Speaking at the “2nd Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey” on Saturday, Dr Hassan Rouhani said,"As the biggest victim of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been facing this terrorism since its establishment, suffering from heavy human and financial losses."
President Hassan Rouhani’s speech is as follows:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Dear Esteemed Speakers of Parliaments;
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
It is an honour to be attending the conference of speakers of parliaments of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey. I deem it necessary to appreciate the Pakistani parliament and parliament speaker for their 1-year tenure as the chair of the conference. I would also like to congratulate Speaker of the Parliament of Iran Dr Larijani, who has taken over the chair of this conference.
Our world today is dealing with complicated challenges, including weather changes, economic crises, underdevelopment, aggression and war, poverty and famine, unilateralism, extremism, and terrorism. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I would like to express some points regarding the challenges of the human society: terrorism, extremism and unilateralism.
As the biggest victim of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been facing this terrorism since its establishment, suffering from heavy human and financial losses. Terrorist actions such as the martyrdom of 72 officials in a bombing in 1981 and the martyrdom of the then President and Prime Minister by the terrorist in the same year and martyrdom of over 17000 civilians in the past 40 years by terrorist groups which are under the support of Europe and the Unites States and Western governments, the martyrdom of nuclear scientists at the beginning of the current decade, last year’s terrorist attack to the parliament by the ISIL, and the recent terrorist attacks in Ahwaz City and Chabahar two days go, have not undermined the resolve of the Iranian government and nation for fighting all sorts of terrorism.
Today, security has more dimensions than the past. It includes areas such as economy, culture, politics, society and psychological domains, undermining of each can be described as terrorism.
The cruel, illegal economic sanctions of the United States against the noble people of Iran has targeted our people as a clear example of terrorism. Economic terrorism means promoting terror about the economy of a country and intimidating other countries to prevent them from doing trade and invest in the target country.
The withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-imposition of sanctions, and their measures against the Islamic Republic of Iran and its trade partners is the clear example of economic terrorism.
Dear Speakers of Parliaments,
Our region is at a critical juncture in history today. The juncture at which global terrorist, extremists and lawbreakers are seeking to start a whirlpool made of terrorism, poverty, sanction, crisis, assassination and coup, from Pakistan to Iran, from Afghanistan to Russia and from China to Turkey. They do not want us to gather, talk, sit together and be sympathetic and empathetic; but they need to know that we are determine to join hands in overcoming this common enemy; but what this victory requires is that we should all have a responsibility in drying out the roots of violence. Our success requires continuous and tireless resolve in finding the roots of degeneration and collective effort for drying out these roots. Poverty, corruption and inequality are among the most important root causes of terrorist violence in this region.
It is in an underdeveloped atmosphere where different kinds of crime, smuggling, money laundering and terrorism joint together and destroy human security in societies. The voice of the peoples of the region is being heard clearly, who say, “War and bloodshed is enough; displacement, poverty, famine, putting up walls, killing neighbours, hatred and grudge, backwardness and discrimination, boycott and humiliation are enough. Women and girls have had enough of slavery and deprivation of education and employment. Children are sick and tired of being displaced and not having something to wear; cities and villages do not want to tolerate explosion and fire and destruction anymore”.
Political and military interference do not let societies follow their natural growth process and find their own solutions to confronting discords and problems. Those who interfere, sow the seeds of discord and hatred to harvest rancour and violence. We need to think about how we can stop those who are willingly spending billions of dollars of oil incomes for deepening discords and proliferating intolerance; we need to stand up to those who interfere and bully to leave terror and assassination unsupported.
Today, it is coordination and cooperation that create security. To confront the common threats that do not recognise any boundary and territory, we need to take a new approach towards boundary and territory. We need to have more flexible governances that are more compatible with fair division of labour against our common threats.
If we want to put an end to the flow of refugees, we need to harness violence and war. If we wish to defeat terrorism, we need to fight dirty money, and to wage such a war, we need to support each other’s effectiveness of governance until a point that no room is left for evil.
We have come together here to remind ourselves and others that our peoples of governments are united. We have been together since ancient times; our cultures have created a shared civilisation by a lively, dynamic deal with each other; a civilisation that has spread from the great China to the vast Anatolia, from the wide Russia to the Iranian Plateau, and has been borne a gigantic mission in its Asian civilisation.
