Press TV has conducted an interview with Kaveh Afrasiabi, an author and political scientist, to discuss the remarks made by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, calling on all countries to join hands to combat terrorism and extremism.
Here is a rough transcription of the interview:
Press TV: How important do you think it is for countries worldwide, as the Iranian president said, to cooperate in this fight against terrorism?
Afrasiabi: Unfortunately, we have seen a rapid and very dangerous growth of this terrorist threat not just in the Middle East but basically throughout the world, in Europe in particular, and that requires cooperative reaction, and President Rouhani who initiated the General Assembly resolution against extremism and violence is on the mark, reminding the Europeans that Iran has a very vital role to play in the global alliance against terrorism, and I think that we have seen the positive feedback from the Norwegian official and other European officials who are dealing with the present danger of terrorism wreaking havoc in various parts of Europe, and Iran has time and again proved to be a bastion of stability and a bulwark against terrorism.
Press TV: Do you think that Europeans for example such as the Norwegians will actually act in cooperation with the Iranians? As you have said Iran has always stood against terrorism and extremism.
Afrasiabi: I hope so because Europe cannot tackle this problem by itself. This requires among other things intelligence sharing among the intelligence agencies of all the countries that are grappling with the problem of terrorism and the Europeans have been a little bit consumed by Islamophobia and that has retarded the development of trans-regional cooperation and I think that they have now reached the point of a new understanding that countries such as Iran play a very vital role against terrorism and effective counter-terrorism requires region wide cooperation and Europe cannot do it alone.
Press TV: And so how much will this benefit Europe itself, do you think, because obviously we have had a bit of blowback taking place in European countries, be it France, be it Belgium and other places as well? Will this be advantageous for Europe to lean towards Iran and get its help in this situation?
Afrasiabi: Absolutely and it is mutually beneficial for Iran as well because we have seen some reports of terrorists trying to infiltrate through the borders and this is not an overnight problem that is going to go away, it requires long-term planning and concerted effort by all the actors in the region and beyond to collectively combat this threat that just as President Rouhani said recently, it is a threat against humanity and the barbarian violence perpetrated by Daesh, ISIS for example, is completely repugnant to the very collective conscience of humanity and the Europeans have to recognize that Iran is a frontline state against terrorism and they need to cooperate with Iran among others with respect to the threat in Afghanistan and narcotraffic, etc. because they are intertwined.