Dr. Mohammad Hassan Sheykholeslami – Head of the Center for Political and International Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Hello, my dear colleagues, dear friends, professors and researchers. I am very happy that I had an opportunity to participate in a large meeting virtually. I was very interested to be able to serve my friends in person and to benefit from your opinions and views as thinkers. Unfortunately, it was not possible to meet you in person due to the troubles and occupations I already had. That’s why I seize this short virtual opportunity and make a few brief remarks on the subject of peace in the West Asian region.
As you know, West Asia as the most important region with strategic and direct effects on Iran has a significant effect on the strategic relations of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Friends are aware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is located in a strategically important region of the world. It can be said that the most important region whose impact on our nation, our economy and our culture is greater than other regions is the region of West Asia.
The region has been subject to numerous unrests and tensions in recent decades. And despite the efforts made, these unrests and tensions and riots have not only decreased but have increased in recent years.
The geography and history of the West Asian region have always been of interest to international actors in at least two respects. One of these aspects, as you know, is the strengths and geopolitical and civilizational assets of this region. Finally, this important region of West Asia is adjacent to the vital waterway of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Strait of the International, which has been the focus of trade, political, and security efforts throughout the ages.
The rich resources of this region as well as the location of this region in the transportation highway of the three main continents of Asia, Europe and Africa and the important geopolitical capacities of Iran, in addition, the great civilization of Europe and … this region, especially after the advent of Islam, has given this region valuable cultural prestige and rich resources.
But from the second point of view, this prestige, this value, these rich resources and this very valuable culture have been the basis of many years of occupation, looting and malice towards this region. In a way, the study of the political and security history of the West Asian region is in fact the study of the history of trans-regional competition over the geopolitical assets of this region.
The main component that shaped and shapes the history of this region is the competition for these geopolitical assets of the region. These rivalries have naturally existed on the part of the supra-regional powers and have been present among the regional powers throughout history, and have led to divisions, confrontations and unhealthy competition between the countries of the region.
Developments in the region have taken on new and distinct dimensions in our time. This region has been the place of the emergence of numerous extremist groups and terrorist groups. Competitions in the countries of this region have taken on very different and diverse dimensions, whether in terms of security, political, economic or infrastructure.
Competitions based on state-of-the-art technology for cyber and missile attacks, artificial intelligence, and indeed the proximity of regional powers to supra-regional powers have led to their interests in the region being pursued by some actors within the region, making West Asia so complex. And it has very distinctive features.
The same rivalries, unrest and tensions have given extra-regional countries an excuse to enter the region. In other words, we opened the door to extra-regional powers in the region with our own hands. A study of the effects of the presence of supra-regional powers in the West Asian region shows that the presence of these powers has had no effect other than increasing unrest, instability, war, as well as the misery of the people of this region.
Therefore, if we think about peace in the West Asian region, it seems that the most important component of the pursuit of peace in the West Asian region is these competitions and the security architecture of the region by our actors.
In this area, of course, the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been ready to play an effective, constructive and positive role, and today it is ready to play this role.
The program of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region shows our support for the security of the region as it is provided by the actors of the region and to prevent the plans of some powers from succeeding in dividing the region, disintegrating the countries of the region and shifting borders. Another basic principle emphasized by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the architecture of peace and security in the West Asian region is the need to protect the borders of countries and not to make any changes in the geopolitical map of the region.