Iran's priority is to de-escalate tension with its Gulf neighbours and increase cooperation, a foreign ministry spokesman has said. Nasser Kanaani's comments coincided with official statements from Saudi Arabia confirming that there is ongoing communication between Riyadh and Tehran paving the way for dialogue.
In a meeting with foreign military attaches in Iran, the Iranian spokesman said that supporting and ensuring the region's security is Iran's "principled" approach. He added that the results of this approach can be seen clearly in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and the South Caucasus.
Kanaani pointed out that Iran has held five rounds of Iraqi-mediated talks with Saudi Arabia with the aim of resuming bilateral relations. He also spoke of the positive measures being taken with Bahrain, and noted that relations with Oman and Qatar continue to strengthen, while trade relations between Iran and some countries in the region have increased by 500 per cent.
In closing, the Iranian official criticised foreign military presence in the Gulf, claiming that such presence destabilises the region's collective security.
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