Tehran:Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have warned that secessionist moves are not in the interests of the regional peace and stability, but rather to the detriment of nations.
“Some powers are applying their desires in the region to the detriment of nations,” Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with the Turkish leader on Thursday, the state news agency IRNA reported.
The two presidents were apparently referring to Iraqi Kurdish leaders’ decision to go ahead with a referendum on possible secession from the Arab country on September 25.
“Iran does not believe some of the separatist tendencies and problems that have arisen in the Persian Gulf region are ever for the sake of peace and stability in the region,” Rouhani said.
The central government in Baghdad is opposed to the vote and regional players like Iran and Turkey have also voiced alarm about its consequences, arguing that it could create further instability in the region.
In his conversation, Rouhani regretted insecurity and conflicts in some regional countries, stressing that Tehran and Ankara should more than before play a role in restoring peace to the region.
He also voiced dismay at recent developments in Myanmar, where Rohingya Muslims are fleeing their homes in the wake of a brutal military crackdown in the Rakhine state.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran does not brook oppression against Muslims in any place of the world and condemns it,” President Rouhani added.
The Turkish president, for his part, said he was confident that his country’s cooperation with Iran would grow under the new administration in Tehran.
He also expressed regret at the ongoing crackdown against Muslims in Myanmar and underlined the need for unity between Iran and Turkey to resolve regional issues.
Talks with Qatari emir
Separately on Thursday, Rouhani held another phone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, voicing Iran’s keenness to strengthen brotherly relations among the regional Muslim countries and boost ties with Qatar.
Tehran has already said it is ready to help resolve a diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the quartet of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt which have imposed a trade embargo on Doha.
Rouhani said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran regards what has been imposed on Qatar as unfair and a source of more tensions among the regional countries.”
Tehran, he said, does its best to cooperate with Qatar and help its nation and government cope with the situation for the sake of the regional stability.
The Saudi-led quartet has accused Qatar of supporting “terrorism,” which Doha rejects, contenting that it is being targeted for following a foreign policy line independent of Riyadh.
In his conversation with President Rouhani, the Qatari emir appreciated Iran’s principled stance on the “unfair sanctions.”
Sheikh Tamim said the Qatari nation and government will never forget Iran’s opposition to the sanctions and its decision to open the Iranian airspace and its sea and land borders to his country.