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Statement by H.E. Dr. SALEHI
 Minister of Foreign Affairs

Islamic Republic of Iran

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Mr. Chairman

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor for me to represent my country in the Forth Ministerial Meeting of CICA in this modern and beautiful city of Astana. At the outset, I wish to thank our Kazakh colleagues, for the excellent organization of the meeting as well as their invaluable efforts during the constructive period of their Chairmanship of the CICA. Also, I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to congratulate Turkey as the new Chair of the CICA and wish the Turkish people and Government all the best and every success in the course of their chairmanship.

Mr. Chairman,

Due to the joint efforts of the Chair, Member States as well as the Secretariat, the CICA has developed into an effective regional mechanism and now we are proud to celebrate its twentieth anniversary in its very birth place, the city of Astana. This forum is now quite capable to provide appropriate and effective means for strengthening dialogue, understanding and confidence building in our wide region.

The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to the CICA and other regional mechanisms such as ACD and ECO, and is quite prepared to fully participate and engage in all areas of activities provided for in the basic documents of the Conference, including, but not limited, endeavoring to realize a more prosperous and peaceful world. We believe that international cooperation is the best way to mobilize and direct our collective fight against weapons of mass destruction in particular nuclear weapons, drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, pandemic diseases, illiteracy, poverty, adverse effects of climate change, violence and terrorism and also effectively deal with root causes of the two last scourges.

We further believe that regional integration and consensus-based-activities such as the expansion of transit and transport corridors, cooperation in the field of energy, management of water resources as well as economic and cultural cooperation help pave the way for more understanding, peace and stability in the region.

Mr. Chairman,

Today, we are faced with many challenges, which stem from misunderstanding and the insufficient international cooperation. Insecurity, military intervention, occupation, use of force, repeated threat to use of force against independent member States of the United Nations, resorting to outdated approaches such as gun-boat diplomacy and other uncivilized methods are still on the table of aggressive and bullying powers.

Heavy and unjustified presence of foreign troops in the region continues unabated under the baseless excuse of preserving peace and security; whereas such presence could only jeopardize peace and stability in this prosperous continent. The illegitimate presence of foreign forces in our region provokes hatred and violence and creates breeding ground for terrorism and radicalism. 

Mr. Chairman,

The aforementioned challenges demand our resolute actions. In this respect, allow me, Mr. Chairman, to suggest the following:

  • We have to embrace international cooperation and regional integration as the cornerstone of our activities and further invest in consensus-based-activities and enhancing information sharing in the areas of common interest and concern;
  • We must further endeavor towards building closer relationship and sharing experiences among Asian regional mechanisms such as CICA, ECO, SCO and ASEAN;
  • To bolster and guarantee the peaceful coexistence in our wide region, we have to respect independence, national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations in Asia;
  • We need to recognize each others’ political and social systems, independent strategies of development and strive to complement one another's  policies;
  • We must commit ourselves to settling disputes by peaceful means and in accordance with the principles and objectives enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
  • we have to find the best ways to realize our mutual economic interests and try to turn all emerging threats and challenges into new opportunities for further cooperation;

Mr. Chairman,

On Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully committed to its pledge to help the reconstruction process of this country. In so doing, Iran will continue its financial support to develop infrastructural projects in Afghanistan. We further encourage the international community to pay due attention to the sufferings of Afghan refugees and request all parties to help arrive at a permanent solution for their voluntary repatriation, mainly through establishment of development projects in Afghanistan.

On Syria, we strongly believe that countries in favor of peace and stability in the region should pave the way and create appropriate condition for holding meaningful dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition to find mutually agreeable solution that could guarantee peace and security in that country and to stop bloodshed. Continued chaos and instability in Syria could spread to the entire region. Such an escalation would only serve the illegitimate interests of those who seek to divide and rule in the region.

Mr. Chairman,

Nuclear weapons are the most inhumane weapons ever conceived. The maintenance of strategic and tactical nuclear stockpile and their continued modernization, as well as new military doctrines setting the rationale for their possible use, particularly against non-nuclear weapon states represent the greatest threat to humankind. The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) did not provide a right for nuclear weapon states to keep their nuclear arsenals indefinitely. States Parties to the NPT have obligations under Article VI of the NPT to destroy all nuclear weapons within a time-bound framework, which is yet to be fulfilled. Therefore, it is imperative to conclude a   comprehensive convention on nuclear disarmament.

The inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities should be upheld and any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities operational or under construction amounts to a serious danger to human beings and the environment, and constitutes a grave violation of international law, the principles and purposes set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, as well as regulations of the IAEA. There is a pressing need for a comprehensive multilaterally negotiated legal instrument prohibiting attacks, or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Mr. Chairman,

To conclude, let me stress that the relationship between Iran and the CICA is ever-expanding. We believe that our future cooperation should be wide-ranging and comprehensive. We are of the view that we have much more to do compared to what we are now doing together. The CICA Member States are interested in cooperating in areas where Iran has rich experience and particular expertise to offer. They include, but are not limited to, combating drug trafficking, managing natural disasters, generating electric power, producing energy, managing water resources and so on. We therefore look forward to working together with all Member States of the CICA to cope with our common challenges and strengthen our cooperation for living in peace, security and lasting prosperity.

I thank you Mr. Chairman