"In Irans Sicherheitsdoktrin ist kein Platz für atomare und chemische Waffen" / "In Iran’s National Security Doctrine there is no room for atomic and chemical weapons"
Rede von Ali Larijani, Sekretär des Obersten Sicherheitsrates Irans, auf der 43. Münchner "Sicherheitskonferenz" / Ali Larijani, Iran: Speech at the Munich Conference on Security Policy
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir im Rahmen unserer Berichterstattung über die 43. Münchener "Sicherheitskonferenz" (früher "Wehrkundetagung") die Rede des Sekretärs des Obersten Sicherheitsrates Irans, Ali Laridschani. Er sprach am Sonntag, 11. Februar, im Hotel "Bayerischer Hof".
Deutsche Zusammenfassung der Rede nach Agenturmeldungen
Die Zwischenüberschriften in Laridschanis Rede haben wir der besseren Lesbarkeit Willen selbst eingefügt.
Zunächst gab es eine Absage. Laridschani gab einen Tag vor der Konferenz bekannt, dass er wegen einer Erkrankung nicht teilnehmen könne. Dann kam er aber doch und sprach am Sonntag, den 11. Februar, zu den Teilnehmern.
Am Vortag gab es in zahlreichen anderen Reden Kritik und Angriffe gegen den Iran. US-amerikanische Konferenzteilnehmer warfen Iran vor, sein bislang auf eine Reichweite von 2.000 Kilometer beschränktes Raketenarsenal ausbauen zu wollen. Zudem plane das Land, das US-Präsident Georg W. Bush zur "Achse des Bösen" zählt, die nukleare Bestückung der Raketen.
Laridschani wies dies zurück. Er könne nicht verstehen, warum Iran vorgeworfen werde, Europa mit seinen Mittelstreckenraketen zu bedrohen. "Das war eine große Überraschung für mich", sagte der Diplomat. Auch sei es falsch, dass sein Land aggressive Absichten gegenüber Nachbarstaaten hege. Vielmehr sei Iran im ersten Golfkrieg selbst Opfer von Angriffen durch den damaligen irakischen Herrscher Saddam Hussein und durch mit ihm verbündete westliche Staaten wie die USA geworden. Aus der Erfahrung der Geschichte heraus verfolge Iran "einen rein defensiven Ansatz".
Bezogen auf den Vorschlag Putins, Iran mit Kernbrennstoff zu beliefern, sagte Laridschani, es gebe bislang keine verlässlichen Garantien für eine dauerhafte Versorgung mit angereichertem Uran. Generell sei Iran in der Atomfrage aber zur internationalen Zusammenarbeit bereit.
"Wir haben eindeutig angekündigt, dass es in unserer Verteidigungsdoktrin keinen Platz für atomare und für chemikalische Waffen gibt", sagte Laridschani dann am 11. Februar in seiner Rede. Sein Land habe außerdem keinerlei aggressive Absichten gegenüber anderen Staaten. Laridschani zeigte sich gleichzeitig offen, in dem Atomkonflikt "konstruktiv in Dialogform" eine Lösung herbeizuführen.
Als möglichen Kompromiss verwies Laridschani auf den Vorschlag von US-Wissenschaftlern, dass der Iran Zentrifugen betreiben könne, die nur niedrig angereichertes Uran - also bis vier Prozent - verarbeiten können. "Das ist akzeptabel", sagte der Chefunterhändler.
Laridschani erklärte, er habe IAEA-Generaldirektor Mohamed ElBaradei in einem Brief geschrieben, dass in drei Wochen die Modalitäten der ausstehenden Fragen geklärt sein können.
Sein Land habe außerdem keinerlei aggressive Absichten gegenüber anderen Staaten, sagte Laridschani. Er zeigte sich gleichzeitig offen, in dem Atomkonflikt "konstruktiv in Dialogform" eine Lösung herbeizuführen. "Wir wollen die Lage in der Region nicht verschlechtern", sagte er in seiner Rede zum Thema "Sicherheit im Mittleren Osten".
