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IRAN’S ZARIF PITCHES GULF SECURITY PLAN TO NEIGHBOURS

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif pitched the Islamic republic's Gulf security plan to neighbouring nations on Thursday, saying regional security cannot be provided by foreign powers.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced the plan at the UN General Assembly last month, calling on Gulf nations including arch-rival Saudi Arabia to join it but without giving details.

In an article published on Thursday in Arabic by Kuwait's Al Rai daily, Zarif said that the plan, named Hormuz Peace Endeavour, offered the chance of "expansive security" and cooperation between Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

Cooperation could include areas such as a regional non-aggression pact, combatting terrorism, cybersecurity, energy and freedom of navigation, Zarif said.

"In order to save the region from the edge of ruin, we feel the necessity of realising a new discourse more than ever," he wrote in the article, a translation of which was provided by his ministry.

"The fate of the people and nations of the Gulf is entwined ... either everyone benefits from security in the region or everyone will be deprived of it," Zarif said.

Arab states have scoffed at the idea of a non-aggression pact since they point out that they have never acted aggressively towards Iran.

In fact, they say, that it is Iran that is fomenting strife and sectarianism in the region.

Source: National News Agency

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