Zarif advises regional states to exclude West in regional talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has advised the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region to exclude the West in regional talks, saying the U.S. and European powers are the causes of problems in West Asia.

“Dear neighbors, why ask US/E3 for inclusion in talks with Iran when: a) There won’t be ANY talks about OUR region with them as they’re the problem themselves. b) We can speak directly about our region without outside meddling,” Zarif wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.

He added that “Hormuz Peace Endeavor (#HOPE) is still on the table.”

Zarif also posted a similar tweet in Arabic earlier in the day.

“We are always ready for talks with our neighbors. The proposals, such as the 1986 regional security, the 2016 regional dialogue forum and the 2019 Hormuz Peace Initiative, show this,” the chief diplomat remarked.

The remarks came days after Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said the Persian Gulf countries must be “consulted” before the United States restores the Iran nuclear deal under the incoming administration of Joe Biden.

“Primarily what we expect is that we are fully consulted, that we and our other regional friends are fully consulted in what goes on vis-à-vis the negotiations with Iran,” he told AFP on the sidelines of a security conference in Bahrain’s Manama on Saturday.

The Saudi foreign minister also said such consultation would be the only path towards a “sustainable” agreement.

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