Rouhani’s Trip to Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan / By HASSAN FATHI

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in Armenia on the first leg of his tripartite tour of Commonwealth of Independent States. According to the President, close relations with neighboring countries will enhance national security and greater bilateral trade ties. Iran’s 11th Administration is intent on building strong ties with neighbours. Iran is also stretching out a friendly hand towards the world. Considerable efforts have focused on this policy throughout its tenure. Russia and Turkey are other examples of the same policy.
Iran must cement ties with friends and all-comers in order to move ahead. Many nations, on the other hand, isolate themselves and shun the opportunity to integrate and cooperate. It may be to preserve secrets or guard against infiltrators. In certain cases, neighbours feel threatened and keep the offending party at bay: But the current global climate doesn’t tolerate loners and moaners.
In the modern context where national interest and trade play a prominent role, friendly ties and cooperation yield better results. The logical way forward is to extend a friendly hand to anyone in the immediate vicinity and further a-field.
Prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, Iranian frontiers with its northern neighbor stretched thousands of kilometers: The Commonwealth of Independent States changed all that. Ample opportunities abound for bilateral trade and cooperation. Friendship with these countries is vital in order to capitalize on the new order. Our counterparts are equally eager to work with us.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a good platform to begin. The world has been receptive and ready to trade, cooperate and invest in our country.
International trade on the one hand and cooperation with our neighbours ushered in a new age of security and prosperity. The former administration which kept the world at bay and threatened global security failed abysmally to develop the country. The entire world opposed Iran’s bellicose rhetoric and actions. The era of friendship and cooperation with the outside world gave Iran prestige, brought security to the region and developed the country. Dialogue and diplomacy led to reciprocal stance from the world and brought an end to our isolation.

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