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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

IRI Pres. Rouhani calls for Peace-Endowing Coalitions instead of War Coalitions

STATUS QUO: prevalent international political discourse depicts “‘civilized’ center, ‘un-civilized’ peripheries”
Excerpt, minor edit by
Carolyn Bennett

Dr. Hassan Rouhani
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Hassan Rouhani in debate Tuesday at the Sixty-eighth Session of the United Nations General Assembly. This is some of what he said. 

“Our world today is replete with fear and hope

…fear of war and hostile regional and global relations;

…fear of deadly confrontation of religious, ethnic and national identities;

…fear of institutionalization of violence and extremism; fear of poverty and destructive discrimination;

…fear of decay and destruction of life-sustaining resources;

…fear of disregard for human dignity and rights; and

…fear of neglect of morality.

longside these fears … are new hopes

the hope of universal acceptance by the people and the elite all across the globe of ‘yes’ to peace, and ‘no’ to war; and 

 …the hope of preference of dialogue over conflict, moderation over extremism

Ever present though is the
Status quo

At this sensitive juncture in the history of global relations, the age of zero-sum games is over, even though a few actors still tend to rely on archaic and deeply ineffective ways and means to preserve their old superiority and domination. Militarism and the recourse to violent and military means to subjugate others are failed examples of the perpetuation of old ways in new circumstances.

Coercive economic and military policies and practices geared to the maintenance and preservation of old superiorities and dominations have been pursued in a conceptual mindset that negates peace, security, human dignity, and exalted human ideals.

Ignoring differences between societies and globalizing Western values as universal ones represent another manifestation of this conceptual mindset.

Yet another reflection of the same cognitive model is the persistence of Cold War mentality and bi-polar division of the world into ‘superior us’ and ‘inferior others.’

Fanning fear and phobia around the emergence of new actors on the world scene is another.


In such an environment, governmental and non-governmental, religious, ethnic, and even racial violence has increased, and there is no guarantee that the era of quiet among big powers will remain immune from such violent discourses, practices and actions.

he catastrophic impact of violent and extremist narratives should not - in fact, must not - be underestimated.

In this context, the strategic violence … manifested in the efforts to deprive regional players from their natural domain of action, containment policies, regime change from outside, and the efforts towards redrawing of political borders and frontiers, is extremely dangerous and provocative.

Dangerously disparaging (demonizing)

The prevalent international political discourse depicts a civilized center surrounded by un-civilized peripheries.

In this picture, the relation between the center of world power and the peripheries is hegemonic. The discourse assigning the North the center stage and relegating the South to the periphery has led to the establishment of a monologue at the level of international relations.

he creation of illusory identity distinctions and the current prevalent violent forms of xenophobia are the inevitable outcome of such a discourse. Propagandistic and unfounded faith-phobic, Islamo-phobic, Shia-phobic, and Iran-phobic discourses do indeed represent serious threats against world peace and human security.

This propagandistic discourse has assumed dangerous proportions through portrayal and inculcation of presumed imaginary threats. One such imaginary threat is the so-called ‘Iranian Threat’, which has been employed as an excuse to justify a long catalogue of crimes and catastrophic practices over the past three decades.… [But on the basis of] irrefutable evidence, those who harp on the so-called threat of Iran are either a threat against international peace and security themselves or promote such a threat. Iran poses absolutely no threat to the world or the region.

Iraq post-U.S.-led war
Violence of expansionism

Nowhere in the world has violence been so deadly and destructive as in North Africa and West Asia. Examples of violence in this region in the last three decades are:

Military intervention in Afghanistan

Saddam Hussein’s imposed war against Iran

Occupation of Kuwait

U.S. against Iran
Military interventions against Iraq

Brutal repression of the Palestinian people

Assassination of common people and political figures in Iran

Terrorist bombings in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon

hat has been - and continues to be - practiced against the innocent people of Palestine is nothing less than structural violence. Palestine is under occupation; the basic rights of the Palestinians are tragically violated, and they are deprived of the right of return and access to their homes, birthplace and homeland. Apartheid as a concept can hardly describe the crimes and the institutionalized aggression against the innocent Palestinian people.

he human tragedy in Syria represents a painful example of catastrophic spread of violence and extremism in our region.

From the very outset of the crisis and when some regional and international actors helped to militarize the situation through infusion of arms and intelligence into the country and active support of extremist groups, we emphasized that there was no military solution to the Syrian crisis. Pursuit of expansionist strategies and objectives and attempts to change the regional balance through proxies cannot be camouflaged behind humanitarian rhetoric.

The common objective of the international community should be a quick end to the killing of the innocent. ...

Terrorism and the killing of innocent people represent the ultimate inhumanity of extremism and violence. Terrorism is a violent scourge and knows no country or national borders.

