“Our relations with Pakistan and Afghanistan are strategic and ties with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, and even Qatar are currently at the best level in the history of the Islamic Republic,” Zarif told Iranian lawmakers in an open session of the Parliament on Sunday.
He made the remarks after a lawmaker asked why Iran has not had sustainable diplomatic cooperation with its eastern and southeastern neighbors including Pakistan, according to IRNA.
Elaborating on Iran-Pakistan ties, the foreign minister said there is no confusion in Tehran's relations with Islamabad.
Despite some problems in bilateral relations, which are due to the regional situation and the interference of foreign powers, Iran enjoys good cooperation with Pakistan, Zarif stressed.
Referring to Iran’s diplomacy toward Afghanistan, he said, “Iran-Afghanistan relations continue based on specific policies.”
Zarif said Iran's policy on Afghanistan focuses on peace with participation of all parties in that country.
“The Islamic Republic insists that all Afghan parties must take part in the process of reaching peace in Afghanistan and that foreign countries must not negotiate with only one of the Afghan parties and eliminate the rest of them,” he said. “This is a dangerous approach,” Zarif added.
He also said that Iran and Afghanistan had reached several agreements in various sectors which would be implemented after elections in Afghanistan.
Zarif also answered to a question about Turkey's military presence in Kurdish areas of Syria, saying Iran has declared that deployment of the Turkish troops inside Turkey’s own national border lines is the only way to ensure the Turkish security.
“We have stated that the only way to maintain security in Turkey is to establish the (Syrian) central government’s military presence in the border areas, and under the Adana Agreement this can be done,” he added.
“Security (in Turkey) cannot be created through (military) action against Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” the Iranian top diplomat went on to say.
“The Islamic Republic certainly believes that regional security is possible through observing two principles: first, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity and security of all regional countries, and second, respect for the rights of all its inhabitants, including our Kurdish brothers and sisters…,” Zarif stated.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in his strongest warning yet, threatened on Saturday to launch military operation into northeastern Syria, where US troops are deployed and have been trying to defuse tensions between Washington’s two opposing allies - Turkey and the Syrian Kurds.