Muscat: The close relations between Iran and Oman are poised to attain greater heights.
Speaking to the media on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Ali Akbar Sibeveih, Iran's new ambassador to Oman said his country seeks to improve and strengthen political, cultural and economic cooperation with the Sultanate.
Hailing the Oman–Iran relationship, the ambassador said, "This is based on confidence, respect, and interest shown by both sides. The relationship between the two countries is very strong and will grow further in the future. The wisdom shown by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said in dealing with all issues is admirable."
He added, "Oman is playing a positive role in the region to strengthen security and stability. We hope that all countries in the region will follow His Majesty's policy."
The ambassador also said that Iran is looking forward to working with all countries in the world, except Israel.
Sibeveih said, "Our policy is to strengthen our relationship with all the countries of the world, except Israel. All countries should share their views, based on justice, to manage world affairs. We believe in mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of any country."
On US Vice-President Joe Biden's statement that the United States is prepared to meet Iranian leaders to discuss Tehran's nuclear programme, the ambassador remarked, "Our foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, has hailed Biden's statement as a positive step forward. The United States has realised that conflict with Iran has no benefit. I believe they have chosen the right path."
Rejecting claims that Iran is secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons programme, Sibeveih stated, "From the beginning, we have maintained that Iran's nuclear energy programme is completely peaceful. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has visited Iranian sites more than a 100 times. We have assured them that we are not abusing the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has no problem with the IAEA, but we do have a problem with the West pressuring the agency."
He also reminded the media that Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei had issued a fatwa that forbids nuclear weapons.
"So we are very serious when we say this. Besides, during the war against Iraq, we had chemical weapons, which we had obtained from the Shah Regime, but we did not use these weapons. We use atomic energy only in the field of medicine, agriculture, and science," he explained.
On Iran's relationship with Palestine, the envoy noted, "Since the first day of the Islamic Revolution, Iran has supported Palestinians. We gave the building of the Israeli Embassy in Tehran to Palestine (making it the Embassy of Palestine). Remember, Iran is the first country to recognise the Palestinian representative as an ambassador."
Dismissing rumours that Iran supports certain groups in the region, he remarked, "All these reports are false propaganda against Iran. It is similar to the news of a boat carrying weapons from Iran being captured by Yemeni authorities. The Yemenis were not able to furnish any proof on this matter."
About Iran's view of countries affected by the Arab Spring, Sibeveih stated, "They have to be careful in their efforts since some foreign countries are creating instability and instigating riots in these countries."
On whether Iran is trying to control Iraq, the ambassador said, "This is not true. In 1982, during our war with Iraq, when I was in Tunisia as the ambassador of Iran, the media used to say that Iran had attacked Iraq at the request of Israel. At that time, people may have believed this propaganda, but now, people don't believe such reports."