Iran’s UN Ambassador Proposes Persian Gulf Nations’ Dialogue Mechanism To Avert War
May 21, 2019 (EIRNS)—Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, has proposed a mechanism by which dialogue among the nations of the Persian Gulf region can be opened to address the issues among them, especially in the current circumstances where war is a real possibility. In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, published by the Tasnim News Agency, Ravanchi states:
“If the issues are not thoroughly addressed, the eruption of any possible conflict will soon cross over from the regional level and will definitely have serious and extensive implications on international peace and security.”
“The only solution is in fact the adoption of a win-win approach through active engagement.... Accordingly, in view of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the current complex security environment in the region can be eased and ultimately addressed exclusively through constructive engagement and dialogue between the littoral States of the Persian Gulf.”
Ravanchi points out that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called for the establishment of a collective forum for dialogue in the Persian Gulf region to facilitate engagement that is long overdue.
“By promoting understanding, regional dialogue can lead to agreement on a broad spectrum of issues, including confidence- and security-building measures; combatting terrorism and violent extremism; and ensuring freedom of navigation and the free flow of energy,”
he further states. “It eventually can include more formal non-aggression and security cooperation arrangements.”
Ravanchi specifies that the dialogue could be organized under paragraph 8 of Security Council resolution 598 (1987), which entrusted to the Secretary-General to examine “measures to enhance the security and stability of the region,” which was adopted at the time of 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.
Curiously, former U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Peter Westmacott also suggests activating that same paragraph. “Why not look again at the idea of all the regional powers, under UN auspices, coming together with a view to lowering tensions?” Westmacott asks in an op-ed published in Britain’s Guardian daily at about the same time as Ravanchi’s letter. He cites a May 14 op-ed in the New York Times, jointly written by Abdulaziz Sager, a Saudi Arabian academic, and Hussein Mousavian, a former Iranian nuclear negotiator, in which they argue that “the time for the region’s two big rivals to sit down and try to bury the hatchet might just might have come. So much is at stake that it’s surely worth a try.”
The conditions for such an open and direct dialogue, not only among Iran and Saudi Arabia, but also including the United States, still don’t exist at present, according to the Iranian government. President Hassan Rouhani stated last night: “Today’s circumstances are not suitable for negotiations at all, as our conditions today are those of resistance and fortitude,” he told a group of clerics on Monday night, May 20, reported Tasnim. He emphasized the need for unity and consistence to overcome the challenges in the face of economic warfare by the U.S. and he vowed that his administration will go down in history for not being the starter of a conflict, despite U.S. attempts at confrontation.