At a joint press conference with his visiting Ghanaian counterpart Hanna Tetteh in the capital, Tehran, on Tuesday, the top Iranian diplomat called for concerted efforts by all regional countries to counter extremism and sectarianism.
He also expressed the Islamic Republic’s willingness to cooperate with regional players on the issue of terrorism, saying Tehran and Riyadh have a common interest in dealing with violence in the region.
Zarif referred to regional issues as a priority in Iran’s foreign policy and said, “The policy of comprehensive economic and security development for all regional countries is always on our agenda.”
‘Africa: An important priority’
Elsewhere in his comments, Zarif said the Islamic Republic attaches significance to its ties with Africa, adding, “Since [the victory of] the Islamic Revolution, we have considered Africa to be an important continent, and believe we have many commonalities.”
The Iranian minister said Ghana bore an emotive value for Iran as it supported the Islamic Republic at the United Nations Security Council during the Iraqi war on Iran in the 1980s.
Ghana “set a good precedent by supporting our people’s right and struggle against occupation and invasion,” he said.
Zarif also said he will pay a visit to West Africa in the near future, adding that Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama has also been invited by his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to visit Iran in the next seven months.