Deterrence, Diplomacy Meant for Stability

Deterrence, Diplomacy Meant for StabilityDeterrence, Diplomacy Meant for Stability

President Hassan Rouhani said diplomats and armed forces are working in harmony toward the common aim of promoting stability and development.

"Our diplomacy is pursuing the same goal as the armed forces: promoting national security, might, stability and development," IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying in a ceremony in Tehran on Sunday to mark National Armed Forces Day.

He noted that diplomacy and military force go hand in hand in posing an effective deterrent against any potential threat to national interests, saying there exists a smooth relationship between his government and the military.

"In one hand, we hold the book, logic and prudence while in the other, we carry a sword ... In fact, soft power and hard power … work alongside," he said, stressing that there is no rift between the government and armed forces.

"As the armed forces remain prepared to confront and repel any act of aggression against national interests, diplomats seek to defend the rights of the nation through negotiation."

Rouhani compared the performance of nuclear negotiators during about two years of talks with major powers leading to the July 2015 nuclear deal with that of the Iranian soldiers and commanders during the 1980-88 Iraq-imposed war.

"Our diplomats defended the nation's rights in the battlefield of negotiation and not against an ordinary country, but against world powers … They had cruel sanctions lifted and managed to properly defend the right to develop national defense capabilities," he said.

The accord was clinched with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) and took effect in January to place temporary constraints on Tehran's nuclear program and remove international sanctions in return.

The president reiterated Iran's stance that its military power, including its conventional missile program, is only meant as a deterrent.

"The power of our armed forces is not meant for use against neither our southern and eastern neighbors, nor northern and western neighbors. It is only intended as an active deterrent to defend Iran," he said.

Rouhani noted that the military cannot be at the service of a particular faction.

"The Armed Forces belong to the whole nation. They are neither a factional nor a partisan force … The Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are the army of Islam, the army of the Islamic system and the army of the Iranian nation," he said.

***S-300 Showcased

Following President Rouhani's speech, various divisions of the Armed Forces staged a military parade and showcased their capabilities.

In the ceremony at the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, the latest military and defense achievements developed by Iranian experts were displayed, along with components of the Russian S-300 missile defense system recently shipped to Iran.

Officials confirmed last week taking delivery of the first batch of S-300 systems under a 2007 contract with Moscow, which was blocked before the nuclear agreement.