Iran Blasts Double-Standard Fight against Terrorism

TEHRAN (ST)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi underlined the necessity for consistent and unbiased campaign on the terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in all countries without discrimination.

"Consistency in fighting ISIL wherever it is present, be it in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon or elsewhere, and whoever it threatens, is a must," Araqchi said, addressing the Security Council debate on the Situation Concerning Iraq on Friday, according to FNA.

"A successful fight against the ISIL requires helping and enabling the relevant central authorities to deal with this menace. Any strategy that undermines these authorities, including the Syrian Government that resisted ISIL for few years, or differentiates between segments of population in terms of protection will be a recipe for defeat," he added.

The full text of the Iranian deputy foreign minister's address to the UN Security Council meeting follows:

Mr. President,

Let me begin by expressing my appreciation for convening this debate to discuss the situation in Iraq, which has taken a new and more troubling turn in the past three months. I also thank H.E. Minister Jafari for his remarks and SRSG Mladenof for his report. We hope that today's meeting of the Council helps the growing realization about and focus on real and critical crisis in the Middle East with major repercussions for the whole world. We further hope that it portends a trend away from fixation on artificial and trivial crises, which is detrimental to cooperation to solve the real ones.

Mr. President

Violent extremism, mostly embodied these days by the so-called ISIL and its abhorrent brutality and shocking savagery, is chief among the threats and trepidations that ravage Iraq and Syria and cast gloom over the Middle East’s horizons. I can't agree more that this group is neither Islamic, nor is it a state. We utterly reject stereotypes that attach the name of Islam to bloody and violent acts committed by such despicable group. It is nothing more than a terrorist organization, which has grown out of the chaos created and assistance provided to it in the past decade.

While we have all aligned interest in defeating the emerging danger of the ultra-violent extremist and sectarian groups, first and foremost, we need to be mindful of the situation and mindset that gave rise to them. The so-called ISIL is not a new phenomenon. This and similar groups have developed following the invasion of Iraq and during the years of occupation and ensuing instabilities. With the Syrian crisis and the support they received from certain states and quarters within and outside the region, they found a new breeding ground, fabricated a new false cause and turned into a monster that are now even threatening their creators. Their international appeal to disenfranchised youth, particularly in the West, is allowing their rank and file to grow.

In addition to military interventions, attempts to socially engineer Middle Eastern societies reflected, inter alia, in the failed initiatives originated in and sponsored by certain western powers are another aspect of the illusions held by certain outside powers in the past decade. The adventurous military and non-military interventions in the region and ensuing waves of slaughters and blood feuds have helped radicalize vulnerable youth and created the perfect conditions for vicious bands of extremists to take advantage of. I don't think that anybody disagrees with me that extremism is much stronger and more spread out in the Middle East, today, than it was in 2001.

Mr. President,

In view of the above and based on the experiences built up in the past decade, we believe that any real and genuine initiative to remedy regional predicaments needs to originate from within the region and be based on regional cooperation. Combating extremism is not an exception to this rule.

Looking forward, we hope that all states in the Middle East have by now fully realized that extremism is a threat to them as it is to Iraq or Syria. Those who thought otherwise need to reconsider their 11-years old policies and choose to be conducive to stability and thwarting extremism.

The international coalition against ISIL, which said to be in the offing, is yet to decide to pursue a serious strategy. In our view, to defeat extremism, a comprehensive strategy should consist of the following:

First, fully complying with the norms and principles of international law and the provisions of the UN Charter in conducting any military actions against terrorist groups.

Second, expanding support for the Iraqi Government as it fights ISIL, helping it strengthen Iraq's national unity and territorial integrity as well as encouraging its all-inclusive political system. This approach requires discouraging centrifugal forces and avoiding to tinker with Iraq's ethnic and sectarian mosaic.

Third, encouraging all states and tapping all capacities in the region to fight the war against extremism and terrorism with the assistance of the international community and working towards unifying and coordinating policies. Any loophole or foot-dragging will leave a vacuum that will be used by extremists.

Fourth, consistency in fighting ISIL wherever it is present, be it in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon or elsewhere, and whoever it threatens, is a must. A successful fight against the ISIL requires helping and enabling the relevant central authorities to deal with this menace. Any strategy that undermines these authorities, including the Syrian Government that resisted ISIL for few years, or differentiates between segments of population in terms of protection will be a recipe for defeat. It was regrettable that the city of Sanjar was left to the mercy of ISIL and Amerli agenized for more than two months under the ruthless siege, due apparently to only belonging to different segments of population

Fifth, peacefully settling crisis in Syria through encouraging a political solution to the protracted war in that country and rectifying the mistakes made in the past.

Sixth, engaging all regional states and international actors to deny extremists access to funds, recruits and other wherewithal that they use to spread terror across the region and beyond. That should include resolute actions to putting an end to moral and financial support for extremists coming from some quarters within certain countries in the region. This is important especially in the light of the fact that groups such as ISIL won't be uprooted only by airstrikes.

Seventh, putting an end to the Israeli occupation of the Arab lands and denying it impunity for war crimes against the Palestinians, as it was the case recently. The kind of reaction by some Western powers to what can only be called genocide against the people of Gaza by the Israeli regime is a good rallying cause for extremist groups such as ISIL.

Eighth, countering islamophobia, which lumps together and bashes violent extremists and true Muslims, thus directly lending credence to the extremists' message,

Mr. President,

The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in the region that is both capable of and has shown unqualified determination to help the Iraqi Government and coordinate with it to assist all those threatened by ISIL. We rose to the challenge early on and helped save Baghdad, Erbil and Amerli from ISIL, and we were there with advisers and equipment before any other help arrived on the scene. On the same way, my Government is ready to continue to assist the Iraqi Government and other governments threatened by the ISIL.

M. Wassouf

 

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