NATO doesn’t rule out co-op with Iran (exclusive)

NATO doesn’t rule out co-op with Iran (exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16

By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:

NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai has said the Alliance doesn't rule out cooperation with Iran.

"We have received no indication from Iran, there are no discussions within NATO about establishing relations," he told Trend Feb. 16, adding however, "I don't exclude that it might happen at some point in the future."

However, Appathurai said NATO doesn't plan to cooperate with Iran for now.

He added that the arrangement with regard to Iran's nuclear program is a step in a right direction.

Following months of negotiations with six world powers (the US, France, the UK, Germany, China, and Russia), Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities, in exchange to removal of the international sanctions.

Last January, the US and the EU lifted their nuclear-related sanctions, as the deal, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) came into force.

"The lifting of sanctions and the nuclear deal obviously offer opportunities for Iran to play a more constructive role in the region, and I think everybody hopes for that," said Appathurai. "It also offers an opportunity for Iran to play less constructive role in the region, including with more resources coming and that is what some people are afraid of. So, what we all hope is that Iran chooses more constructive role."

"There is so much respect for Iran as a great country with a great history and that can play extremely positive role in the region," Appathurai further said.

"Iran and the countries of the region have to come to peaceful accommodation for the peace in the region, which will be for the benefit of everyone," he added.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Anahanum

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