But the violence and extreme actions such as the use of drones against innocent people in the name of combating terrorism should also be condemned. (Here, I should also say a word about the criminal assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. For what crimes were they assassinated?)

he United Nations and the UN Security Council should answer the question: have the perpetrators been condemned? 

Crimes against the peace: Sanctions warfare 

Unjust sanctions, as manifestations of structural violence, are intrinsically inhumane and against peace. And contrary to the claims of those who pursue and impose them ─ it is not the states and the political elite that are targeted; but rather the common people who are victimized by these sanctions.

Let us not forget millions of Iraqis who, as a result of sanctions covered in international legal jargon, suffered and lost their lives. Many more Iraqis continue to suffer all through their lives.

Sanctions Iraq
These sanctions are violent, pure and simple ─ whether called smart or otherwise, unilateral or multilateral.

These sanctions violate inalienable human rights, inter alia, the right to peace, right to development, right to access health and education; and above all, the right to life.

Sanctions, beyond any and all rhetoric, cause belligerence, warmongering and human suffering.

Sanctions’ negative impact is not merely limited to the intended victims of sanctions; it also affects the economy and livelihood of other countries and societies, including the countries imposing sanctions.

End status quo
End violence
Another world is possible

People all over the world are tired of war, violence and extremism. They hope for a change in the status quo. And this is a unique opportunity - for us all.

The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that all challenges can be managed - successfully - through a smart, judicious blend of hope and moderation.

Warmongers are bent on extinguishing all hope. But hope for change for the better is an innate, religious, widespread, and universal concept.…

Iran seeks constructive engagement with other countries based on mutual respect and common interest; and within the same framework, Iran does not seek to increase tensions with the United States.… Commensurate with the political will of the leadership in the United States and hoping that they will refrain from following the short-sighted interest of warmongering pressure groups, we can arrive at a framework to manage our differences. 

o this end, equal footing, mutual respect, and the recognized principles of international law should govern the interactions.… 

Join WAVE: World Against Violence and Extremism
In recent years, a dominant voice has been repeatedly heard: ‘The military option is on the table.’ Against the backdrop of this illegal and ineffective contention … ‘peace is within reach.’

…In the name of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I propose, as a starting step, the consideration by the United Nations of the project ‘World Against Violence and Extremism’ (WAVE). I invite all states, international organizations and civil institutions to undertake a new effort to guide the world in this direction. Let us all join this ‘WAVE’.

We should start thinking about ‘Coalition for Enduing Peace’ all across the globe instead of the ineffective ‘Coalitions for War’ in various parts of the world.
Sources and notes

Islamic Republic of IRAN Permanent Mission to the United Nations Statement by H. E. Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the Sixty-eighth Session of the United Nations General Assembly (New York, 24 September 2013) 622 - See more at: http://gadebate.un.org/68/iran-islamic-republic#sthash.Mbd0TCJr.dpuf
622 Third Ave, New York, NY 10017 Tel: (212) 687-2020 Fax: (212) 867-7086 email: iran@un.int

“Iran’s new President proposes immediate ‘time-bound’ talks on nuclear issues,” UN News Centre, September 24, 2013 http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45984&Cr=general+debate&Cr1=#.UkM7qmzD-1s

24 September 2013 – From the podium of the United Nations General Assembly, Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani, today foreswore the production of nuclear weapons, reasserted his country’s right to peaceful nuclear enrichment and proposed immediate ‘time-bound’ talks to resolve the issue.

‘I declare here, openly and unambiguously, that, notwithstanding the positions of others, this has been, and will always be, the objective of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he told the General Assembly on the first day of its General Debate, speaking hours after United States President Barack Obama told the same gathering that he was directing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to pursue a diplomatic course with Iran on the matter.

Hassan Rouhani

Academic, cleric, lawyer, politician and former diplomat, Hassan Rouhani (b. November 12, 1948) is a member of the Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council and the Supreme National Security Council, head of the Center for Strategic Research, and the 7th and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Before his election to the presidency Rouhani was also deputy speaker of the 4th and 5th terms of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis - Iranian Parliament) and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (1989-2005). In the later capacity, he headed Iran's former nuclear negotiating team and was the country’s top negotiator ─ with the European Union three: the United Kingdom, France, and Germany – on Iran’s nuclear program.

Fluent in Persian, English and Arabic, Rouhani took his academic credentials at the University of Tehran, Iran (B.A. in Judicial Law, 1972) and Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland (M.Phil. in Law, 1995 and Ph.D. in Constitutional Law, 1999). He holds the rank of research professor at Iran’s Center for Strategic Research and is a prolific writer.

Hassan Rouhani was announced the winner of Iran’s Presidency a day after the election and received his presidential precept from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on August 3, 2013, and entered Sa’dabad Palace in a private ceremony. Rouhani’s work as president officially began on the same day. He was inaugurated as the seventh president of Iran in the Parliament on August 4, 2013.

President Hassan Rouhani bio http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hassan_Rouhani


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