Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has placed an emphasis on the possibility of dialogue with neighboring countries in the Gulf without foreign interference, pointing out that the “Hormuz” peace initiative is still on the table.
Zarif has ignored how the Iranian constitution, through Article 154, allows support for the legitimate struggle of the “vulnerable” against the “oppressor” all around world.
However, his claims contradict all international values and norms in interactions among countries. They also contradict international treaties and covenants that were not drawn into the attention of the Iranian constitution. Today, Zarif is again trying to maneuver on behalf of his country as an advocate of peace through the “Hormuz Initiative,” a plan that contradicts reality. This misact manifests in Iran’s supporting of militias to destabilize neighboring states and countries that are as far away as Africa.
In a tweet addressing neighboring Gulf countries, Zarif said: “Dear neighbors, why do you ask the US and the three European countries (Germany, Britain and France) to be present in the negotiations with Iran when they have no role in our region.” This suggests that he sees those countries as “troublemakers.”
Zarif pretends to, or has forgotten, that we are an international community governed by international cooperation based on common interests, international norms, charters and systems in cooperation with the countries he mentioned. This does not fit with Iran’s practices — exporting the revolution and exploiting the conditions of some countries, and seizing any opportunity to undermine stability and steal natural resources, all in the name of the Wilayat Al-Faqih in Tehran.
For a more serious and committed attitude, Zarif should instead implement the Iranian constitution and support the downtrodden Shiite Arabs in Ahwaz, who suffer from marginalization, injustice, oppression and poverty. The miserable condition of these people is obvious, with some lacking decent lives just because of their Arab origins. Surprisingly, these issues have not been discussed inside Iran and Iranian minorities in the West and other minorities in northern Iran still face enslavement and abuse.
Zarif is again trying to maneuver on behalf of his country as an advocate of peace.
Dr. Abdulrahman Alolian
The Iranian foreign minister said: “the Hormuz Initiative (the hope) is still on the table.” He also confirmed, through his Arabic tweet, that Iran “is always ready for dialogue with its neighbors,” adding that Tehran “does not negotiate with Westerners about the region.” He warned that “their interference is the core problem.”
Again Zarif forgets that the Iranian constitution clearly gives permission to facilitate arming groups outside the framework of the state in other countries, in order to support minorities and the oppressed. By doing so, he tries to justify the destruction and devastation Iran is directing in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.
Zarif also said that “Iran is always ready for dialogue with its neighbors, and this was manifested in the proposal of the 1986 regional security projects, the 2016 Regional Dialogue Complex and the Hormuz Peace Initiative 2019.” Here, Zarif ignores that other countries in the region have repeatedly extended their offers of peace and dialogue to Iran, and that the leaders in the Gulf have made attempts to find a common ground with Iran.
However, in response, Iran simply bombed Gulf countries, threatened international shipping and made Tehran a center of operations for senior Al-Qaeda leaders like Sayef Aladel, who directs terror cells and killings in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and against our friends in the region.
Today, we see a similar scene in many other countries, such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. Zarif is trying to troll, as is his habit, in marketing issues that can never be tolerated in Iran. The advice to Zarif is: Before marketing peace projects in the region, a greater priority is to change Iran’s constitution, especially for articles that legislate to interfere, threaten, spread the revolution, support, plant and arm militias in the region; and if he is to remain in his position, we can only negotiate with him on clear ground in which negotiations happen at a state level, not through a militia.
• Dr. Abdulrahman Alolian is the dean of College of Communication and Media at the University of Jeddah.