The century that began with terror in New York City should not continue with the spread of hatred, violence and destruction in the Middle East and North Africa, Hassan Rouhani, the President of Iran, told the United Nations General Assembly today, underscoring that the most pressing issue that world leaders need to address is how to tackle terrorism in a comprehensive manner.
“Fifteen years have passed since the painful terrorist attack on New York City; a disaster whose human dimensions moved the entire world,” President Rouhani told the Assembly’s annual general debate, stressing that, on 11 September 2001, no one imagined that the terrible events would lead to larger disasters, including a devastating war in the Middle East and the spread of terrorism.
“Today,” he continued, “the most pressing question as to why we are facing such a situation should be on the agenda of international forums,” where an honest debate should take place regarding the flawed polices and erroneous actions “that have paved the way for worldwide insecurity, [and] what the world should look like 15 years from now.”
The genesis of borderless violent extremism and terrorism could be attributed to the security strategies developed by major powers in the past 15 years, who are mainly focusing on advancing repression and military intervention under the pretext of creating a secure environment for their citizens, he continued.
“The main lesson to learn from the analysis of this trend is that security in one region at the cost of insecurity in others would not only be impossible but it could also lead to more insecurity everywhere,” he said.
Regrettably, some powers have provided covert and overt support for terrorist groups or condoned their formation, and the same powers are now committing atrocities against innocent people and their defenders under the guise of fighting terrorism, Mr. Rouhani said.
Today in fact, the discourse of hatred and violence in the Middle East and North Africa is spreading with an astonishing speed, he noted. “Palestinians are still afflicted by a web of apartheid policies and atrocities set by the usurping Zionist regime,” he said.
He also said “if the Saudi Government is serious about its vision for development and regional security, it must cease and desist from divisive policies, spread of hate ideology, and trampling upon the rights of neighbours.”Iran opposes any kind of sectarianism and any attempt to promote religious gaps, he stressed. The Muslim people, be they Shi’as or Sunnis, have lived and continue to live together for centuries in harmony and mutual respect.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) confirmed the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme through devising confidence-building mechanisms, closing the so-called “possible military dimension” file and reinstating Iran’s right to develop a peaceful nuclear programme, he said. This deal also put an end to unfounded concerns and led to the removal of the brutal sanctions against Iran.
And today, the UN Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have formally accepted Iran's peaceful nuclear program, he added. The lack of compliance with the JCPOA on the part of the United States in the past several months represents a flawed approach that should be rectified.
Unfortunately, such illegal actions are not unprecedented, he said, citing the latest case of the US Supreme Court ruling to seize billions of dollars of the Iranian people’s assets. “This experience demonstrated that the Zionist pressure groups could go as far as having US Congress pass indefensible legislations forcing the highest American judicial institution to violate pre-emptory norms of international law,” he said.
Only eight months after the removal of the cruel nuclear-related sanctions, the economy of Iran, as the most secure and most profitable investment destination in the region, is showing clear improvement, he noted. Iran’s economic growth rate surpassed 4 per cent in spring 2016, the inflation rate dropped to single digits, and Iran has come close to pre-sanction level of oil production and export. “All in all, we are witnessing more development in the economic, scientific and technological fields in Iran,” he said.