Kuwaiti daily: Regional states respond positively
The Iranian Foreign Ministry confirmed media reports that President Hassan Rouhani has sent separate letters to the leader of the Persian Gulf Arab states.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said Rouhani’s letters included the full text of a peace initiative for the Persian Gulf region proposed by Iran, adding that the president called on the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and Iraq to work together to secure shipping in the strategic body of water.
“After the Iranian president unveiled the Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) at this year's UN General Assembly, he sent the full text to the heads of the (regional) countries, requesting their cooperation for implementation of the plan,” Mousavi told reporters on Saturday.
Mousavi said that sending these messages to the Arab leaders of the Persian Gulf and Iraq “indicates the determination of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the significance it attaches to regional countries in maintaining stability and security of the Persian Gulf region".
In his letter, Rouhani has called on the Arab states to make collective efforts to implement HOPE, he said.
Mousavi added that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will soon send a letter to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the Iranian initiative.
In an address to the 74th session of the UN General Assembly on September 25, Rouhani invited all countries that are affected by developments in the Persian Gulf to join the country’s initiative for the security of the strategic region.
He said that the “Coalition of HOPE” aims to promote peace, stability, progress and prosperity of littoral states and help achieve mutual understanding and establish peaceful and friendly relations among them.
It came after a string of mysterious attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and Saudi oil installations, which the United States blamed on Tehran. Iran denied any involvement in the attacks.
"The security of the region shall be provided when American troops pull out," Rouhani said at the General Assembly.
"In the event of an incident, you and we shall not remain alone. We are neighbors with each other and not with the United States," he added.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have escalated sharply since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew last year from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
He has since reimposed unilateral sanctions as part of a "maximum pressure" campaign.
The US and Iran came to the brink of a military confrontation in June when Iran downed a US spy drone and Trump ordered retaliatory strikes before cancelling them at the last minute.
While the Iranian Foreign Ministry did not reveal how Tehran sent the letters to the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, due to the lack of diplomatic ties with them, Kuwaiti media reported that the messages were delivered to King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa through the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry.
Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida wrote it learned from a source at the Iranian Foreign Ministry that Iran had handed over the letters signed by Rouhani to Kuwait's assistant foreign minister to deliver them to the Saudi and Bahraini kings.
The Kuwaiti daily called Iran’s move “unprecedented”.
Al-Jarida cited its source as saying that Iran “found a positive reaction from the countries of the region,” especially in terms of securing navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, bring peace to the region and resolve differences with neighbors.
The source said, according to the daily, Iran has a plan that includes “resolving the differences of the regional countries by holding a summit, possibly in Kuwait,” and boosting “cooperation among them.”
Tasnim, Press TV and alaraby.co.uk contributed to this story.