Dr. Kamal Kharrazi (Photo: former.president.ir)
American people have become evermore aware, I believe, that current US policies betray their interests more than anyone else; a nation that deserves to participate in and share on equal footing man's progress towards a better future. We anticipate that the US Government too would sooner or later conclude that its policies undermine US credibility and interests.
In a new world with complex problems that demand multilateral cooperation, the United States has become conspicuous for its unilateralism and lack of commitment to international law. The United States has imposed unilateral sanctions against seventy countries. Not merely other states, but in fact American investors and companies have suffered from these policies. Hence, a decision by the United States to live up to its international undertakings would be instrumental in allaying the concerns of the people throughout the world.
US policies aimed at retarding economic prosperity of Iran and the region remain in place, despite their harmful implications for free and rule-based global commerce and trade on the one hand, and regional stability and progress on the other. Direct and secondary sanctions against Iran and its American and third country trading partners are being vigorously pursued. The United States even continues to actively oppose and obstruct, to the detriment of American companies and European and regional countries, the transfer of gas and oil from Central Asia and the Caucasus through Iran, neglecting economic, technical and environmental advantages of this option.
Economic pressure against the Islamic Republic of Iran is also being applied through continuation of freezing of Iranian assets and properties, exertion of influence in international financial, monetary and trade organizations against Iranian interests and impeding the transfer of advanced technology for peaceful purposes to Iran.
While maintenance of international peace and security is the declared global priority of the United States, and in spite of Secretary Albright's recognition of the role the Islamic Republic in regional security and stability, US efforts to sabotage this undeniable constructive and pivotal role continue to be commonplace.
Interference in internal affairs of Iran has also persisted with little regard for bilateral and international obligations of the United States. The unlawful congressional allocation of budget to undermine the Iranian Government remains a part of US law, which was recently further augmented by the establishment of a radio station to wage a propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic. Official organs of the United States Government have yet to cease their financial and political support for Iranian terrorists who continue to operate in the US territory through front organizations.
Meanwhile, the United States has construed any resistance against aggression and occupation as terrorism, thereby considering sympathy for victims of such aggression and occupation as support and sponsorship of terrorism. Moving from such erroneous perception, the United States imposes unlawful coercive measures against those countries who are unwilling to compromise on their dignity and independence.
We are determined to follow the balanced policy of expansion of relations with countries in the region as well as other countries. Logically, the United States' active pursuit of the policies I have already outlined and the absence of visible signs of its intention or ability to change course are hardly compatible with the proposal to develop a road map to change the state of affairs. This is because there is no ground for political negotiations, while these policies continue. In line with underlying principles of our foreign policy, the approach of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards the United States will be commensurate with changes in US behavior towards Iran.
Let me once again reiterate that Iran -- in keeping with its fundamental beliefs, its deep-rooted civilizational heritage and the principles of the Islamic Revolution, which laid the foundations of our Republic -- seeks a peaceful and tranquil global order of human dignity and mutual respect. It is on this sound foundation that we have encouraged dialogue between nations and cultures, and embarked upon eliminating tension as our top foreign policy priority.
In his last week's address to the General Assembly, President Khatami highlighted the need to focus global attention on the promotion of dialogue among cultures and civilizations. He invited the international community to begin the next millennium with a renewed commitment to strengthen the foundations of mutual confidence and to designate the year 2001 as the United Nations Year of Civilizational Dialogue.