Rouhani Urges Cooperation in Middle East to Calm Tensions

TEHRAN ( Iran News ) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani highlighted Tehran’s willingness to maintain close ties with all regional countries, calling for cooperation to ensure peace and relieve tensions in the Middle East. In a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi, held in Tehran on Sunday evening, Rouhani said Iran is willing to have close relations with all regional countries, adding, “We believe that division in the Islamic community is not beneficial to anyone and we completely welcome Pakistan’s efforts for promoting regional peace and stability in this regard.” Rouhani also referred to the fragile conditions of the region, saying, “In the current conditions, we must all make cooperation with each other to establish peace and stability and ease tensions in the Middle east.” Rouhani also emphasized that war and tensions in the region could be very dangerous, stating, “The Islamic Republic of Iran, while fully prepared to defend its own interests, has never sought to ignite a war in the region, so the operation against the American base was in fact a response to America’s criminal act.” “Today, we must all believe that dialogue and close cooperation among Muslim nations and governments in the region are for everyone’s benefit and that they will suffer from any kind of division, conflict, and war,” the president’s official website quoted him as saying. Highlighting the importance of closer relations between Tehran and Islamabad, the president added, “The Iran-Pakistan borders should be borders of peace and friendship and we must not allow some groups to make our borders insecure.” Iran is fully prepared to develop close relations with Pakistan in all fields, Rouhani underlined, adding, “Relations with Pakistan are very important for Iran and we attach great importance to the development of relations with this country.” The president went on to appreciate the Pakistani government’s sympathy for the martyrdom of Iranian commander Lt.