Facing an increasingly hostile US approach aimed at isolating Iran in the international scene, the Islamic Republic is once again mulling the development of ties with the Eastern countries as an alternative foreign policy strategy. The new “Look East” policy is now seriously in the making in Iran’s expert and policy making circles.
کد خبر: ۸۳۴۸۷۳
تاریخ انتشار: ۲۶ شهريور ۱۳۹۷ - ۱۷:۲۴ 17 September 2018

Tabnak – Facing an increasingly hostile US approach aimed at isolating Iran in the international scene, the Islamic Republic is once again mulling the development of ties with the Eastern countries as an alternative foreign policy strategy. The new “Look East” policy is now seriously in the making in Iran’s expert and policy making circles.

In this vein, two former Iranian ambassadors to Central Asian and Caucasian nations emphasized the significance of orientation toward the East in the long-term foreign policy agenda, noting that the East is not limited to a few states but embraces a broader concept in face-off with the West.

In comments at a gathering in Tehran on September 15, held to discuss Iran’s foreign policy strategies, the country’s former envoy to the Republic of Azerbaijan Mohsen Pakayeen said it is necessary for Tehran to stick to the policy of orientation to the East in order to counter US unilateralism.

He underlined that Iran should turn the provisional strategy of alliance with the East into a long-term approach, explaining that Iran holds the “pivot to Asia” view rather than using the Western categorization of the Near, Middle and Far East. Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent which is significant for the Islamic Republic in many ways, Pakayeen added.

Elsewhere in the meeting, Seyed Rasoul Mousavi, Iran’s former ambassador to Finland and Tajikistan, explained that the focus on the East is not a geographical concept, stressing that Russia, China, India and even Latin America are included in such a strategy for standing against the West.

The Islamic Republic used to employ the orientation to East policy as an “emergency tactic” whenever the West distanced itself from Iran, while it now needs to turn that policy into a “long-term and effective strategy”, he underlined. Mousavi added that orientation to the East is not the one and only strategy available, but such a policy should be adopted in addition to other ones.

Also at the same meeting, 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 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.

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, Ayatollah 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.”

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