Iran offers to ‘mediate’ between India and Pakistan

New Delhi [India], Dec. 3 : Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed his country's willingness to mediate between India and Pakistan, if both countries wanted Iran to play a role.

"Iran is a close friend of India as well as Pakistan. We would like the relations between our friends to improve. We are ready to do whatever we can, if both our friends so desire," he said while answering a question.

Dr. Zarif was delivering a special address on "Fighting against terrorism and extremism as a global menace", organised jointly by Observer Research Foundation and the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Delhi on Saturday.

Saying the "era of hegemony is now gone", Dr Zarif cautioned the newly elected U.S. leadership of the dangers of trying to make the country great once again. The new leadership should not try to make the US great again, Dr Zarif said, noting that no country can now exercise hegemony either globally or in the region.

He said there was a misperception in the west that America had won the Cold War, but the world had paid a heavy price during more than two decades.

"I hope nobody will revive that misplaced perception," Dr Zarif said. The Foreign Minister further blamed the failure of nation states in the Middle East to meet the aspirations of the people for the spread of the menace of terrorism in the region.

He said alienation, lack of space to vent people's anger and oppression lead to youth getting radicalised.

He said America's war against Iran, Afghanistan and now Syria forced people to take to violence to fight their oppression.

Dr Zarif also accused some nations of supporting perverted versions of Islam through their allies which led to spread of extremism and violence.

He said now it is the "transitional phase in international relations". And "it is the era of power of individual", he pointed out. He also hoped that the multilateral nuclear agreement between Iran, the US and other P-5 nations would continue despite the threats from the newly elected US President during the election campaigns.

Earlier welcoming the Minister, Sunjoy Joshi, Director, Observer Research Foundation said as the world today is witnessing events unfold in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen it is also being made to see them against the backdrop of the results that democratic processes are repeatedly throwing up in Europe as well across the Atlantic.

"These more and more make it clear that increasingly it may fall upon regional powers such as ours to engage with each other and invest for the long term stability of the region," he said.

Joshi noted that security indeed cannot be a zero sum game because it is a common good and countries such as ours, have to become partners in the provisioning of that global good in this region by becoming the enablers for an integrated and inter-connected region ...from Europe to India ...and from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean..." "Unfortunately, if any commodity has been in short supply in this region it has been security.

...the rise of quasi-states as instruments of terror, the Daesh; the continued support of terror by some states and the globalised occurrence of radicalism - online and offline have become everyday news," he said.

Joshi said the Heart of Asia conference has brought you to India. "But we all know that the heart of Asia will truly beat only when security, counter-terrorism and peace are taken up as the conditions precedent for trade and economics.

Otherwise the lack of progress on this front will continue to dampen the potential of this multilateral initiative.".

Source: ANI