Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Iran’s neighbors to cooperate in achieving common interests, following US President Donald Trump’s defeat in the presidential election.
“Trump is gone, and we and our neighbors will stay. Betting on foreigners does not bring security, and disappoints. We extend our hands to our neighbors to cooperate in achieving the common interests of our peoples and countries,” Zarif Tweeted in Arabic late on Sunday.
The top diplomat called on “everyone to embrace dialogue as the only way to end differences and tensions.”
He said Iran and its neighboring countries can “build a better future” for the region together.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday the US presidential election that ousted Trump bears a message for the regional countries, which would take the risk of clinching enormous arms deals with his administration in the hope of buying security.
The election carries a “great message” for the region, Khatibzadeh said at a press briefing that was being held via a videoconference.
He warned regional countries against “taking the gamble to buy security from psychopaths, who only think of money and arms.”
Khatibzadeh then reminded how Zarif had warned that taking such a risk was like “placing one’s eggs in an unsafe basket.”
In 2017, Trump signed a whopping $110-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia during his maiden foreign visit. Two years later, the US State Department approved weapons sales to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, Riyadh’s dedicated regional allies, worth almost $6 billion.
Observers say Trump’s loss in the polls has likely given rise to some questions about the future of these agreements and the quality of the regional countries’ US ties under his successor Joe Biden.
Notwithstanding the turnaround in the US leadership, “some neighboring countries are still thinking about buying security and loyalty and are focusing on lobbying operations in other countries,” Khatibzadeh said.
The spokesman noted how the Islamic Republic has constantly been extending its neighbors friendly gestures in order to prompt those countries that have isolated themselves from others to seek their way back to regional alliance and “pursue their calm in regional arrangements.”
Khatibzadeh also said that nothing will change between the Islamic Republic and the United States under Biden unless his administration takes three steps to correct America’s “wrong path”.
Decades-old tensions between Tehran and Washington have escalated since Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and began reimposing sanctions.
Biden has said during campaigning that he plans to embark on a “credible path to return to diplomacy” with Iran. He also raised the possibility of returning to the nuclear deal.
Khatibzadeh said that there was still enough time for the United States to “turn back from this wrong path”.
“We will certainly look closely at the actions and words of the next US administration,” he said.
“There are three important changes that must come to be before anything can happen,” he told a weekly news conference.
They entail a “change in the thought and mentality of US decision-makers, change in words and speech and the type of speech with the world and Iran, and (taking) correct actions, turning back from the wrong path and making up for the past.”
Khatibzadeh denied Iran has had any contact with the incoming US administration, and said Tehran would observe their actions rather than words.
“First, a government must be formed in the US and then take its own actions and we observe it,” he said.
Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said last week that the result of the November 3 presidential election in the United States would have “no effect” on Tehran’s policies toward Washington.
Reuters, AFP and Press TV contributed to this story.