Tue, 25 Jun 2019

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Senior Iranian official Ali Akbar Velayati provided an analysis of the Islamic Republic's policy of orientation towards the East, saying Russia and China are Iran's major political and economic partners in countering the US plans.

Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, addressed a press conference in Tehran on September 15, held to discuss Iran's foreign policy strategies.

In the session, he said the contemporary East is no more like the ideological East that used to exist decades ago, noting that the communist Kremlin has collapsed and a democratic Russia has emerged.

Stressing the need for Iran's "strategic view" about the East, Velayati said the entire world has now the same outlook.

Asked about the economic war against Iran, he said what matters most at the moment is the sale of oil, referring to China and India as Iran's two biggest oil customers.

China and Russia have guaranteed to purchase Iran's oil, Velayati added, saying efforts are underway to maintain the capacity of Iranian oil exports.

Hailing the close cooperation between Tehran and Moscow in the defense industry and nuclear energy projects, Velayati said Russian President Vladimir Putin had assured him in a recent meeting in Russia that Moscow stands by its powerful neighbor Iran.

Asked about Iran's purported focus on only Russia and China and negligence of ties with other Eastern states like Japan, Velayati said the Islamic Republic shapes its foreign policy according to priorities.

He said Russia has a heavy political weight and has vetoed a proposed anti-Iranian UN Security Council resolution on Yemen, while China is of greater significance in economic and trade terms.

Highlighting Iran's openness to ties with the whole world, except with the US and Israel, Velayati said Europe seems to lack the power to act independently of the United States.

In comments in July, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei emphasized the necessity for diplomacy and enhanced foreign relations, saying, "Except for a few cases like the US, the country's relations with the East and the West must be further strengthened and diplomacy's operational and purposeful mobility should increase."

Back in May, Velayati explicated the policy of orientation towards East in order to counter the Western obstructive policies, saying it does not mean reliance on Russia at all.

"Every country goes ahead according to its national interests, however, we (Iran), Russia, and China have overlap of national interests in many cases, and can work together," he said.

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