Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has sent a message to a ceremony held in Tehran on September 21, 2019, to mark the World Peace Day.
What follows is the full text of the message:
In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
I’d like to pay tribute to the martyrs and veterans on the occasion of the Sacred Defense Week. I’m afraid that I could not join you because of taking part in the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.
I express gratitude to Secretary-General of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO Mr. Ayoubi, Director of the Museum of Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense Mr. Jafari, and all others for convening this valued event.
Honoring and respecting the concept of peace is a valuable and important measure in materialization of this concept in the global arena. Peace and security have been among the human being’s main wishes and requests throughout history, regardless of the time period, the location, or the type of society. The need for peace and calm derives from the pure nature of humans. The Almighty God has created human as a peace-loving being. There is no doubt that peace is a sacred term which has been always sought by the humanity and is considered as a common global cause. The truth is that the purpose of peace is not only the lack of wars, but it is aimed at the sense of justice, equality and security. In this concept, peace is regarded as a virtue. The obstacle to the materialization of peace and calmness is the estrangement of humans from the divine teachings, including fraternity, equality, peaceful co-existence, sincerity, justice-seeking, fairness and patience. The divine religions and monotheistic faiths have referred to peace and justice as an essential part of the criteria for human life, as the divine prophets have called on humans to pursue them. The human being’s instinct and innate wisdom prefers and favors the goodness, norms and values. “And Allah invites to the Home of Peace and guides whom He wills to a straight path,” God says in Quran.
Many wars throughout human history have broken out because of excessive demands and expansionist ideas, although they have been usually alleged to ensure peace and security or to protect the interests of one of the warring sides. In fact, a number of sides have been seeking their security by creating insecurity for the other side or parties. Based on this notion, we saw the formation of various political and military blocks in the international arena in the past, which has emerged as unilateralism today.
Along with the social and political developments in the human life, particularly the formation of nation states, the international community’s main concern has been the formation of collective mechanisms to maintain peace and security, to prevent the outbreak of wars, and to resolve the conflicts peacefully. The bitter experiences and heavy costs of the First World War made the world leaders to establish the League of Nations to achieve peace. After that arrangement proved ineffective and following the outbreak of World War II, the United Nations was founded, one of whose main goals is to protect international peace and security. The UN Charter has also set out regulations to that end.
The main responsibility to ensure this lies with the Security Council. In addition to the Security Council, the other UN bodies and affiliated specialized agencies have been seriously concerned about this issue as well. The UNESCO has also a significant role in the fortification and promotion of culture of peace. Despite the United Nations’ considerable efforts and activities and a series of achievements in this regard, we have sadly witnessed many internecine wars and unresolved conflicts. This has various reasons, such as the instrumental use of the UN mechanisms, particularly the UN Security Council, by a number of countries, the lack of commitment from certain powers and the UN member states to the contents of the UN Charter, and the lack of serious action on a reform of the UN structure. On the other hand, the bitter truth is that the culture of peace and rule of law has not been institutionalized within the international community.
Still, a series of countries believe they have a right to impose their own ideas and political views because they have power. Their meddlesome, monopolist, and unilateralist policy in the international relations is the root cause of the bulk of past wars and conflicts as well as the existing challenges.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been a target of such hostile and unilateralist policy for around four decades. The Security Council’s negative performance during the Iraqi imposed war against Iran and after the Saddam regime’s crimes against people of Iran — such as the use of chemical weapons — was a blatant example of the Security Council’s poor performance in relation to international peace and security.
Another example of the abuse of the Security Council against the Islamic Republic of Iran was the council’s imposition of sanctions on Iran on baseless nuclear allegations.
Such situation was a result of the political approach of some of the Security Council’s permanent members to the subjects on the agenda. The US’ withdrawal from the JCPOA in spite of its commitments, including under the Security Council Resolution 2231, was another example of the political treatment of the Security Council. The US’ lack of commitment to the international treaties and the bilateral agreements with the other countries as well as the adoption of policy of unilateralism are among the major factors threatening the international peace and security.
The unresolved issue of Palestine after more than seven decades of occupation, killing and depriving a nation of its basic rights, displacing the people, and the current dire conditions in Yemen are glaring examples of brazen injustice in the international arena.
Based on its religious and national teachings, the Islamic Republic of Iran has always tried to strengthen regional and international peace and security.
The verification of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA commitments confirms the reality. Iran’s key and leading role in the fight against terrorism, particularly in the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, are the other instances of the measures we have taken to combat the threats against peace and security. The Islamic Republic of Iran has always tried to fulfill the UN Charter’s goals, and has worked in active and constructive cooperation and interaction with the UN member states and various bodies to that end. By realizing the threats that extremism and violence pose to the international peace and security, the president of Iran proposed the idea of World Against Violence and Extremism at the UN General Assembly in 2013, which received a welcome from the UN members.
We believe that the most effectual way to restore and preserve peace and calm is for the humans to return to their pure nature and regulate their relations on the basis of genuine human and religious values and criteria. Promotion of the thoughts and first-hand views of the elites, the intelligentsia, and the clerics would have a great role in strengthening the culture of peace and friendship among the nations and countries.
The concept of peace has always had a special place in the Persian literature. Renowned Iranian poet Rumi has paid a great deal of attention of to the concept of peace. “The wars of mankind are like children’s fights; all meaningless, pithless, and contemptible,” says Rumi in the first book of the Masnavi.
Let’s hope for a world full of peace, calmness, and materialization of justice and rapport among the whole nations and countries.