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The Language of Dialogue or Interference? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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I also read Minister Kim Howells’ article. In general, the news on Iran in the past few weeks has been misleading as it portrays the country as a menace that must be urgently dealt with. It is astonishing that a British official is explicitly interfering in the domestic affair of a sovereign state, using inappropriate and undiplomatic tone about Islamic Republic of Iran. These views are nothing but demonizing Iran as a threat which is in fact an attempt to give wrong signals and one-sided reasoning to a very clear and fundamental stance from Iranian nation. Our message is clear: this rusty apparatus of divide and rule will not work any more, at least for terrifying great nation of Iran. The views stated by Mr Howells are to a great extend well-known propaganda aimed at affecting the Arab world public opinion against Iran as a pillar of stability in the region. I considered his views, on one hand, as mainly beating the drum for another adventurism while on the other hand it will pave the way for continuation of unlawful presence of foreign forces in our highly sensitive region. It also reminds me the obsolete tactics of 1980s when Iran was attacked.

A little attention gives an indication of the dominance of this mentality that some parties are considered themselves as guardians for nations of the region. I remind Mr Howells from the history of folly in our region. It’s an irony that the writer tries to show himself well-wisher of Iranian nation. He says: ‘Britain has the greatest respect for the Iranian people’. In a glance, it may sound a friendly position to ordinary people, but there are some reasons which make Iranian people rightful to consider these conciliatory gestures as crocodile tears. The 1953 coup in Iran was the architecture of the same well-wishers which ultimately brought down popular government of Iran. They brought down a legal government whose sin was to nationalize its oil. The case for our right to peaceful nuclear activities and the violation of our nation rights is the same story. Let’s do not forget that Iranian nation will never forget the support given to Saddam by certain parties to impose an eight-year brutal war on Iran just in order to suffocate the Iranian nation’s call for freedom and independence. Those who are today’s advocates of democracy and values are the same officials who sadly turned a blind eye to the extensive use of Saddam’s chemical weapons against Iranian civilians and soldiers. Tens of thousands of Iranians still continue to suffer and perish as a result. I draw the attention of this British politician that current Iranian government, like previous ones, has been democratically elected by Iranian people as their representative to defend their rights against injustice and oppression.

Iran is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and as such has an inalienable right to the lawful use of nuclear energy. Yet it is facing an unprecedented hue and cry over its nuclear programme, while Israel, a wholly non-accountable nuclear power, has the full support of the big powers to have preponderance upon the Arab world.

Bear in mind that Iran has never attacked or threatened to use force against any United Nations member state. Iran gave assistance in removing the threat of Taliban terrorism in Afghanistan. It condemned Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. But, instead of being rewarded for taking such sensible stances, Iran faces a reprimand – one that is wholly undeserved.

But I think diplomacy has not been completely put to the test. Iran has consistently called for unconditional negotiations that would proceed for a limited period of time. Such an approach would deal with some countries’ concerns, while securing Iranian nation legitimate rights. However, unless the Middle East’s people are listened to, the future will be bleak. In this respect, Mr Howells can better serve for the settlement of the problems in the region as well as his country’s with a peaceful approach.

Rasoul Movahedian

Rasoul Movahedian

Rasoul Movahedian is the Iranian ambassador in London.

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