Flags are seen during a Gulf Cooperation Council summit
© Global Look Press via ZUMA Press / Tu Yifan
Flags are seen during a Gulf Cooperation Council summit.
Iran has proposed signing a non-aggression pact to its neighbors, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said. At the same time, the country is ready to defend itself from any attack, be it "an economic war or a military one."

"Tehran has offered to sign a non-aggression pact with its neighbors in the Gulf," Zarif said on Sunday during a joint press conference in Baghdad with his Iraqi counterpart Mohamed al-Hakim.

Iran's top diplomat did not name an exact list of the countries eyed in the document, yet stressed that Tehran seeks to "build balanced relations" with all Gulf states. At the same time, Zarif cautioned that the country is ready to defend itself if attacked, by any means necessary.

"We will defend against any war efforts against Iran, whether it be an economic war or a military one, and we will face these efforts with strength."

Tensions have been high in the region over the past weeks, as the ongoing standoff between the US and Iran got even more heated. Washington has ramped up its warlike rhetoric against Tehran, accusing it - but providing no hard evidence - of plotting attacks on US citizens in neighboring countries.

Apart from that, several Saudi tankers were damaged under shady circumstances at a UAE port - and the blame was squarely put on Iran. Tehran maintained it was not involved in inflicting the minor damage on the vessels, blaming the incident on some sort of "Israeli mischief" instead.


Following the incident with the tankers and a drone attack on a Saudi pipeline, attributed to Yemen's Houthi rebels, Riyadh accused Iran of seeking to destabilize the whole region and vowed to confront it with "all strength and determination" if attacked.

Tehran, on its part, has repeatedly stated that it's not plotting to attack anyone, yet is more than capable of retaliating and even "defeating" the US and its allies in the Middle East.