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West Asia to shape future international order

Monday, December 12, 2016

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said West Asia is one of the main scenes shaping the future international structure.

Addressing Tehran Security Conference on Sunday, FM Zarif pointed to the link between local and global structures asserting “international order cannot be dealt with without paying due attention to West Asia as a decisive factor in forming the international system in the future.”

“The transition era which emerged after the Cold War has lasted for over twenty years and still possesses characteristics of a transition period the only difference being that the West is no longer considered as the main axis of change,” he underlined.

He noted that all changes in the international community used to take place withing the Western framework while current changes go beyond that; “we need to grasp the reality that developments are not originated nor concluded in the West anymore.”

He expounded that the world was no longer affected by Western developments as West Asia, in its own right, has turned into an influential components shaping the future and it will deeply affect the international system.

The new order, unlike what it might seem, will not be formed in the West as well as that West Asia has turned into an actor rather than merely being the subject of action, Zarif noted.

Iran’s foreign minister also touched upon challenges faced by the region explaining “certain difficulties are specific to the region while others are shared with the whole world as well as that challenges and opportunities are transposable.”

He deemed perception and its effectiveness as the most important challenge adding that developments take place rapidly now as compared to the past when transition periods were accompanied with war and destruction.

“Unlike the past, we are faced with proxy or local wars and perception could lead to both formation and vanishing,” highlighted the official recalling that Saddam caused destruction of his country as a result of distorted perception.

He said a new battle scene was on shaping perceptions since it could mark a source of power and the fact explains why several images of the international future exist.

The second challenge Iran’s Zarif referred to was diversity of power resources since economic and military ones are no longer the only originators of power.

He said plurality of actors remained as yet another challenged faced by the international community adding “in the bipolar world, only two actors existed and other were defined on the basis of their connections with the two.”

“After abolishment of the polarized world, Imam Khomeini was one of the first figures to feel the change as inferred from his letter to Mikhail Gorbachev in which he stated that the monopoly of power had collapsed.”

He said Iran enjoys a great power today mainly due to availability of a wide variety of power sources which enable the country to make presence in the transition era.

Mohammad Javad Zarif further stated that even non-governmental actors have gained power though they can have positive roles like Hezbollah or adverse effects like ISIL.

“Neither group is reliant on geographical boundaries and some can foster some others can jeopardize security.”

The senior official emphasized that the era of hegemony was over though Americans have entered several wars with the misperception that hegemony still exists.

The third issue is the current condition in West Asia as it lacks local order or initiative, said the Iranian FM adding “another concern is the false concept that security can be purchased.”

He further stressed that, except Iran, majority of regional governments have failed to fulfill people’s wishes and has turned into a sense of hatred.

“Some have exploited religious differences to mislead people,” highlighted the official noting that the region is suffering from incorrect diagnosis and prescriptions while we need to define the ideal or preferred conditions as a way out.

Zarif further said to that end, enough attention needs to be paid to barriers faced by people saying that security needs to be supplied internally without reliance on any external agent.

Iran’s foreign minister said the region required a network of security rather than a regional alliance reiterating that security could not be bought from outsiders.

The official, while commenting that reliance on external sources would lead to frustrations and dreadful costs, concluded that cooperation of all countries in the region was a prerequisite to regional security.

Source: Mehr News Agency

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