Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a video message on Friday
“I’m in Vienna to put a long overdue end to an unnecessary crisis. At this
eleventh hour, despite some differences that remain, we have never been
closer to a lasting outcome. But there is no guarantee.
Getting to yes requires the courage to compromise, the self-confidence to
be flexible, the maturity to be reasonable, the wisdom to set aside illusions and the audacity to break old habits.
Some stubbornly believe that military and economic coercion can ensure
submission. They still insist on spending other people’s money or sacrificing other people’s children for their own delusional designs.
I see hope because I see emergence of reason over illusion. I sense that
my negotiating partners have recognized that coercion and pressure never
lead to lasting solutions but to more conflict and further hostility. They
have seen that eight years of aggression by Saddam Hussein and his patrons
did not bring the Iranian nation that stood all alone to its knees.
And now they realize that the most indiscriminate and unjust economic
sanctions against my country have achieved absolutely none of their
declared objectives but instead have harmed innocents and antagonized a
peaceful and forgiving nation.
They have opted for the negotiating table. But they still need to make a
critical and historic choice: agreement or coercion.
In politics, as in life, you can’t gain at the expense of others. Such
gains are always short-lived. Only balanced agreements can withstand the
test of time.
We are ready to strike a balanced and good deal and open new horizons to
address important common challenges. Our common threat today is the
growing menace of violent extremism and outright barbarism.
Iran was the first to rise to the challenge and propose to make
confronting this threat a global priority when it launched WAVE (World
Against Violence and Extremism). The menace we’re facing – and I say we
because no one is spared – is embodied by the hooded men who are ravaging
the cradle of civilization. To deal with this new challenge, new
approaches are badly needed.
Iran has long been at the forefront in the fight against extremism. I hope
my counterparts will also turn their focus and devote their resources to
this existential battle.
A thousand years ago, the Iranian poet Ferdowsi said: ‘Be relentless in
striving for the cause of good, bring the spring you must, banish the
winter you should.’
My name is Javad Zarif and this has always been Iran’s message.”
(July 3, 2015)::