Ali Larijani, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council of Islamic Republic of Iran
Speech at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy
The speech was held in Persian
In the Name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful
I would like to begin by expressing my thanks to the organizers of this conference and the Government of Germany for the excellent arrangements made for this conference and the opportunity given to me to attend this gathering.
This conference and similar initiatives launched for the same purpose reveal the fact that fast-changing global developments have drastically transformed the international and regional security realities which necessitate a review and redefinition of the previous analytical and management tools.
Perhaps, one may take the hasty measures, temporary alliances, the fast changing dialogues and policies as a testimony to the afore-mentioned claim. Therefore it is vitally important for all of us to find a way out of this dilemma by creating the required analytical and management capabilities. And any delay in this regard can potentially culminate in the eruption of new crises. And any miscalculated efforts for the settlement of the key issues can prepare the ground for a new spate of confrontations.
Thus, I do hope that this conference can lay down the ground work for a rational approach to these key issues and set down new parameters for the establishment of lasting security in our world.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The primary purpose of any unilateral, bilateral or multilateral security strategy, alliance or pact is the establishment of order; an order which is aimed at settling the convergent or divergent interests, values and ideologies in the system of international relations. Any world security order can be viable and sustainable only if it meets the material and moral interests of individuals and societies which include Justice, freedom, well-being and respect for their identities. An order which fails to meet the afore-mentioned interests for individuals, groups and states is an arbitrary order which is doomed to break down due to the injustices that it is bound to bring in its wake.
From Cold War to the theory of unilateralism
Good order per se ensures durability and continuity and lasts at least for decades or generations. Therefore, a sustainable order can not entail anything other than inclusive aims. And the less inclusive such aims the less durable will be such order. In our debates on the practical aspects of an international order, we should note that a sustainable security order, per se, rejects the attainment of the interests of one side through intimidation, coercion and violence at the expense of others. In other words, an international and regional security order can be sustainable only if it is underpinned by understanding and concord.
A glance at the past history shows that the two models of security order experienced in the past have presented our world with some challenges; First, the security order prevailing in the Cold War era and second, the security order which is based on the theory of unilateralism.
In the security order prevailing in the Cold War era which was called the “grand rivalry“ the two superpowers were engaged in colonizing the smaller states and paid little attention to the underpinnings of a sustainable order that is respect for identity of societies, sustainable development, justice and democracy. Of course, this argument may not apply to all European countries but it is true about most countries of the Middle East region. This situation led the Iranian people to launch a great revolution to change the status quo almost these days in the year 1979 (February 11). A despotic and dictatorial regime was ruling over our country for half a century just with the backing and support of the United States as its ally.
The United States not only failed to put pressure on this regime for its inhuman behavior and human rights abuses but it also supported it as a Gendarme of the region to control other small regional states. The disrespect for the well-being, development, freedom, democracy and human rights of the people of Iran at that time were condoned by the United States, and a military coup was launched against the government of Mosaddegh. All these failures proved that what was important for the United States was only the presence of a totally obedient ally in Iran and stability made sense to them only in that context.
"Peace cannot be equated with stability
However, we should know that peace cannot be equated with stability, because it connotes and entails more than that. And that is why our world has lost peace at the expense of stability for sacrificing freedom and justice. This applies not only to the past and present but to the future as well. This was also true about the regional states which were in the orbits of the two superpowers during the cold war era. It means that disrespect for the main ingredients of a sustainable security order has laid the breeding grounds for suspicion, hostility and ultimately confrontation with colonialism. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the theory of the unilateral security order prevailed. This further complicated the problem, because unilateralism essentially nurtures militarism. It is obvious that in this new era, the only superpower of the world has tied the issues of development, democracy or human rights in other countries to their submission to its unilaterist policy and adopted a war-like attitude towards countries which tried to guard their independence.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Iran established all its state organs and institutions on the votes of its people. Islamic Iran has seen almost one general election each year. Do you know of any other state in our region which has been so much dedicated to democracy as Iran? Even if one can ever find any such state in our region its armed forces are so strong that they can change its democratic institutions when they wish so. But, let’s see how the U.S. administrations have been treating the democratic Iran. The policy they pursued in this regard was denial, isolation and sanctions. Yet, we should note that this policy has resulted in nothing other than further stiffening the resolve of the Iranian people.
