Academic journal article New Zealand International Review

Iran Faces the World: Mohsen Aminzadeh Outlines His Country's Approach to a Number of International Issues

Academic journal article New Zealand International Review

Iran Faces the World: Mohsen Aminzadeh Outlines His Country's Approach to a Number of International Issues

Article excerpt

Iran's geographical location in the important and sensitive region of west Asia, which includes the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, has led to the creation of special conditions shaping its foreign policy. The fact that Iran bridges the two main energy sources of the world, namely the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, and its territory serves as an international transit route, increases the significance of Iran's role in the region and globally. Furthermore, being adjacent to several important crises in the region, including Iraq and Afghanistan, has forced Iran's foreign policy-makers to take effective measures for confidence building and development of peace. Under such critical conditions Iran's Foreign Ministry has made every, effort to make the utmost use of the opportunities and at the same time to protect the country vis-a-vis any type of crisis. It is important to emphasise that we do not have any significant problem with our neighbouring countries and this situation reflects Iran's stability. Historically, Iran's foreign policy has been peaceful. As a result, in the course of the past two hundred years it has never attacked a neighbouring country. Our history, witnesses that Iran's policy has been to pursue peaceful relations with all countries, and we have only defended ourselves from foreign invasions or attacks if and when needed.

Our ties with Asian countries and European states have always been based on mutual respect and common interests. Now we are enjoying active and satisfactory relations with these countries in spite of the existing tension between Iran and the United States, which sometimes negatively impacts on these relations. Generally speaking, the Islamic Republic of Iran is an independent country and active member of the international community which is trying to expand its relations with other countries based on mutual interests and international commitments.

Recent elections

The successful elections in Iraq last January provided, for the first time, the opportunity for the Iraqi people to choose their own representatives. We consider this development a turning point for the establishment of democracy in Iraq and political development in the region. Iran was opposed to the US invasion of Iraq on principle and currently it is anxious about the repeated mistakes made by US forces, which have led to the growth of extremism in that country. We opposed the invasion not because we supported the tyrannical and adventurist regime of Saddam Hussein, but rather because we were concerned that it set a bad precedent and that it would lead to the problems we are witnessing today.

The elections in Iraq will strengthen the trend towards democracy and enhance the role of the people in deciding their own future. Iran has proclaimed its support for the future government elected by the Iraqi people, and will spare no effort in cooperating with that government for the reconstruction of Iraq. We believe reconstruction is one of the areas in which trilateral co-operation between Iran, New Zealand and Iraq is possible.

Iran also welcomes the recent election held in Palestine, which resulted in Mahmoud Abbass becoming the new Palestinian leader. We hope that this development will strengthen the legitimacy of the Palestinian government and strengthen the movement towards democracy in that country, which might finally bring about a restoration of the rights of the Palestinian nation. Iran believes that the establishment of peace in this region depends on the establishment of peace in Palestine. Nevertheless, we are not that optimistic about the likely outcome of the current trend in Israel-Palestine relations because of the warmongering and extremist attitude of Israel. Iran's strategic policy is for the Middle East to become a region free from nuclear and other mass destruction weapons. We also want full international control over the nuclear activities of Israel.

Important step

For many years Afghanistan was characterised by instability, unrest and organised sabotage. …

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