The Guardian |: Twenty-one years ago, on my recommendation, the UN general assembly named 2001 the year of “dialogue among civilisations”, and signalled its commitment to peace and its rejection of war and violence. The Iranian people, despite their own historic grievances and troubled history, opened a hopeful new chapter of engagement and dialogue with the Great Powers (US, UK and Russia). These hopes, however, were dashed by the terrorist atrocities of 11 September, 2001 and their tragic aftermath in devastating wars in west Asia. The catastrophic wars of Iraq and Afghanistan and other interventions in the region exacerbated already extant problems, and paved the way for the growth of international terrorism, civil wars in Syria and Iraq, and the depredations and war crimes still unfolding in Yemen. These conflicts have made the region unsafe and have impinged on security around the world.
The Middle East once again faces a crisis not of its own making; a crisis which was both unnecessary and avoidable
In the same period, the development of Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme became a test of the dialogue on peace. In order to build trust with the international community my administration sought dialogue, and after years of difficult and tumultuous negotiations, President Rouhani’s government succeeded in concluding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – known as the Iran nuclear deal – with six other world powers.
Iran has repeatedly declared that it is not seeking to build a nuclear weapon. In addition to observing its obligations under the non-proliferation treaty (NPT), as a gesture of goodwill Iran accepted the JCPOA’s measures to ensure transparent verifiability of the peaceful nature of its civilian nuclear programme. The successful conclusion of the JCPOA was a major achievement which showed that reciprocity and mutual trust between Iran and the E3+3 were not only possible, but desirable. Furthermore, it acted as an important basis on which to build, containing within it the prospect of more fruitful and positive relations between our respective nations in the future. Sadly, Iran was the only country to abide by all the provisions of the JCPOA, while the other signatories have either breached or shirked their responsibilities under its terms.
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