Call for Cultural Campaign Against Terror

Call for Cultural Campaign Against Terror Call for Cultural Campaign Against Terror

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said there is a need to wage a cultural war on terror instead of merely taking a military approach.

Speaking at the Peking University in the Chinese capital on Tuesday, the top Iranian diplomat said the military approach was not the perfect means of fighting terrorism.

"The military approach is not the ultimate approach to resolving extremism. And toward that end, cultural and university programs must be tapped to degrade and destroy this phenomenon," Zarif said. 

The United States has been leading a coalition of western and non-western countries that have pooled their military resources to bombard the positions of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and Iraq. The aerial campaign has done little to dislodge the terrorists, Press TV reported. While giving advisory military assistance to countries gripped by IS militancy, the Islamic Republic has been urging the world to adopt a unified stance toward fighting the root causes of terrorism.

In 2013, President Hassan Rouhani proposed the contours of an international effort against extremism in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. That proposal, known as a World Against Violence and Extremism, was drafted and tabled in the form of a resolution at the General Assembly, which adopted the text in December 2013.

  Root Causes 

Among other provisions, the resolution "encourages the efforts of leaders to discuss within their communities the causes of violent extremism and discrimination and to evolve strategies to address these causes".

In his Tuesday speech, Zarif said the main cause of extremism and terrorism is "feelings of hate, desperation and dissatisfaction that occupation has brought to nations".

He said hegemonic powers harbored wrong perceptions of world politics, including that a country can achieve something only at the expense of other states.

The pursuance of zero-sum games, Zarif said, manifested itself in the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by US-led military forces. 

"Can we now say that America is safer because of the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq?" he asked. "That is not the case and this is a wrong perception."

Zarif said Iran practiced the notion of "win-win" solutions for global issues by engaging in negotiations with six countries over its nuclear program.

Turning to Syria, the Iranian foreign minister said if there is an insistence on a particular person's departure from the country's presidency, he has his own supporters and that is true of the opposition, too.

"We must have a global network with shared interests and mutual cooperation, which would acknowledge the reality that we are all in the same boat and have to make efforts together to solve problems," he said.

Zarif has traveled to Beijing at the head of a high-ranking, politico-economic delegation, and was to depart for the Japanese capital Tokyo after China. He had visited India on the first leg of his Asia tour.

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