Iran sees greater Cyprus role in the region
The bilateral relations between Iran and Cyprus over the past decades have been of positive nature, and enjoy an expanding trend even though this mood has slightly suffered from unjust and unfair sanctions on the Iranian people.
However, despite these pressures, the two countries have maintained a good level of relations, expressing their interest in the promotion of cooperation. Signing agreements during the last year is a vivid illustration on the determination of both sides to provide a conductive ground for expansion of cooperation. With the new political and international perspective, we believe that everything is ready to boost the relation between two countries.
Regarding the role that Cyprus can play in the Middle East, we believe that all neighbouring countries are determinants of the future of this region, and any progress on this domain will reflect its effect onto all the surrounding countries. Cyprus as a member state of the EU is well located to play a crucially valuable role in maintaining peace and stability of the eastern Mediterranean and the wider Middle East.
ISIS is actually a symbol of extremism and barbarianism that has nothing to do with any religion, race, ethnic or geography. The crimes and atrocities committed by ISIS cannot be justified by any religious teaching. Should all countries express their disgust towards extremism and extremists by their deeds rather than words, this phenomenon and its elements will be dismissed.
The fight against extremism is a globally unifying challenge which calls for all countries’ participation. From the beginning, Iran has time and again renounced any form of extremism, and it’s well known that Iran was the only country that helped the Iraqi government to defend Baghdad against ISIS.
To our regret, there are countries with vested interest in chaos and tension in the Middle East that have mobilised all their financial and spiritual possibilities to help brew and create extremist groups helping with the establishment of such groups in the regions of interest.
The Cyprus issue and helping toward a solution has always been a matter of attention for Iran. The sad division of the island has cost Cypriots from both communities not only the peace, but also the prosperity of at least two generations.
As a friendly country to Cyprus, we are closely monitoring the resumption of the negotiations. The results-oriented approach and determination on both sides are promising signs and a matter of appreciation. The will and dedication of leaders of both communities to reach a durable agreement is unprecedented and we admire such efforts.
Dealing with such an old issue, perhaps interdependent with the new dimensions, the negotiating parties are quite naturally facing a number of technical problems that should be reviewed meticulously to finding a suitable solution for each one of them.
But with such dedication, we wish to believe that the final solution is achievable. The official position of Iran is clear, keeping close relations with both the Turkish and Greek communities, and using these relations to contribute towards reaching a sustainable and mutually agreed solution towards peace and prosperity for all Cypriots in a unified Cyprus.
Discovering new energy resources in Cyprus can definitely contribute to the prospective of hope and prosperity of this country more than ever.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, with great experiences in the field of exploration, drilling, and refining of oil and gas, and also training specialists in these fields can help Cyprus as a reliable partner.
During the February visit of Minister Lakkotrypis to Tehran, good negotiations were held between the officials of both countries, and I do hope we will be able to start our cooperation in this field.