Time to Address Roots of Regional Turmoil

Time to Address Roots of Regional TurmoilTime to Address Roots of Regional Turmoil

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in view of the progress made in the talks with the major powers, the resolution of the disputer over Tehran’s nuclear program seems likely, emphasizing that now is the time to move on to address the root causes of the critical situation in the region.

“We made important progress in Switzerland earlier this month… But to seal the anticipated nuclear deal, more political will is required,” Zarif said in an article published by the New York Times on Monday.

“With courageous leadership and the audacity to make the right decisions, we can and should put this manufactured crisis to rest and move on to much more important work. The wider Persian Gulf region is in turmoil. It is not a question of governments rising and falling: the social, cultural and religious fabrics of entire countries are being torn to shreds,” he noted.  

He also said, “The purview of our constructive engagement extends far beyond nuclear negotiations. Good relations with Iran’s neighbors are our top priority. Our rationale is that the nuclear issue has been a symptom, not a cause, of mistrust and conflict. Considering recent advances in symptom prevention, it is time for Iran and other stakeholders to begin to address the causes of tension in the wider Persian Gulf region.”

The senior diplomat went on to say that Iran’s foreign policy is “holistic” in nature.

He said, “Nothing in international politics functions in a vacuum. Security cannot be pursued at the expense of the insecurity of others. No nation can achieve its interests without considering the interests of others.

“Nowhere are these dynamics more evident than in the wider Persian Gulf region. We need a sober assessment of the complex and intertwined realities here, and consistent policies to deal with them.”

  Collective Forum

Elsewhere, he said, “There are multiple arenas where the interests of Iran and other major stakeholders intersect. The establishment of a collective forum for dialogue in the Persian Gulf region, to facilitate engagement, is long overdue.”

“A regional dialogue could help promote understanding and interaction at the levels of government, the private sector and civil society, and lead to agreement on a broad spectrum of issues, including confidence- and security-building measures; combating terrorism, extremism and sectarianism; ensuring freedom of navigation and the free flow of oil and other resources; and protection of the environment.”

In conclusion, Zarif said, “The world cannot afford to continue to avoid addressing the roots of the turmoil in the wider Persian Gulf region. This unique opportunity for engagement must not be squandered.”