Mohammad Javad Zarif
The Iranian people, with their massive turnout in last year’s presidential election and their decisive choice of assertive engagement, have provided a unique window of opportunity for the new Iranian government and for the world to chart a different and much more promising course in our bilateral and multilateral relations. For this endeavor to succeed, it is imperative for other states to accept the reality of Iran’s prominent role in the Middle East and beyond and to recognize and respect Iran’s legitimate national rights, interests, and security concerns.
The traditional regimes in these countries may be able to withstand the political actions of their young generation for another decade. However, at the end of the day, they will have to give in to extensive political reforms or find themselves faced with relentless revolutions and political protests. Many Arab and Western political analysts believe that the second wave of Arab revolutions will start on the shores of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
The ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine can serve as a wakeup call and prompt all involved parties to find a political solution to this crisis after which the way would be paved for the implementation of new energy projects aimed at diversification of natural gas suppliers for Europe. Under these conditions, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been offered with a good opportunity to emerge as a new supplier of natural gas to Europe. As a result, Iran must be quite ready to take the best advantage of the historical opportunities that will be naturally created by the current political crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
Iran is planning to celebrate the classical medieval Persian poet and mystic Sa’adi National Day during various ceremonies in Shiraz.
By recognizing Iran's right to continue its peaceful nuclear energy program in more explicit terms and by following the same approach in its “practical policy,” Moscow would be able to get its position on the nuclear case close to that of Iran. By doing this, Russia would be able to build more confidence with Iran and prove its determination to stand in the face of the West’s bullying in practice.
The new crisis in relation to the United States’ interactions with Iran, which was caused by Washington’s refusal to issue visa for the Islamic Republic’s new nominee for the post of Iran's representative to the United Nations, and its untoward consequences for both sides have put renewed emphasis on a bitter fact: the outlook of the two countries’ future ties is still a hostage to their past.
Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh
As a human rights researcher, I am quite certain of the reality that many viewpoints held both in Iran and Europe about the other side’s approach to human rights are based on misunderstanding, unfamiliarity with the philosophy of human rights concept cherished by either side, as well as unawareness of how the principles of human rights are enforced by either side and the real method used for this purpose.
Since the new idea of Boris Yeltsin to develop an all-conclusive convergence with the Western world failed and the Kosovo crisis put the final nail in the coffin of the foreign policy rationale of Gorbachev, a fresh line of thought based on the theory of structural realism has formed in Moscow, which can be defined by the statement: “Russia as a great power in a multipolar international system.” Based on this statement, Russia should guarantee this role through economic and industrial reconstruction and regional institutionalism in Central Eurasia.
The current visit by the President of Republic of Azerbaijan Elham Aliyev to the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken place at a time that the current situation in the region; political, regional and international issues; as well as Iran's special position have doubled the importance of his trip.
The most important consideration for Iran is to see a powerful central government in Kabul free from ethnic and religious tendencies which would be elected through a democratic and legitimate process. Such a situation will be more in line with the Islamic Republic’s strategic interests than possible disintegration of Afghanistan or the continuation of the ethnic monopoly on power.