy foreign minister Hassan Ghashghavi noted Bahrain's government disagreed with Iran's "support of oppressed people in their country."

"However we will continue doing so and we insist that the oppressed people of Bahrain need attention," he said.

Related Content

August 15, 2018
Iran Supreme Leader admits mistake regarding nuclear talks

By REUTERS