Pursuing neighborliness policy will realize national interests, expert says
The Scientific Secretary of the National Conference of Iran and Neighbors, referring to the strategy of the 13th Administration in expanding relations with neighboring countries, said: "By formulating and implementing the neighborliness policy, the national interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran will be achieved."
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The university professor described the pursuit of Iranophobia strategy by the enemies as an obstacle to expanding relations with neighbors and said: "Unfortunately, the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran in recent years, have sought to pose Iran as a threat to the neighbors. Some of the neighbors perceived unrealistically Iran as a threat based on their misunderstanding of the Islamic Republic.
He added: "Holding scientific events such as the National Conference of Iran and Neighbors can both correct that false narrative and give us the opportunity to draw real narratives and the goals and policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran."
The Secretary of the Operational Committee of the National Conference of Iran and Neighbors stressed: "Many misunderstandings are due to lack of proper knowledge of the Islamic Republic of Iran, while we also need fact-based knowledge of our neighbors and we must reach a common understanding based on which we identify and implement common goals and interests."
Defining neighborliness policy, Allameh Tabatabai University Professor of International Relations said: "Perhaps one of the most common definitions of developing relations with neighbors or prioritizing neighbors in foreign policy is based on common interests. In this sense, neighborliness policy means prioritizing neighbors and developing relationships with neighbors based on mutual understanding and securing common interests."
He added: "In my opinion, neighborliness policy is a kind of orientation in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran based on giving priority to neighbors and developing foreign relations with 15 neighboring countries and trying to create a convergence with them based on common interests."
The scientific secretary of the National Conference of Iran and Neighbors on the pathology of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in different periods stated: "In my opinion, perhaps one of the disadvantages of our foreign policy in the past has been that we have not defined our regional approach and it has usually been the case in previous administrations that relations with neighbors and regional policy and neighborliness policy are defined under the international relations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, ie relations with great powers and relations with trans-regional powers and us in exchange for it in the region."
The university professor said that in the thirteenth Administration, we are witnessing the priority of neighborliness policy and relations with neighbors and changing the approach of the past, said: Neighbors and neighborliness policy itself is important for the Islamic Republic of Iran. If we can strike a balance between international policy and our trans-regional policy and our regional and neighborliness policy, we will have taken an effective step towards realizing and securing the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Dehghani Firoozabadi, in explaining the requirements and strategies for implementing neighborliness policy and expanding relations with neighbors, emphasized: "In order to achieve neighborliness policy, we must have a strategic plan and strategic design, as well as a national planning."
The international affairs expert said: "Foreign policy is not limited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and different institutions play a role in it, but foreign policy based on the presence and role-playing of various institutions, its output should be national interests, so one of the requirements is that we need to have a clear strategy for neighborliness policy and a strategic design for it."
He added: "In my opinion, one of the important requirements of neighborliness policy and the development of relations with neighbors is peaceful coexistence. If we want to get closer to the countries of the region, we must work together on the basis of common interests and mutual respect, the first condition of which is peaceful coexistence. That is, while accepting disagreements, we have a relationship with each other."
Referring to some tensions and rivalries between Iran's neighboring countries, the professor of international relations said: "Conflict in international relations is a matter of course and natural. In fact, politics is the science of managing conflicting interests, but the difference between a sensible policy and an unreasonable policy is that we can reduce and even resolve these disputes peacefully. We must not allow tensions to escalate to a higher level, that is, we must not escalate conflict and crisis."
"Of course, this statement does not mean that we are indifferent to common threats, it is definitely one of the areas of cooperation of neighbors in dealing with common threats," he said, noting that in neighborliness policy, we should emphasize common interests instead of common threats. But I think what makes neighborliness policy stand out and sustainable is how we can work together on the basis of common interests. Because common interests are more sustainable than common threats."
He added: "Although not all the importance and necessity of neighborliness policy in the country is met through holding conferences, but one of the most effective formats and mechanisms is that we have conferences based on like-mindedness to reach a national consensus and then be able to move on the path of regional understanding."
Dehghani Firoozabadi, emphasizing that in this conference "the specific perception and definition of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on neighborliness policy" said: "We hope this conference can take an effective step in explaining the importance and highlighting this issue and at the scientific, educational and theoretical level. Because one of our goals is to produce literature on neighborliness politics, especially with an Iranian view of neighborliness politics and not based on the views of others. We hope that this conference and other conferences that take place in the form of policy recommendations will help to improve the processes and policies that are implemented in practice, and we can use these policies in practice and in the field of implementation."