0754 GMT January 20, 2022
President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi on Sunday assured Iran’s neighbors and regional countries that US sanctions will have no bearing on regional cooperation.
“Cruel US sanctions against Iran are too small to undermine the Islamic Republic’s will to pursue a policy of maximum interaction with its neighbors and the region,” Raeisi said while addressing the 15th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit in Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat.
He said Iran is ready to do its utmost to contribute to the interest of the region which lies in beneficial cooperation and brotherly relationships among regional nations.
The president added that Iran’s support for the ECO and its activities is “unconditional”.
Raeisi called on ECO member states to work together in a range of fields, from the creation of a regional electricity market to water transfer projects as well as energy ventures, Press TV wrote.
He said Iran is ready to help connect the fiber optic networks of member states as well as promote artificial intelligence projects and virtual education programs.
Raeisi also proposed that the organization create an internal financial mechanism to boost its efficacy.
He said closer cooperation among the member states will help boost the efficiency of the Asian politico-economic organization.
“In addition to enjoying material features of power such as a population of half a billion, the ownership of one-third of the world’s energy resources, a unique position…, and young and powerful human resources, the ECO has a privileged identity called Islam,” he said.
Over the years, he added, good progress has been made in ECO, but there is still a significant gap between the achievements and the real capacities and capabilities of the organization.
He stressed that Iran, as an influential country, seeks to improve the level of cooperation within ECO and raise the status of the organization in international interactions.
“The Islamic Republic gives special priority to economic cooperation and partnership with Asian countries, especially its neighbors in West Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus,” he added.
“Many economic openings in ECO depend on the promotion of intra-regional trade. Iran is ready to play a greater role in trade liberalization in ECO and contribute to achieving this important goal by granting appropriate preferential tariffs,” the president said.
The ECO is an Asian political and economic intergovernmental organization which was founded in 1985 in Tehran by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. The organization has now 10 member states and provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade and investment opportunities.