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Why a New Arrangement is Vital in Iranian-Arab Relations - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The common factors seeding integration between and among our nations across the Middle East region are the natural result of historical bounds and long coexistence. These cultural, social, historical, religious and geographical commonalities as well as brotherly relationships among our peoples and countries surely outweigh our differences. It could also provide us with fertile grounds which enable us to jointly pave the way toward a more organized and efficient co-operation. Middle East, obviously the cradle of our Islamic civilization, is facing with ever-increasing acts of unilateralism, and our indivisible fate dictates having a more updated vision of our traditional ties. I warmly welcome the recent Arab League statement in support of Iranian-Arab dialogue. Undoubtedly, security and economic progress are the prime common concerns. We have been living in one neighborhood for many centuries and we will remain sitting on one single boat for centuries to come.

Today, our region lies in a very crucial and sensitive course of its history, therefore there is a dire need of a truly inclusive arrangement for security and cooperation. We need, firstly, to centre a joint kitchen in our region in order to cook ideas serving the regional interest of our peoples as well as their national interest. We need to commit ourselves to a collective participation in a more collective manner and inevitably lead to a broader secure collective regional society. The call for a genuine renewal of dialogue and redefining our regional cooperation, especially at a time when our common Islamic civilization, identity, and security have been challenged by the strategy of pre-emptive war, is a just cause.

Secondly, today’s realities of our common neighborhood further obliges both Iran and Arab countries to reach a mutual understanding and form common foundations not only to address pressing needs for security and tranquility in short term, but also to bestow on peace and progress to future generation of the region which is the gateway of our Islamic civilization and identity. It is equally a common task that we should bear its burden on our shoulders. Apparently, there is no alternative conducive to our interconnected regional security, but a vehemently risk-prone situation which we must work together in order to minimize it.

Thirdly, Iran and Arab countries have great lessons to learn from the history of their contemporary interrelationships. I do not wish to recall the bitter experiences of full support for an 8 year-old war imposed against Iran in 1980’s which culminate to no achievement, but to destruction of Arab-Iranian resources and trust. Considering the realities of past and present, we need to be quite vigilant about temptations of malevolent forces in their new effort to impose another confrontation on our fragile region under a new pretext and based on their illicit and evil intentions.

Today, fanning the flames of sectarianism in our region just when they most need to be quelled, invoking the imaginary threats or exaggerating differences among Muslim family members by those who believe in no branch of Islam as the obsolete tactic of divide and rule under a new brand which should be thwarted.

Arabs and Iranians have magnificently maintained their pivotal role in making history and Islamic civilization. The continuation of this trend and preservation of our short and long term interests and security, in an overwhelmingly interdependent region, definitely must be addressed through a vision appropriate to 21 century, one which is accommodated with the status of our Islamic civilization, our brotherly and neighborly relations, and a set of new political, economic and security arrangements.

We believe in the wisdom of Arab countries in sensitive circumstances. A greater responsibility, of course, lies notably on the shoulders of our brothers in Riyadh. Let us do not forget that the outsiders have already delineated their civil and cultural frontiers by taking into account the overall future of our civilization and the aspiration of our next generations. We shall not ignore that the wars initiated by the vanguards of freedom and democracy in our region have ultimately ended up to daily stampede of innocent Iraqi people, weather they are Sunnis or Shies. The invaders have proved that they have no respect towards simultaneous obliteration of freedom and security, moreover these days there is clearly an ongoing talk in certain circles about division and disintegration of Iraq which will lead to no end, if it happens, but to eruption of insurgency and instability throughout a greater Arab and Muslim world.

To defy all these threats facing us, our countries need urgently to manage a more systematic and continuous dialogue in order to achieve revival of our common values, sharing our common security, and gaining greater share for public participation. These steps on one hand will surely meet legitimate demands of all members of Islamic community and our peoples, while on the other hand they will lead to a greater share of advancement in economic, scientific and technological progress, the position our civilization deserves and our countries entitled to enjoy. This should secure the very bases of our ties and withhold tilting toward any sort of undesired, unexpected confrontation.

To this end, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to render its role and commitment.

Rasoul Movahedian

Rasoul Movahedian

Rasoul Movahedian is the Iranian ambassador in London.

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