We are the children of great civilisations that is calling on us to protect and improve it. Let me say this straight: We are subject to a full-scale assault that not only poses a threat to our identity and independence, but also is determined to break our long-standing bonds.
The country that has started a trade war with China, uses sarcastic tones with Pakistan, humiliates Afghanistan, punishes Turkey, threatens Russia and imposes sanctions against Iran, is the prime suspect for breaking the bonds. If the US thinks that it can break us apart, it is gravely mistaken. When they put China’s trade under pressure, we all suffer losses; when the use sarcastic tones against Pakistan, we all take that insult serious; humiliation of Afghanistan means belittling us all; when Turkey is punished, we are all being punished; whenever they threaten Russia, we all see our security threatened; when the boycott Iran, they deprive all of us of the advantages of international trade, energy security and sustainable development, which means that they have boycotted everyone. We are here to say it out loud that we will not tolerate this insolence, and we will stand against them. We will stand up to them by promoting our cooperation and deepen our economic, social, cultural and security bonds.
I would like to talk about Iran’s efforts for this cooperation and promotion of bonds. Following its great mission today, Iran has been a great barrier against those who profit from violence and trade misery, paying a great price for this steadfastness through the lives of thousands of our brave people. We spend $800 billion annually in fighting drugs, the results of which guarantees more health for peoples from Eastern Europe to Western America and from Northern Africa to Western Asia. Think for a moment that if a hole shows up in this barrier, what a disaster will happen. We have been determined this much in fighting terrorism as well. We have both devoted hundreds of our valuable forces for continuing this tireless fight against violence and extremism and spend millions of dollars each year. Without this devotion and expenses, this region would witness the rise and empowerment of the savage caliphate of ISIL in a very wide domain. The fruit of this effort is security for humans regardless of their nationality, ethnicity and religion around the world. We do not expect westerners to pay their share for the security and stability that we have provided to them, but they must know that boycotting Iran undermines our ability to fight drugs and terrorism. I warn all those who boycotters that if our abilities in fighting drugs and terrorism in their origins is undermined, you will not be able to survive the debris of drugs, refugees and bombs and assassination.
By making Iran weaker through sanctions, many people will not be safe; those who do not believe what we say need to take a look at the map.
Excellencies, Dear guests;
Our previous victories against violence and crime and terror do not guarantee future victories. This is a permanent, constant battle that requires all countries to feel responsible and be ready to cooperate and make sacrifices. Confronting issues that have a transboundary nature need transboundary approaches and solutions, and we need to know that the majority of contemporary threats against us have such a nature. This is why I have voiced the Islamic Republic of Iran’s willingness to cooperate in building a more powerful region; a region that is free from the domination of others, relying on itself, being empowered from inside, and relying on collective power of all nations. A more powerful region is not enclosed in a certain geographical area, but the lighthouse for entering the post-American world; a world in which the US has not the power to dominate others and it is the peoples in different regions of the world that join hands to follow their common causes. For the realisation of a more powerful region, we all need to strive to:
- Deepen our multilateral and bilateral bonds
- Put formation of a network security with the participation of all our neighbours on the agenda and display the sense of respect towards their national sovereignty
- Follow multilateralism in diplomacy and business contracts
- Have more serious cooperation in peace-creating processes in the region and, while strengthening our defensive power from all aspects, reduce militarism at regional level
- Promote people-to-people, scientific and cultural exchanges and regional tourism regardless of ethnic and religious affiliations
- Prepare the required infrastructure for transit and exchange of energy and information with all our neighbours and other countries that are willing to tap transit capacities
- Support the trade of goods and services, particularly cultural goods and services, between neighbours
- Achieve a balance in sustainable power with neighbours based on strategic restraint and lack of destructive competition
Of course, the United States is an interference-seeking and unconstructive country that can never give a hand to any country or region in achieving this cause. Our expectations from the US are clear. We do not expect the one who bows to walls to respect bridges. We do not expect such an irresponsible person to take on another responsibility. The person who has humiliated civilisations cannot be expected to be the guardian of the common grounds of civilisation, but wherever the United States contributes to the annihilation of societies, we will not let it escape its expenses and destruction.
This responsibility is on our shoulders and I hope that we can form a strong bedrock for achieving the causes and overcome common hardships and threats. As always, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to cooperate with you in carrying out its important civilisation mission. With each day passing, I come to believe more than before that this mission can be carried out through the honest efforts of China, Russia, Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
I appreciate your presence and participation