The pursuit of this one-dimensional policy in other regional states has given rise to some opposing movement. The rebellious campaigns in those regional states have been the result of ignoring the rights of these nations by the big powers. Nixon in his book entitled “victory without war“ states: “In the west, we speak of the fundamentalists, while fundamentalist speaks of the problems of peoples. It is quite natural that they listen to them.“
"Security is not a one-way road"
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This brief review reveals that the policy of monopolization of international security cannot ensure a sustainable order and peace. Security is not a one-way road. A sustainable security requires mutual understanding and close attention to the main ingredients of security. Security ought not to be approached as a trade.
Mutual understanding is tied to constructive diplomacy and constructive diplomacy requires a common will and common will entails shared opportunities.
The core point is that if common paradigms are created between big powers and regional powers, the sustainability of international order and peace can be hoped to be sustainable. Then, the main issue will be what common paradigms can be found in these two areas. This can form the basis of our approach towards future world security which, of course, needs to be further contemplated. Here, I wish to touch upon some important principles for that purpose:
1) Democracy: democracy is a principle which should underpin any common approach for that purpose in the future. The reason for that is that an order cannot be meaningful and sustainable without democracy. When the theory of greater Middle East was raised which apparently took note of democracy a scant hope was created. But it immediately led to despair, as the confrontation with Iran and the way the outcome of the popular election in Palestine was treated revealed that it was only a hollow slogan.
Sometimes, one hears here and there that some regional states lack cultural and political development for democracy. This is more of an irresponsible justification than a reality. Because democracy cannot be exported in the form of a package to a region. This requires practice. Wherever the process of democratization starts it has to be experienced and practiced and, of course, it would not be without difficulties. Yet, one has to note that without democracy real order and peace will be impossible.
2) Respect for other cultures; respect for diverse cultures is another common paradigm. Countries with different historical backgrounds have different cultures. The view which believes that there should be a single individual and social lifestyle in the world clearly lacks the intelligence to appreciate the cultural and sociological significance of other societies. People live with their own culture in their private lives without waiting for others to tell them how to live.
Respect for the cultures, customs and traditions of other nations are indispensable for peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding. It is surprising that the defamatory campaign against the holy prophet of Islam in the West is defended. If we accept that modernity is rooted in rationality, then, one wonders how rational such a behavior could be and if it would result in anything other than intensification of hatred and conflicts. This argument applies to the behavior of terrorists as well.
Though the problems witnessed in Iraq today have their roots in the occupation of the country, the sectarian conflicts between the Shiites and Sunnies and terrorist acts such as the explosion of the holiest shrines of Shiites in Samara stem from this lack of understanding. Islamic leaders and scholars, particularly Shiite authorities see the roots of Islamic thinking in monotheism and belief in God.
They further believe that followers of all divine religions including Muslims, Christians and Jews can gather around monotheistic principles.
Of course, today, there is security in most of Iraq and only a limited part of that country is suffering from insecurity. These secure regions have two characteristics: First, they border on Iran. As you know Iran has the longest common borders with Iraq which amounts to 1350 Kilometers and all the Iraqi provinces which are close to the Iranian borders enjoy security. Second: the American troops are not present in those provinces.
The Islamic Republic of Iran was opposed to the occupation of Iraq from the very beginning. Through my country has suffered the most from the policies of Saddam’s regime, it believed that the occupation of Iraq would breach international security. Even after the occupation of Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran was the only country in the region which supported the establishment of democracy, the national government and the national assembly as well as the constitution of Iraq with a hope that they will help restore security in Iraq as early as possible.
