Iran says aggression is major cause of extremism

January 11, 2017

Iran’s ambassador to the UN said on Tuesday that aggression is one of the major causes that lie at the root of violent extremism.

“A deeper analysis of the political environment reveals that aggression is still one of the major causes that lie at the root of violent extremism that we are currently facing,” Gholamali Khoshroo said in a speech at the UN Security Council.

Following is part of Khoshroo’s speech published by IRNA:

The peoples of the United Nations, who have immensely suffered from wars and were determined to save, succeeding generations from this scourge, established the United Nations in the mid-1940s to prevent wars and sustain peace among the nations. We, at this point, may be able to credit the United Nations and ourselves as its members, for a relative and partial success, which is mostly manifested in the declining number of aggressions and subsequent wars among nations in the past seven decades.

At the same time we should admit that violence did not decline; it is even expanding and spreading. The United Nations, despite its some success in decreasing the number of wars among nations, it is yet to have any success in harnessing violence and extremism perpetrated by non-state actors within nations and across international borders, especially those who resort to the most barbaric forms of violence and shamelessly glorify it. A cursory look at the list of issues that this Council has dealt with in the past few year show that it is increasingly overwhelmed with domestic conflicts, terrorist and extremist non-state actors and their criminal acts, including cross border terrorist activities, recruiting foreign terrorist fighters , planning terrorist acts in various countries, transnational organized crime and the like.

What we need to do now is to focus more and more on preventing and suppressing this new scourge that the United Nations was not originally established and designed to deal with. A deeper analysis of the political environment reveals that aggression is still one of the major causes that lie at the root of violent extremism that we are currently facing. The occupation of the Palestinian territory by the Israeli regime, which is the result of the Israeli aggression, lies at the core of the returning tension and anger in the Middle East, or it wouldn't be an exaggeration if we consider the U.S. aggression of Iraq in 2003 as one of the major causes that radicalized, set loose and fed a host of groups and individuals across the region and beyond. The same goes with regard to Syria or Yemen where foreign intervention and aggression have damaged the prospect of international cooperation aimed at focusing on fighting terrorist groups and extremist groups and demising the prospects for peace.

Thus, while we are distancing from the age of nations fighting each other, the United Nations should still be adamant about preventing aggression as one of the root causes of new emerging threats, as enshrined in its Charter. There is still an obvious linkage between aggression in the classic sense of the word and the eruption of violence and other threats by non-state actors.

Apart from aggression, extremist and Takfiri and xenophobic ideologies, that are on rise simultaneously in East and West, constitute another root cause of violence that is currently engulfing some parts of the world. Those ideologues and preachers who spread hatred towards others are at the heart of all resulting atrocities. It is imperative that the United Nations have all member States ban the access of the groups and preachers of hate, from both spectrums, to public platforms and to take a proactive role in ensuring that civilization, intercultural and interfaith dialogue and understanding are encouraged, promoted and protected.

Undoubtedly, there are a number of other important factors that create fertile grounds for the spread of violence; factors that we have to seriously deal with if we wish to prevent more conflicts and make peace sustainable. They include, but are not certainly limited to, injustice, discrimination, poverty, underdevelopment, corruption, as well as economic, environmental degradation, water and land related issues as well as cultural deprivation and marginalization.

Mr. President,

The United Nations should adapt and mobilize itself to face the exigencies and challenges of all these threats. It is a long way, starting from conflict prevention and going all the way to establish sustainable peace in the most comprehensive way. It takes a great amount of courage and political will by the Secretary General and all Member States. Therefore, updating the United Nations and bringing it up to the current imposing tasks should be accorded a higher place in the scale of UN priorities.

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