The collapse of Saddam regime and new security environment in the region render it imperative that countries in the Persian Gulf region under UN umbrella and in partnership with concerned parties design and articulate a framework for regional security cooperation. A quarter century of attempts embodied in the imposition of war, unilateral sanctions, isolation and containment, on the part of certain powers against my country as well as the latest militaristic adventurism in Iraq, have not helped to enhance tranquility and stability in the region. This disastrous course must be reversed in the interest of regional and global peace and security. The establishment of this framework will help all concerned parties replace mistrust and arms race with mutual confidence and security.
Reform process and Democracy
The necessity of good governance in the light of drastic demographic changes and pressing requirements of new generations in the region, characterized by the emergence of complex sets of diverse and pluralistic forces, make the reform process in the region irreversible and all the more essential. The reform process with a view toward promoting greater participation, respect for the rule of law and human rights is a pressing issue in the region. However, as the 20th century demonstrated, states could not simply remake the world or abbreviate historical transformation, and as the experience of recent military intervention in our region so profoundly demonstrate, foreign armies cannot bring democracy. We must abandon the illusion that reform and democracy can be dictated from outside. Foreign powers interventions as such tend to spawn resistance and undesirable outcome. It goes without saying that this approach risks falling into irrelevance and further complicates reform process in the countries in the region, including my country. Indeed, a true reform process and democracy must be home grown and country-specific, rather than being imposed from outside.
While condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, Iran has taken a comprehensive, non-discriminatory and non-selective approach toward fighting terrorism effectively. Being a victim of terrorism, including acts of terror perpetrated by Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and the MEK, my country has actively been engaged in fulfilling its responsibility in this respect. It is unfortunate that military intervention in Iraq caused the deflection of global community from the original course of action against terrorism. As a result, terrorist groups have intensified their activities in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world. The application of double standards on the part of Washington in this respect has complicated this daunting task.
The United States has given protection as non-combatants under the Geneva Convention to MEK in Iraq; a terrorist group defined by the United States and European countries as terrorist. It is important to remember that misguided policies of the United States against Iran created two destructive forces in the region, namely Saddam Regime and the Taliban. This new double standard policy sets a dangerous precedent and, indeed, is a major setback and serious blow to global campaign against terrorism. We firmly believe that the new status given to the MEK by Washington can be a prelude for the creation of another destructive force which would equally endanger the security and interests of nations within and without the region. This perilous approach entails tremendous costs for the region as well as the United States.