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Iran FM Zarif: ‘Israel’s Myth of Invincibility Has Crumbled’

Last week, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, addressed delegates at Munich Security Conference, offering a stunning rebuttal to a previous speech given by Israel’s premier Benjamin Netanyahu, where he calls out a litany of western ‘security blunders’, before announcing ‘an end of Israel hegemony.’ Zarif also outlines a path to peace and prosperity for the region, with a unique new approach to collective regional security in the Persian Gulf.

Zarif said:

“Some of our neighbors if you remember used their opportunity here last year to level accusations against Iran some have and others will later this morning or this afternoon you were the audience for a cartoonish secret circus just this morning which does not even deserve a dignity of a response.”

“For too long, military powers have had multiple strategies to win war, and for too long they have ignored any strategy to win the peace, and for too long major powers and the regional clients have made the wrong choices, particularly in our region, and then have blamed others, particularly Iran, for the consequences of their own wrong choices – choices that have been short-sighted and trigger-happy, and have ended in strategic blunders. Let me just tell you what these choices were: from supporting Saddam Hussein when he invaded my country in 1982, aiding and abetting his use of chemical weapons against Iranian and Iraqi civilians and soldiers, from the wars to evict him from Kuwait, to the war to remove him altogether, from first supporting al-Qaeda against Soviet Union and then Taliban against us, to then waging a war to remove them from Afghanistan, from supporting the same brand of terrorists and extremists in Syria in the form of Daesh and al Nusra, bringing Syria to ruins – to dangerously occupying today parts of Syria under the guise of fighting the organizations that they financed armed and supported. From Israel’s invasion and subsequent aggressions on Lebanon, it’s illegal occupation of Palestine, and it’s almost daily illegal incursions into Syrian airspace, to attempts to create these cartoonish images to blame others for its own strategic blunders or maybe to evade the domestic crisis they’re facing, and from bombing Yemen with Western supplied arms. What have these acts brought to the world? The US and its local clients in our region are suffering from the consequences of their own wrong choices but they use this, and other fora, to revive the hysteria on Iran’s Foreign Policy, and try to obscure its realities. But did Iran force them to make these wrong choices, as some of them so ridiculously claimed these days – that they supported extremism in order to face Iran? Are we to blame, are we to blame… because we refused to support Saddam Hussein because we fought Saddam Hussein, because we were on the right side of history fighting Saddam Hussein… fighting the Taliban, fighting al-Qaeda fighting, fighting al Nusra consistently – instead of joining those who supported them in creation in financing and in arming.”

“Distinguished friends, as I said before this forum last year Iran believes that our security in the Persian Gulf requires a fresh regional security architecture. We believe in, and have proposed creating what we call a ‘strong region’ rather than a strong man in the region – and you gotta notice the difference. We want a strong region. We do not want to be the hegemon in the region, as we believe the era of hegemony is long past regionally, as well as globally (strong region). We’re small, and large nations – even those with historical rivalries – can contribute to stability. This is simply recognizing the need to respect the interest of all stakeholders in this Persian Gulf region which is by its very nature a requirement for stability. While hegemonic tendencies by any regional or global power will again, by its very nature, lead to insecurity (and) the arms race in our region – and no country probably represented here can claim to be completely innocent of perpetuating that arms race. It’s an example of the destructive and unnecessary rivalry that has made our neighborhood unsafe and insecure for its own inhabitants, as well as for any guests. In a quest to create a strong region we need to be realistic and accept our differences.”

During the Q & A session afterward, Zarif was asked about Israel, and delivered the most stark reply.

“The so-called invincibility (of Israel) has crumbled. Israel uses aggression as a policy against his neighbors; mass reprisals against his neighbors, daily incursions into Syria, Lebanon and other Arab countries. Daily bombardments are almost routine – bombardments of Syria, and once somebody like the Syrians have the guts to shoot down one of its planes, it’s as if a disaster has happened. Disaster is aggression, disaster is the policy of violating the most basic rights of the Palestinians don’t look for excuses.”

Watch the full speech, and Q & A session here:

21st Century Wire Iran Files




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