UNITED NATIONS - Iran’s President Hassan rouhani told the UN General Assembly Monday that his country’s recent nuclear deal could suggest a way forward for broader international relations among all nations based on mutual respect and non-intervention.
“Today, a new chapter has started in Iran’s relations with the world,” President rouhani said, explaining that two years ago, the people of Iran in a competitive election, had given him a mandate for consolidating peace and constructive engagement with the world, whilst pursuing national rights, interests and security.
This national will, he continued, had manifested through a careful and clear diplomatic effort which resulted in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the six world powers that was immediately turned into an international instrument with the ratification of the UN Security Council.
“From the standpoint of international law, this instrument sets a strong precedent where, for the first time, two sides, rather than negotiating peace after war, engaged in dialogue and understanding before the eruption of conflict,” rouhani said, recognizing the role of all the negotiators, the leaders and the Heads of state and Government of the US, the UK, France, Russia, Germany, and China in achieving this agreement.
“We had decided to bring about a new environment while maintaining our principles and we succeeded in doing so. Where necessary we moved forward and where necessary we showed the courage for flexibility; and, at each point, we made use of the full capacity of international law and showcased the potentials of constructive dialogue,” he said.
Unfortunately, rouhani continued, it must be said that in most cases this important international institution has not been successful or effective. “This time, however, the United Nations made the right decision.” Nevertheless, he protested the adoption of unfair resolutions against Iran and the imposition of sanctions against the Iranian nation and Government as a result of misunderstandings and sometimes overt hostilities of some countries.
“We consider as unfair the conduct of the Security Council in the past, and insist that Iran, due to the important fatwa of its leader and its defence doctrine, has never had the intention of producing a nuclear weapon […] we proved in these negotiations that there is nothing on Iran’s table other than logic, reason and ethics, and where necessary, legitimate and decisive self-defence against any kind of aggression,” he declared, and noted that Parallel to the implementation of the JCPOA, Iran expects the nuclear-weapon States to take necessary steps to fulfil their commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“The nuclear deal […] has managed to disburse the clouds of hostility and perhaps even the spectre of another war and extensive tensions from the Middle East,” President rouhani said stressing that the deal “can and should” herald a new era and lead to positive outcomes regarding the establishment of sustainable peace and stability in the region.
“From our point of view, the agreed-upon deal is not the final objective but a development which can and should be the basis of further achievements to come. Considering the fact that this deal has created an objective basis and set an appropriate model, it can serve as a basis for foundational change in the region,” he observed, underscoring that this opportunity can be seized in order to look to the future and avoid focusing on the past and rebuild Iran’s relationships with the countries in the region, particularly with its neighbours, based on mutual respect and our common and collective interests.
Unfortunately, the Middle East and North Africa has turned into one of the world’s most turbulent regions, he said, explaining that with the continuation and intensification of the current condition, the turmoil can spread to other parts of the world.
“The gravest and most important threat to the world today is for terrorist organizations to become terrorist states. We consider it unfortunate for national uprisings in our region to be deviated by terrorists and for the destiny of nations to be determined by arms and terror rather than ballot boxes,” he said, proposing that the fight against terrorism be incorporated into a binding international document and no country be allowed to use terrorism for the purpose of intervention in the affairs of other countries.
“We are prepared to assist in the eradication of terrorism and in paving the way for democracy, and ensuring that arms do not dictate the course of event in the region. As we aided the establishment of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are prepared to help bring about democracy in Syria and also Yemen,” President rouhani said.
While urging a comprehensive action to tackle the root causes of terrorism, and recalling that at the heart of much of today’s war, destruction and terror, “can be found in the occupation, invasion and military intervention of yesterday,” he called for the countries of his region to launch an action plan that would see a united front against terrorism towards the overall creation of a collective and global movement to tackle regional problems in a serious manner through dialogue.