Iranian envoy: Expansion of Turkey's interest in our favor
by Ali Ünal
ANKARAJun 20, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Ali Ünal
Jun 20, 2016 12:00 am
The Iranian ambassador to Ankara, Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian-fard said that Ankara and Tehran share the same thoughts about protecting Syria's territorial integrity and stressed that Iran supports the territorial integrity of all its neighbors. Speaking to Ankara bureau chiefs of news outlets at an iftar dinner over the weekend, Taherian-fard said that during his time in Ankara his main aim is to improve economic cooperation between Iran and Turkey. "We would like to increase cooperation between our private sectors to reach a trade volume of $30 billion, Taherian-fard said, adding that the expansion of Turkey's interests is in Iran's favor.
"We firmly believe that the expansion of Turkey's interest favors Iran. If you want to keep your home safe, your neighbors must be safe. Safety and development are closely connected," he said.
Pointing out that Turkey has stood by Iran in difficult times, he said that Iran looks to increase economic cooperation with Turkey, especially in energy. Regarding Syria's future, Taherian-fard said that Syrians must decide their own political future and that Turkey and Iran support maintaining the territorial integrity of Syria. Answering a question about Iran's thoughts on the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) administration in northern Syria, he said Iran supports the preservation of Syria's territorial integrity. He also said that he has not noticed any sign of a political shift in Ankara's position that would support claims Ankara might cooperate with Bashar Assad regime against the PYD. "We told our friends in Ankara that we are open to dialog on any matter," he added.
Underlining the importance of cooperation with Turkey against all kind of extremism, he said that rising extremism harms regional stability and Islam. "It's impossible to eradicate extremism if the leading Muslim countries are not able to develop a common discourse," he said. "DAESH is a virus. No one has the right to spill human blood in the name of God," he said.
He said he enjoys how close Turkish and Iranian cultures are and said he and his family feel at home in Ankara.