TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani highlighted the US government’s wrong policies toward the Middle East in recent years, describing the current situation in the region’s war-torn nations as “clear examples” of such policies’ outcome.
“We are all aware of the role of the current US government’s policies in destabilizing the countries of the region,” Rouhani said on Saturday, addressing the 5th Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.
“The current situation in Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen are clear examples of the consequences of this policy in recent years,” he said, adding, “These policies have violated the right of self-determination as one of the fundamental rights of all nations in many countries of the region.”
The full text of the Iranian president’s speech is as follows:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to thank the government of Tajikistan and His Excellency Mr. Rahmon, for hosting this important meeting, as well as the Chinese government for hosting the previous summit during its presidency. I am confident that the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), during the new presidency, will continue to promote dialogue and cooperation among member states in order to realize the goals of the conference and strengthen its role in the peace and stability of the region and the world.
Undoubtedly, holding the CICA Summit in Dushanbe provides a perfect opportunity for consultation and discussion, given the current situation in the region and the wide range of topics, opportunities, challenges, and threats. Now, Asia, which enjoys the legacy of great civilizations and huge achievements in the field of reasoning and interaction, is facing a huge challenge. From the easternmost parts of Asia to its westernmost regions, there has been cultural interaction and commerce for hundreds of years through the Silk Road on the earth and the sea, in a way that even today, this valuable experience can be the basis of better and more constructive relations between countries. In addition, the existence and continuity of philosophical, religious, and scientific ideas among the people who lived in past ages and the ancient world provide us with an enormous amount of capital to face upcoming challenges properly.
In other words, the capital that we inherited is enough to create a world free of discrimination, terrorism, monopolism, bullying, and injustice. The present assembly can certainly inspire and influence not only Asia but also the entire world, under the wisdom of its leaders and peoples by taking advantage of this ancient heritage.
By taking advantage of this precious heritage, the Islamic Republic of Iran is looking for the values that Your Excellencies have seen during the last four decades in our foreign policy, including the fight against terrorism and extremism, which present a harsh and violent image of Islam, sheltering innocent people who have been grappling with war and its resulting disasters, fighting unilateralism by which a country tries to dominate others with material power and the use of force, explicit opposition to the production of any weapons of mass destruction from nuclear to chemical, and ultimately, constructive interaction with all countries that believe in these values.
It is on this basis that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a key player in the region, has repeatedly expressed its willingness to draft and approve bilateral and multilateral political and security mechanisms to ensure peace and security, and has welcomed any interaction and exchange of opinions with CICA member states on ways to approach the challenges and cope with existing threats.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The interference of some foreign powers in the internal affairs of the countries of the Middle East region, forceful unilateral policies, terrorism and extremism, their blatant breach of promises and lawlessness in matters related to international peace and security, including the important nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have made our region one of the world’s most instable regions.
Regarding the JCPOA, I would like to remind you that the full compliance of Iran to its obligations has repeatedly been approved by the IAEA and, despite the withdrawal of the United States, the resumption of its unilateral, illegal sanctions and the negligible support of the other parties to the agreement, we still believe that the fulfillment of the agreed-upon commitments by all relevant parties will play an important role in increasing regional and global stability.
It is obvious that Iran cannot unilaterally remain committed to the JCPOA, and it is necessary that the other countries contribute to the survival of this important agreement. Now that our utmost goodwill and strategic tolerance on the one hand, and the United States’ lawlessness, on the other hand, have been proved to everyone, the Islamic Republic of Iran, while announcing its readiness for any interaction, has decided to reduce its obligations under Paragraphs 26 and 36 of the JCPOA to restore balance. In case of the absence of proper response, we will inevitably have to take more measures.
We are all aware of the role of the current US government’s policies in destabilizing the countries of the region. The current situation in Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen are clear examples of the consequences of this policy in recent years. These policies have violated the right of self-determination as one of the fundamental rights of all nations in many countries of the region.
Palestine’s longstanding problem remains the most important factor of insecurity and the spread of violence in the region and the world. The international community’s indifference to the Israeli regime’s illegitimate actions, the illegal move to move the US Embassy to the Holy Quds, and supporting the annexation of the Golan Heights to the Zionist Regime have led to the continuation of expansionist policies and has caused reaching a comprehensive and fair solution to this crisis to become more far-fetched than the past. The international community must fulfill its duty to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people, including the formation of an independent Palestinian state with the Holy Quds as its capital. The just settlement of the Palestinian issue and the rights of the Palestinians is a key to the return of stability and sustainable security and economic development of the Southwest Asian region.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has acted as a powerful barrier against Takfiri terrorism in Syria and Iraq, and has prevented the spread of terrorism to other parts of the world, and has played a worthwhile role in bringing peace and stability to the region and the world. Furthermore, since the beginning of the foreign invasion on Yemen, we have been calling for the cessation of the operation of foreign forces by promoting a comprehensive Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue, and we believe that any further delay in the implementation of this initiative will lead to further life and financial losses.
Due to the sensitivity of the current situation and the necessity of confronting unilateralism, it is worthwhile for us to adopt wise policies for strengthening the process of multilateralism and developing new fields in political-security, economic and commercial cooperation, independent of the unilateralist approaches of some countries, and expanding our partnerships and engaging in inter-regional cooperation with other geographic areas to deepen our relations and combat unilateralism.
As a country at the junction of North-South and East-West corridors with strong industrial and technological infrastructure, educated workforce and huge opportunities in the fields of energy, mining, tourism and transit, we welcome the presence and activities of businesspersons and companies of this conference’s member states in Iran. In addition, Iran’s traders, industrial companies and exporters of engineering and technical services are ready to participate in the development projects of the member states. The pursuit of the policy of active regionalism, including the creation of common markets for trade, energy and tourism, and strengthening the road and rail networks by member states can also be a topic of our cooperation for economic growth and the promotion of the well-being and quality of life of Asian peoples.
In conclusion, I emphasize that, in today’s world, a country cannot cope with the challenges and take advantage of opportunities alone and achieving an acceptable level of peace, stability, and development requires the development of regional cooperation and dialogue aimed at strengthening understanding. The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on cooperation, and finding ways to achieve common interests, mutual benefit and, in a word, win-win policy. In this context, we consider cooperation with the countries of the region and the use of the mechanism of multilateral dialogue in the form of CICA summits extremely useful, necessary and effective.
Thank you for your attention