West Cautioned Against Strategic Errors

West Cautioned Against Strategic ErrorsWest Cautioned Against Strategic Errors

President Hassan Rouhani has said the resolution of Iran's nuclear dispute through negotiation with the major powers could pave the way for increased cooperation aimed at promoting peace and security in the region.  

"A final accord regarding Iran’s peaceful nuclear program can serve as the beginning of multilateral collaboration aimed at promoting security, peace and development in our region and beyond," he said on Thursday in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly. Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are engaged in talks on a final deal to resolve the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program. Rouhani also blamed the rise of extremism in the region on the mistakes of the West and said the solution to stopping them should come from the region.

"The strategic blunders of the West in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus have turned these parts of the world into a haven for terrorists and extremists," IRNA quoted him as saying.

"Military aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq and improper interference in the developments in Syria are clear examples of this erroneous strategic approach in the Middle East."

 Extremism a Global Issue

The president also said terrorism and extremism have become global issues.  

"I am coming from a region of the world whose many parts are currently burning in fire of extremism and radicalism," he said.

"(The extremists) have come to the Middle East from around the world. They do however have a single ideology: violence and extremism."

"I deeply regret to say that terrorism has become globalized."

"Extremism is not a regional issue that just the nations of our region would have to grapple with; extremism is a global issue. Certain states have helped creating it and are now failing to withstand it."   

"I am astonished that these murderous groups call themselves Islamic. What is more astonishing is that the Western media, in line with them, repeats this false claim, which provokes the hatred of all Muslims."

Elsewhere, he said, "We have always believed that democracy cannot be transplanted from abroad; democracy is the product of growth and development; not war and aggression."

"When Generals step into a region, do not expect diplomats to greet them warmly; when war begins, diplomacy tends to end. When sanctions set in, deep hatred for those imposing them also begins."

"The experience of creation of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and modern extremist groups has demonstrated that one cannot use extremist groups to counter an opposing state and remain impervious to the consequences of rising extremism."

"Let’s recall that Iran … called for 'a world against violence and extremism' before the outbreak of the current violent atrocities."

"Today, again, I shall warn against the spread of extremism and the danger posed by the inadequate understanding and incorrect approach to this phenomenon."

 Regional Coalition to Fight Terrorism   

The president said, "There are moderate politicians and elites in our region who enjoy the confidence of their people … These leaders can take positions of active leadership by attracting the confidence of the people in their societies and establish the strongest national and international coalitions against violence."

"I believe if countries claiming leadership of the coalition, do so to continue their hegemony in the region, they would make a strategic mistake. Obviously, since the pain is better known by the countries in the region, better they can form coalition, and accept to shoulder the responsibility of leadership to counter violence and terrorism."

"We in the Islamic Republic of Iran consider interaction and confidence building among states of the region as fundamentally essential for conflict resolution."

''We support any measure to promote cooperation between Islamic nations to combat extremism, threats, and aggression, and in this connection, are prepared to play our permanent constructive and positive role."

 Nuclear Issue

Rouhani pointed to the nuclear issue and the sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program and said, ''The oppressive sanctions against Iran go on in continuation of a strategic mistake against a moderate and independent nation under the current sensitive condition in our region."       

‘’During the last year, we have engaged in the most transparent dialogue to build confidence regarding Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.”

‘’We are of the view that the nuclear issue could only be resolved through negotiations, and those who may think of any other solution are committing a grave mistake.”

‘’Any delay in arriving at a final agreement only raises the costs.”

He also said, ‘’No one should doubt that compromise and agreement on this issue is in the best interest of everyone especially that of the nations of the region.”

‘’The nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 have continued during the past year with seriousness and optimism on both sides. According to all international observers, the Islamic Republic of Iran has carried out its commitments in good faith.”

‘’We are committed to continue our peaceful nuclear program, including enrichment, and to enjoy our full nuclear rights on Iranian soil within the framework of international law.”

‘’We are determined to continue negotiations with our interlocutors in earnest and good faith, based on mutual respect and confidence, removal of concerns of both sides as well as equal footing and recognized international norms and principles.”

‘’I believe mutual adherence to the strict implementation of commitments and obligations and avoidance of excessive demands in the negotiations by our counterparts is the prerequisite for the success of the negotiations.”

In addition, Rouhani said, “We are determined to continue our confidence building approach and our transparency in this process. If our interlocutors are also equally motivated and flexible, and we can overcome the problem and reach a longstanding agreement within the time remaining, then an entirely different environment will emerge for cooperation at regional and international levels, allowing for greater focus on some very important regional issues such as combating violence and extremism in the region.”

“Arriving at a final comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran will be a historic opportunity for the West to show that it does not oppose the advancement and development of others and does not discriminate when it comes to adhering to international rules and regulations.”

“This agreement can carry a global message of peace and security, indicating that the way to attain conflict resolution is through negotiation and respect not through conflict and sanction.”

  Interaction With Neighbors

On the relations with the regional countries, the president said, “My government’s principled policy is to work towards constructive interactions with our neighbors on the basis of mutual respect and with emphasis on common interests.”

“The notion that Iran seeks to control other Muslim countries in the region is a myth fanned in the recent years in the context of an Iranophobia project.”

“We work towards putting an end to delusional Iranophobia, setting the stage for building strategic partnerships with our neighbors.”

The president said that last year “I warned against the expansion of violence and extremism. This year too I warn that if the right approach is not undertaken in dealing with the issue at hand, we get closer to a turbulent and tumultuous region with repercussions for the whole world.’’

‘’The right solution to this quandary comes from within the region and regionally provided solution with international support and not from the outside the region.”