FM Zarif:

Some in region still assume backing ISIL as beneficial

News ID: 3575978 -
TEHRAN, Mar. 08 (MNA) – Iranian FM Zarif in a conf. in Singapore on Tue. said “we need to change the mindset that short term gains can be achieved from supporting ISIL.”

Speaking at a conference on ‘Paradigm Shift from Zero-Sum Game to Win-Win Solution’ in Singapore on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said “terrorism is a global threat. It is as much as a threat to Syria as it is to Saudi Arabia. Nobody can fight it alone.”

He went on to add that there are still certain countries in the region who think their interests lie in backing ISIL terrorist group.

“A military solution will not be successful in the region; we cannot have a one-dimensional solution for Syria,” he said, while stressing the need for a “paradigm shift from exclusion to inclusion and governance.”

“We continue to try to gain stability in the face of instability,” he said. “We cannot have security when others are insecure,” Zarif underlined.

Noting that even for a powerful country, security is impossible to attain when there are people who are insecure, Zarif said “President Bush should have carried out a dialogue with civilizations instead of waging a war on terror after 9/11.” 

“Apart from economic and military strategies, we need a social and cultural solution so that Muslims in the West will not feel alienated,” he stressed.

He went on to note that “the recruits of ISIL are mostly from Western countries. The danger is when they return home.”

“You don't have anyone beheading innocent people speaking with a perfect Persian accent. But there are terrorists in Syria and Iraq who speak with a French or English accent,” he added.

Those outside of Syria and Iraq who join the ISIL have their extremist beliefs nurtured inside mosques that are funded by money from selling oil, he said.

Zarif maintained, “ people in our region believe that the short term gain achieved in supporting the ISIL or Al Nusra will resolve the problems in the region. Some see their security in creating insecurity for others. But that is wrong.”

Moving on to the nuclear accord, Zarif said Iran's objective is that it is the nation's right to have a nuclear program for peaceful purposes. 

He referred to the unjust sanctions against Iran, saying “the UN and the US sanctions imposed on Iran are the harshest sanctions imposed on any country. The economic impact on Iran was so massive that the country could not receive the money for its oil exports.”

“This is while the ISIL presently can so easily sell oil and receive money for it,” he added.

“Even with all these measures, they could not achieve their desired result as they were based on a zero sum strategy,” he said, adding “zero sum games end up in negative sum conclusions. This is something that everyone should understand.” 

The conference on ‘Paradigm Shift from Zero-Sum Game to Win-Win Solution; Applying the Experience of JCPOA’ was held on Tuesday as organized by the Middle East Institute (MEI) in the National University of Singapore (NUS) and attended by a number of MEI members, university students and Iranian expatriates in Singapore.





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