Diplomatic Prowess Key to Successful Security Networking

Diplomatic Prowess Key to Successful Security NetworkingDiplomatic Prowess Key to Successful Security Networking

The creation of "security networking" in the Middle East, as recently proposed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to eliminate the region's reliance on outside powers for security, requires diplomatic prowess, a lawmaker said.

"Zarif's idea of security networking is one of the most reasonable and viable security models after the Second World War, whose implementation requires diplomatic negotiation skills," Jalil Rahimi said in a Friday talk with ICANA.

A workable security model has been lacking in the region since the 1991 collapse of the former Soviet Union, Rahimi said, noting that Zarif's initiative would establish a "local" security network that recognizes the interests and commonalities as well as the threats and differences among the participants.

  Right Use of Funds  

Under the security plan, "petrodollars would be spent on boosting unity instead of purchasing weapons," the parliamentarian added.

Zarif proposed the concept in an article published by the Financial Times last week.

It offers solutions to a range of issues from divergence of interests to power and size disparities.

"Security networking is not utopian. It is the only realistic way out of the vicious cycle of relying on extra-regional powers, exclusionary alliances, and the illusion that security can be bought with petrodollars or flattery," the top diplomat wrote.

He believes that most of the usual modes of forming alliances have become obsolete.

"Given our interconnected world, the idea of collective security is now defunct, especially in the Persian Gulf, for one basic reason: it assumes commonality of interests," he said, adding that security networking accepts differences rather than trying to ignore conflicts of interests.

"Equally, being premised on inclusivity, it acts as a firewall against the emergence of an oligarchy among big states and allows smaller states to participate," he explained.

  Common Standards

"The rules of this new order are straightforward: common standards, most significantly the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, such as sovereign equality of states; refraining from the threat or use of force; peaceful resolution of conflicts; respect for the territorial integrity of states; non-intervention in the domestic affairs of states; and respect for self-determination within states."

Zarif said other countries, especially Europeans, are expected to see it in their own interests to urge allies in the region to adopt this policy.

He argues that another concept to shape the emerging paradigm in West Asia is the idea of a strong region.

"The objective of a strong region—as opposed to a quest for hegemony and the exclusion of other actors—is rooted in recognizing the need to respect the interest of all stakeholders," the official noted.

Zarif also said Iran proposes establishing a Regional Dialogue Forum in the Persian Gulf to move from turmoil to stability.

"At all levels we are facing a dialogue deficit in West Asia," he stated, adding that "Dialogue should aim to make clear that we all have similar concerns, fears, aspirations, and hopes. Such dialogue can and must replace rhetoric and propaganda."



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