Today, it is clear to everybody that the suicide attacks in Iraq are launched mostly by the young people who have gathered in Iraq form the countries which are friends of the United States and this stems from the mistaken militaristic policies of the past.
Today, it seems that some countries are misleading the Americans and pushing them in a direction which will only add to their problems in the region. In fact, they see the deeper involvement of the United States in this region as a solution to their own prejudiced rivalry.
I repeat that the Islamic Republic of Iran supports democracy, the national government of Prime Minister Maleki, the national assembly and the constitution of Iraq and will not spare any effort which can contribute to the reconstruction, development and security of Iraq. My country also fully supports the preservation of the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq as a basic principle.
"Iran’s National Security Doctrine is defensive"
3) Constructive interaction based on rationality and mutual respect. If we today seek sustainable order and peace we should accept that colonialization and humiliation cannot be a rational approach to peace. The policy of denial, isolation, and adventurist sanctions only serve to further intensify instability in our region.
We have to accept that the regional states have the rational capacity to determine their own interests. Dishonesty and denial have intensified pessimism and suspicion even among the friends of the United States in the region.
They clearly see that Iran has played a unique role in the fight against drug trafficking in the region and has suffered immense human and material losses in that respect. Yet, all the efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran in this area have been surprisingly played down or ignored. Worse than that is what happened in Afghanistan. Despite the positive role played by Iran in Afghanistan the United States called Iran as part of the evil axis. Even today, in spite of all the contributions made by Iran to help institutionalize the national government in Iraq, one can hear once in a while some irrelevant remarks about Iran. All these issues indicate that the theory of denial instead of constructive interaction is still being pursued as the basis of activities against Iran.
It is obvious that the theory of denial does not change the outside realities and only affects the capacities which exist in the region for the establishment of a sustainable order, stability and peace.
Iran’s National Security Doctrine is defensive, because Iran does not consider military actions as the solution to the problems. We have friendly ties with countries of the region and do not have any ambition towards their lands and power. Others in the region attacked Iran and we defended ourselves. Future will prove that there will be no harm from Iran to these countries.
When Iran’s territories were occupied by Saddam Hussein, and our people bombarded with chemical weapons, our regional and foreign friends remained silent or supported Saddam Hussein. When times passed they realized that they made mistakes and Saddam Hussein became a problem for them.
Iran in all issues behaved responsibly. We are victim of terrorism, President, Prime Minister, Head of Supreme Court and numbers of Cabinet members and ordinary people killed by terrorists. Now the same terrorists live in some European countries without any problems. These are some double standards and behaviors that cause misunderstanding in the region. It is a good idea to realize Iran form the western Iranologist perspective. Professor Fragner, the influential Austrian Iranologist said about Iran: “If we ask Germans how powerful Germany is, they will say the power of Germany is to the extend that German tanks can go. If you ask French how powerful is France they will say it is to the extend that their guns can fire and if you ask the Arabs that how powerful you are they will say to the extend that our swords can kill. But it is different about Iranians. Iranians never call themselves as Iran Empire or terms like these. They always talk about Iran’s sphere of power. Sphere of power means to the extend that minds and thoughts can work.“
It is what a western Iranologist say. Iran believes in rationality and constructive interaction in International Relations but never ignores its independence.
4) Responsibility within the framework of legal and international systems can be another common principle among major and regional powers. If we do not abuse international arrangements, they can be considered as action, despite the fact that international arrangements are not complete and these days repeatedly we hear about the reform in U.N structure. But at least if these arrangements are respected they could be criteria to act.
Iran’s nuclear case
We should accept that this principle due to abuse of some powerful countries has been damaged, or at least we can say it is under suspicion. The current example could be seen in Iran’s nuclear case.
Episode One: Forty years ago during the dictatorship of Shah, they planned a project for 20000 Megawatt nuclear electricity and with the aid of U.S and some other European countries; they signed agreements to build a power plant. But when Iranians toppled the dictator, the west punished Iran and nullified all the contracts.
