Iranian Foreign minister said that the security and stability of the entire region are needed to confront Indian Ocean region challenges which are not purchasable from outside.

Iran Press/Asia: "The Indian Ocean region faces many challenges including piracy, human trafficking, drug, weapons and wildlife smuggling, illegal fishing, pollution, and the unlawful exploitation of marine resources. Security and stability in the Indian Ocean are vitally important for all of us," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday, addressing the 3rd Blue Economy Conference of IORA in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

"The alarming rise of extremist unilateralism, contempt for the rule of law, the resurrection of gunboat diplomacy and unlawful coercive measures against civilian populations—amounting to economic terrorism—are the greatest challenges not only to the Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA) region, but also to our collective global achievements over the previous many decades," Zarif warned.

Expressing the Islamic Republic of Iran's readiness to cooperate in any collective arrangement, Zarif stated that Iran believes that, this must emanate from within—through inclusion and cooperation among the States of the region— and cannot be purchased from outside, which would only lead to further military build-ups, rivalry, and exclusion.  

"The seas and oceans are our future. More than three billion people on earth depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for sustenance. The Indian Ocean has enormous resources, which need to be explored and tapped for the benefit of our communities. Blue economy—as an ocean-driven growth model—is a systemic approach aimed at fostering growth by upholding environmental sustainability and social inclusion," he added.

According to Zarif, for IORA, the implementation of the blue economy to catalyze ocean-driven economic growth is directly linked to threats, challenges, and opportunities in the Indian Ocean.

The top Iranian diplomat further said that as Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina has aptly observed, “If the blue economy is to guide our economics in future, then we should use our sea to promote friendship and curb tensions in the region; respect freedom of navigation and cooperate through the mechanisms of IORA."


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