Need to Act Tactfully in a Period of Power Transition

Zarif says centers of power in the world are changing, so Iran needs to make the right decision in a period of transition from a West-oriented world to a post-western one
Need to Act Tactfully in a Period of Power Transition Need to Act Tactfully in a Period of Power Transition

As international relations are witnessing a power shift, it is essential for Iran to be alert and make wise decisions to serve the country’s interests, Iran’s top diplomat said. 
“Centers of power in the world are changing; we need to grasp global developments and make the right decision in a period of transition from a West-oriented world to a post-western one,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in his address to the parliament on Sunday, ISNA reported.  
He explained that the world is now changing from a time when all developments were regulated by the West to an era where non-western powers such as China are emerging. 
What is of greatest importance during this period is adequate understanding and avoidance of mistakes, according to Zarif, as the new state of affairs opens up opportunities for countries like Iran. 
“While sticking to its multilateral policy and sitting [at a negotiating] table with six world powers … Iran has expanded its relations with China with an air of authority and we are now on the verge of signing a 25-year contract with China,” he said. 
Iran prepared the 25-year roadmap for strategic relations with China and Zarif presented it to Chinese authorities during his visit to Beijing in early 2019. The Cabinet reviewed and approved the final draft of the document two weeks ago. The roadmap outlines a vision for long-term cooperation between the two countries in various sectors.
Zarif said the details of the document will be announced to the public once the agreement is finalized with Beijing. 



Emerging Power

The United States, a major western power, is concerned not only about the rising power of China, but also about Iran’s growing influence as an emerging power, according to the foreign minister.  
“This is why the US has waged a full-scale war against the Islamic Republic,” he said.    
As part of this war, he added, Washington is trying to portray Iran as a security threat so that its case would be dealt with in forums in which it holds a position of power, such as the United Nations Security Council. 
“It is trying to create a global consensus against Iran,” he said, pointing to several UN Security Council meetings over the past three years on Iran, which were held under US pressure.
According to Zarif, twisting facts about Iran’s regional role and domestic affairs is among other US efforts against the country.  
“What is most important in facing up to the US is domestic integrity. Foreign policy is not a place for factional conflicts,” he said. 
Iran also needs to focus on the region and be an anchor of security, stability and development of its neighbors, he said. 



Economic Agenda 

Zarif said a top priority of his ministry was to keep the country’s trade afloat amid American hostile economic policies, “or in other words, US economic terrorism”.   
After pulling out of the international 2015 nuclear deal two years ago, Washington reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran to draw more concessions out of the country under a new agreement. 
“Trade with the East and an export-centered policy to boost production top our agenda at the ministry,” Zarif said. 
The Foreign Ministry has set up a new department to focus on economic activities. 
“We are identifying foreign opportunities and introducing them to the domestic sector and will introduce domestic opportunities to foreigners in the next phase,” he said.  
“Another priority is to reopen trade corridors, including Iran’s return to the Silk Road project that is included in the 25-year roadmap of cooperation with China.”  
Zarif was referring to the Belt and Road Initiative, a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government. The project is seen as a new Silk Road which, just like the ancient trade route, aims to link China to Europe.

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