SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2014
Iran's Ambassador to Bern, Switzerland
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has met with a number of world leaders and heads of state from such European countries as France, the UK, and Switzerland on the sidelines of the 69th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The meetings can open a new chapter in Iran's relations with European countries. During past year, European countries have had to deal with the crisis in Ukraine and have been countering Russia over its alleged role in the East European country. Various political and economic dimensions of this crisis have left their mark on all European countries. At present time, a spiraling wave of extremism is sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa, which is not only posing a grave threat to the interests of Europe, but has drawn thousand of European citizens into the vortex of extremist, terrorist, and Takfiri groups. Those citizens are now considered a serious threat to internal security of their home countries in Europe.
Although certain steps have been taken in negotiations between Iran and the Western states over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program in order to find a solution to Iran's nuclear issue, the West is still insisting on its unilateral and illogical positions in this regard. As a result, European countries have practically brought their economic and political relations with Iran to a situation of stalemate. Unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe against Iran have, in practice, disrupted economic and financial exchanges between Iran and Europe and, in doing so, have inflicted a huge loss on the ailing European economy which is already suffering from a profound crisis. If European countries give priority to their own strategic interests, they would clearly see that Iran can serve as a good trade and economic partner for them and an important factor for the promotion of peace and stability in the region. Efforts made by the current Iranian administration of “hope and foresight” to promote interaction with European countries are not just a diplomatic complement, but represent a strategic approach. With regard to Iran's nuclear case, if European countries are concerned about peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear energy program, Iran has been, and still is, ready to provide them with adequate and objective guarantees in this regard. Europe should take the best advantage of this opportunity in order to clinch a balanced deal with Iran over its nuclear case and rebuild its economic and political relations with the Islamic Republic.
A big opportunity is on the table for investment and participation in energy, mineral and industrial projects in Iran. Therefore, the economic factor in both Iran and Europe is also a factor for establishing stability in the entire region. Economic and industrial cooperation between Iran and Europe will not only lead to development and progress on both sides of this equation, but will also turn into a factor for building confidence and bringing stability to the region. Once and for good, Europe should reach the strategic understanding that Iran is not a threat, but a factor for peace and stability in the region. Those policies and propaganda campaigns which try to show Iran as a major security threat to the region and the entire world have already dealt the most drastic blow to the interests of the European countries. If Europe changed its attitude, it would clearly see that Iran's nuclear energy program is just part of a general plan for development and production of energy in Iran. Sanctions on Iran's banks and oil industry by European countries not only lack legal basis, but are also devoid of economic justification. As a result, Europe should take rapid steps to think about the stage that comes after the sanctions are removed, and pay more attention to its long-term interests.
Iran's president submitted a plan to the UN General Assembly last year proposing a global fight against extremism and violence. If that plan had been taken seriously in all its dimensions by the West, we would not have been witness to such heinous crimes that are currently being committed in Iraq and Syria and Africa. Iran's approach to these issues enjoys strategic depth, but unfortunately, policies followed by Europe and the United States have become repetitive and uncoordinated. Iran is a pioneer when it comes to fighting extremism and violence. During recent years, Takfiri terrorists have massacred thousands of Shias and European countries have turned a blind eye to it. After all this mass killings, now, the US President Barack Obama is admitting that a Shia Iran is not posing a security threat to the region and the world, but it is the Sunni extremism which is posing that threat and this time in the form of ISIS. Is it really necessary for all this innocent blood to be spilt in order to understand such a simple reality? The fight against extremism and violence is very complicated and multi-dimensional and if Europe paid due attention to Iran's views in this regard, it could have become successful in fighting terrorism through interaction and cooperation with Iran. Therefore, Iran's role in establishing peace and stability in the region is at odds with Europe’s approach for mounting sanctions and pressure on Iran. The latest meetings between the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran and heads of European states can be effective in promoting mutual understanding on both sides and help to expand cooperation and interaction between Iran and Europe.
Key Words: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Interaction with World, Diplomatic Compliment, United Nations General Assembly, Unilateral Sanctions, US, EU, Extremism and Violence, ISIS, US President Barack Obama, Khoshroo
More By Gholamali Khoshroo:
*US Policy Change, Key to Success of Nuclear Talks: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/US-Policy-Change-Key-to-Success-of-Nuclear-Talks.htm
*Negotiations Should Be Based on Realities Not Illusions: Notes on Complexities of Iran’s N-Case:http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Negotiations-Should-Be-Based-on-Realities-Not-Illusions-Notes-on-Complexities-of-Iran-s-N-Case.htm
*Taking Schoolgirls into Slavery, Sign of Boko Haram’s Profound Ignorance of Islam:http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Taking-Schoolgirls-into-Slavery-Sign-of-Boko-Haram-s-Profound-Ignorance-of-Islam.htm