Iran’s foreign minister says the country will not compromise on the issue of Palestine and regards the Palestinian cause as its own.
Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in an article published by the Turkish Yeni Safak newspaper that Iran has not submitted to pressure in its support for the Palestinian nation.
“Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution [of Iran] in 1979, Iran was one of the few countries to have cordial relations with the Zionist regime [of Israel]. Moreover, the ousted regime of the Shah (the former Iranian dictator) played a key role in paving the way for the conclusion of the Camp David agreement between Egypt and the Zionist regime. This could not easily be accepted by most Iranians, who regarded the cause of Palestine as their own,” the top diplomat noted.
He underlined that Iranian authorities will never compromise on the issue of Palestine.
“The first thing that revolutionary people did after the victory of the Islamic Revolution was to hoist the Palestinian flag over the embassy where Zionist diplomats used to reside. Because the Revolution and its leaders always regarded the cause of Palestine as their own, they made no compromises over the issue from the outset, and in that path, they tolerated pressure, blockades and even proxy or direct wars,” said Zarif.
He highlighted that the Islamic Republic of Iran regards the sufferings of Palestinians, like those of all Arab, friendly and neighbouring countries, as its own.
Zarif said Iran believes its security and stability is contingent upon those of the region.
“However, some tried to turn the Arab world into an arena for settling old scores and showing their greed,” he added.
He said Iran is of the conviction that its security and stability depend on those of the Middle East, especially on the security and development of the country’s neighbours.
“This is an issue which should be of top priority for everybody,” he said.
Accordingly, said Zarif, Iran has on numerous occasions called for the conclusion of a joint security pact which is based on dialog, common principles and confidence-building mechanisms, so that it could steer the country out of the “dark tunnel in which the potential of all countries is eroded.”
The top diplomat said Iran has announced time and again that it stands ready to work with all sides to protect the principle of good neighbourliness as well as joint security and interests.
“All regional countries are responsible before their nation, before history and before the future generations; and there is every possibility that the minimum requirements which could end this long chain today may no longer exist in the future. Foreign powers influential in the region have always chosen the option of war, and, through constant warmongering, have left no room for the emergence and manifestation of peace,” Zarif noted.
“They backed the Saddam Hussein’s regime to [help it] attack Iran and Kuwait; then they fought him to topple him. They supported al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, then waged a war to drive them out. Likewise, they supported another version of the same groups to use them as tools to destroy Syria, and to begin occupying Syria under the pretext of combating extremist groups,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
He said the Zionist regime’s war against Lebanon, the occupation of Palestinian territories, repeated violation of the Syrian airspace and the current war on Yemen are taking place with the help of Western munitions.
“Now one should ask … what effect regional developments have had, and will have on the world,” Zarif pointed out.
“One can say the policies adopted over the past half a century has brought the world to a point which could be called the critical condition.”
He then said it looks like the world has reach a stalemate today.
“As historical rules and the sciences which form the foundation of international relations have failed to manage these relations, the Middle East region, too, is gradually turning into a geographical expanse which does not enjoy the minimum security and is engulfed by the falmes of different types of racial, ethnic, religious, nomadic and tribal conflicts,” said the foreign minister.
“Security in the Middle East – which is like a large house bringing together nations with a lot of common ground and few differences – has become a rare commodity. Let’s not forget that Arabs, Turks, Persians, Kurds and other nations in the region have a common history, a single culture, languages with similarities, and customs and traditions that are driven from one another and have become intertwined throughout the history, and [the nations] have believed each other,” said Zarif.
He said some differences of opinion in some areas are natural. At the same time, he said, “Why should we ignore all the commonalities that we have and bring to the fore the logic of confrontation, which will only result in more mothers getting clad in black and further fuel the flames of the grudges that could rekindle the wars of the Jahiliyya era? Today, we don’t want to see long-running and bloody wars of Jahiliyya once again.”
“In order to prevent a repeat of this part of history, we should look into one another’s eyes and decide to settle our differences at the negotiating table, not in the battlefield. This does not mean we will forget our divisions, but we do not want the differences to tarnish friendships.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s objective of putting forward the idea of re-engineering the region is to ensure that the common interests of all regional countries are guaranteed while respecting differences of opinion. In fact, the basis of this re-engineering is to prevent powerful countries from dominating other countries. This way, the small countries in the region will have the opportunity to contribute to issues and can safeguard their interests,” the top diplomat said.
“The joint security of ours and our neighbours’ with which we have land and sea borders is based on compliance with joint principles whose documents are designated by the UN, principles such as sovereignty, not threatening to use force, the peaceful settlement of crises, respect for countries’ sovereignty over their territories and frontiers, refraining from interference in the domestic affairs of countries, and the right to self-determination.”
He said the ensuring of “this common security” requires serious efforts for confidence-building, e.g., announcing planned military exercises, transparency in military moves, reducing the costs of weapons and mutual military meetings. We can set foot on this path with simpler measures such as urging more tourism cooperation among our countries, joint investment and joint ventures in the field of nuclear security, and managing crises,” part of Zarif’s article read.
The top diplomat said Iran remains ready to honestly extend a hand of friendship to Middle East countries.
“This approach is not a show, but is Iran’s strategic option; the reason is that Iran believes our commonalities are far more that the differences that emanate from some unsubstantiated concerns and transient interests which may not be of top priority in the coming years. Meanwhile, if we don’t try to make peace, the generations to come will not get a chance to look into one another’s eyes and hold talks,” the foreign minister noted.