Episode Two: Iran had to achieve nuclear know-how by itself, while it accepted NPT and was members of IAEA, Iran benefited from IAEA the least and reached the current position by relying on domestic science.
Episode Three: Two years negotiation and suspension of all nuclear activities and the result was a plan in which nothing was clear, and which Mr. Al Bradaie and other Europeans said was an inappropriate plan.
Episode Four: During the last year they imposed pressure on Iran with this policy that either we had to stop nuclear activities or they would refer the case to the Security Council and other threats. Even after long negotiations with Mr. Solana, Iran’s case was referred to the Security Council.
These methods teach others that International arrangements cannot be accepted as a basic among big powers and regional powers. They have rights. Iran’s nuclear case is not complicated in its nature. It is being used as a pretext for adventure. Why?
Iran’s nuclear case in a general view:
It is related to the past,
- It is related to the present,
- It is related to future conditions.
What is related to the past if there are any questions Iran is committed to answer them, and we sent a letter to IAEA and announced that we are ready to work out a modality on the condition that Iran’s case returns to the IAEA. In other words we have commitments in this part and we are responsible to them.
But regarding to what is related to the present, not only nuclear activities of Iran are under the supervision of IAEA and their inspections are going on, but also Mr. Al Bradae and the Europeans know that the current situation of Iran is continuing with the supervision of IAEA and is in the framework of NPT and safeguards.
"We are ready to have all of our nuclear activities in a consortium"
The main concerns of those who talk with me is related to the future. Some of them frankly said that they could not accept that even Iran reaches to peaceful nuclear knowledge, because they were concerned about futures wrongdoings.
These comments are surprising. These kinds of justifications cannot be found in international laws, that before crimes have been committed, some are already looking for punishment. But at the same time in response to the incentive package and also in our negotiations with Mr. Solana we said that we are ready to have all of our nuclear activities in a consortium so that others can participate in our activities and as the result we build confidence. Despite the fact that according to the international arrangements we are not obliged to do so, but to prove our good intention we are ready to do so. What is wrong with this logic? Does the attitude of the other side not create suspicion that either we should act like Israel and have the atomic bomb and not accept NPT, or if we act in the framework of IAEA and NPT they are not going to consider rights for us?
"Weapons of mass destruction are prohibited religiously"
Repeatedly we announced frankly that in Iran’s National Security Doctrine there is no room for atomic and chemical weapons and we consider them against the Islamic laws. The Supreme leader of Iran in this connection released a decree that weapons of mass destruction are prohibited religiously. Besides, we know that Iran’s action in this way will trigger an atomic arms race in the region which as a result will endanger the peace and stability of the region and the world. Therefore we support the idea of a Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction.
The main problem is as simple as that but the use of political ploys can further complicate it, which basically can have a harmful impact in the region. We believe in a solution through negotiation and dialogue. If the other side is determined in its doings, I am sure within a few months all issues will be finalized and the way will be paved for long- term cooperation both in a regional aspect and energy.
But the irrational preconditions such as suspension of uranium enrichment set for the resumption of negotiations are standing practically as an obstacle in the way of the settlement of this issue. Now it has been almost eight months that such preconditions have inhibited the settlement of this issue. Now the question arises that if three out of these eight months had been spent on negotiations what possible damages could have occurred? And now that this has not happened what achievement has been made? In answer to this question, one may say that a resolution has been issued against Iran and this country has been brought under pressure. Was the original intention of this process anything other than finding a solution to this problem? So, one can see that this misguided approach has not solved the problem and has been originally launched with some other motives.
I do hope that the out-moded experiences of the past either with regard to this particular case and also with regard to the general issue of regional and international security will be reconsidered and we do not let the minimal short-lived achievements overshadow long-term cooperation.
Through the paradigms elaborated upon, we can portray a more realistic prospect for regional security. And the Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to such a constructive approach and views it as a rational basis for cooperation with other regional and international players, and in this regard is ready to hold a security conference in Tehran to fulfill this goal.
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