Photo Courtesy: UN Photo/Cia Pak
Speaking at the annual debate of the UN General Assembly in New York, Iran’s President, Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi discussed the emergence of non-Western powers, encouraged regional economic and security partnerships, and lamented the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
The world is reaching a “critical junction” point as an emerging order of non-Western states looks to pursue closer economic and political ties with one another, according to Mr. Raisi.
“The global landscape is undergoing a paradigm shift towards an emerging international order, a trajectory that is not reversible,” he said.
“As non-Western powers have emerged, there is a collective hope for a novel and equitable world order. The Islamic Republic of Iran advocates maximum economic and political convergence and is interested in interacting with the global community under the principle of justice.”
Through mutual political trust, economic cooperation, and indigenous security measures the goals of regional partners can be achieved more easily, said Mr. Raisi.
Holding up the Quran, he said “the holy book beckons humanity towards rationality, spirituality, the truth and justice. It expounds upon the unity of mankind proclaiming all earthly inhabitants it seeks to guide all towards human dignity… and speaks of equality among humans.”
Mr. Raisi emphasised the need for regional stability, noting the security of neighbouring countries directly implicated the security of Iran. He also criticized Western powers for what he claimed was an overt attempt to undermine stability in the region, claiming that Western intelligence agencies were moving terrorists across the region in a “very targeted fashion.”
“The surgical use of terrorists by certain western governments as a political tool will be overcome by the collective will of the people of the region,” he said.
“Iran, who herself has been the biggest target of terrorists, has been at the forefront of combating terrorism in the region,” he added.
Iran additionally accused the US of “foreign meddling” in neighbouring states, and drew attention to the situation in Afghanistan to highlight the humanitarian impact of Western military intervention on regional affairs.
“An independent and robust neighbourhood presents an opportunity for the entire region. We will welcome any extended hand quite warmly.”
Tensions over Jerusalem
Mr. Raisi lamented Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, labelling it a negation of the “inherent rights” of Palestinians. He also emphasised the need to recognise Palestinian statehood and withdraw Israeli troops and settlements from the region.
“The people of the region see Iran as a secure partner for their own security and the occupying regime in Jerusalem is seen as the perpetrator of much of the violence in the region,” he said.
“Has the time not come to bring an end to seven and a half decades to the occupation of Palestinian lands, of the demolition of their homes, of the blood of their women and children, and for the people of Palestine to be recognized officially as a country?”
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