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    Tehran Welcomes Russia's Concept for Persian Gulf Security - Iranian Foreign Minister

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iran welcomes Russia's initiative on Persian Gulf security and is ready to sign a non-aggression pact with its neighbours, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday.

    "As for the Persian Gulf security, our stand is really close to the Russian stand. I believe security can be ensured through cooperation and synergy, not resilience ... We have heard [taken note of] Russia's initiative for regional security. We welcome the initiative ... We are also ready to sign a relevant agreement, a non-aggression pact with our neighbours in the Persian Gulf. So, we welcome Russia's concept ... and encourage our Russian friends to move further on the matter", Zarif said after talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

    In response, the Russian diplomat stressed that both Moscow and Tehran are interested in seeing Persian Gulf countries agree on mutually acceptable ways to stabilise the situation in the region.

    In this photo taken on Aug. 15, 2016, a Russian Tu-22M3 bomber stands on the tarmac at an air base near Hamedan, Iran
    © AP Photo / WarfareWW
    In this photo taken on Aug. 15, 2016, a Russian Tu-22M3 bomber stands on the tarmac at an air base near Hamedan, Iran

    "Both we and the Islamic Republic of Iran are interested in seeing all the sides, all the countries, all the coastal nations of the Persian Gulf and their international partners, agree on mutually acceptable ways to ensure security in this region, which is the world's top-important region", Lavrov said, describing Iranian and Russian initiatives on the matter.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry unveiled in late July, amid US-Iranian tensions in the region, the Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf Region, proposing a "renouncement of permanent deployment of troops of extra-regional states" in the Gulf. The concept promotes multilateralism as the core of the new security system in the region.

    Relations between Washington and Tehran have deteriorated since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear agreement, last spring and re-instated sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

    A year after that, Iran responded by suspending some obligations under the accord and vowed to proceed with abandoning commitments under the treaty every 60 days.

    In the meantime, the US also deployed additional troops near Iranian borders and created a maritime coalition to escort ships near Strait of Hormuz.

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    Tags:
    security concerns, Persian Gulf, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Sergei Lavrov, United States, Iran, Russia
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