Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani underlined the need to materialize the objectives specified by the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) members.
Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO) in Islamabad on Monday, Larijani said creating political and economic convergence, exploiting the opportunities presented by world economy, developing communications and transit infrastructures and environmental cooperation, making efforts to exploit energy, industrial and agricultural capacities and also strengthening the historical and cultural bonds among regional nations are ECO objectives which should be materialized.
According to Fars News Agency, he warned that ECO members are faced with the fact that national and international crises are affecting their conditions, and said, “Therefore, the potential of PAECO should be exploited for political and security consultations to promote peace and tranquility which is the foundation of sustainable development to decrease losses and damages and reorganize the situation in the region.”
Iran Seeks Democracy in Syria
Elsewhere in his remarks, the speaker said that Tehran is eager to see the establishment of ‘rich and powerful democracy’ in Syria, stressing that such democracy cannot be materialized through force and arms shipment to the terrorists in the country.
“The Islamic Republic is after the creation of a more powerful and richer democracy in Syria but democracy will not be created by weapons and there should definitely be a method for peaceful talks,” Larijani said.
“We have advised the involved sides in Syria to negotiate with each other and settle the problems through political means and avoid creating an opportunity for the Zionist regime which, as we have witnessed, used the chaos in Syria and bombed certain centers,” he added.
Syria has been the scene of unrest since March 2011 and tens of thousands of people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country.
Damascus blames western countries and some of their regional allies of arming the opposition and fueling the crisis in the country, as reports indicate that a large number of insurgents fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.
Larijani arrived in Islamabad on Monday to take part at a conference of the ECO.
According to Hossein Sheikholeslam, a senior Iranian lawmaker, Larijani would stay in the Pakistani capital Islamabad from February 11 to February 13 to attend the conference of the PAECO.
He noted that the PAECO conference would focus on the supervisory role of parliaments in inter-regional commerce and investment.
The MP further stated that Larijani would meet Pakistani officials on the sidelines of the conference during his three-day visit.
ECO is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical, and cultural cooperation among member states.
The organization was expanded in 1992 to include seven new members, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
ECO provides its members with a platform to discuss ways of improving economic development, and promoting trade and investment opportunities.
Enhancing Regional Solidarity
Speaking to reporters before his departure for Islamabad, Larijani described the role of PAECO in boosting of solidarity among regional states as significant, IRNA reported.
He noted that resolution of regional problems through regional treaties is becoming a prevalent approach around the world.
Larijani noted that he will discuss the latest regional and international developments with Pakistani officials. Meanwhile, talking to reporters at a military base in Islamabad soon after his arrival, the parliament speaker underscored the need for further enhancing Iran- Pakistan cooperation in all sectors.
He said that there is lot of scope and opportunities to enhance bilateral cooperation. Larijani said that right now Iran and Pakistan are cooperating in economic, energy and law sectors.
Deputy Speaker of National Assembly of Pakistan Faisal Karim Kundi termed Larijani’s visit to Pakistan as highly important.
He said that Iran and Pakistan enjoy strong bilateral ties.
Cmdr: Iran Will Never Be Colonized
A senior military commander said Iran has never been and will never be colonized by world powers.
“Our enemies...know that the Iranian nation has never surrendered to bullying powers, and foreign powers have never been and will never be able to colonize Iran,” Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi said on Sunday, Press TV reported.
“Other countries surrounding us were once under the domination of others and some still depend on foreigners…while they pretend to be independent…. However, the day the Americans stop supporting them, they will collapse and disintegrate,” added the senior military advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
He noted that nearly 1.65 billion Muslims across the globe have been influenced by the cultural clout of Iranians and the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“The Iranian nation...will cross the treacherous and difficult strait of the [ongoing] economic war and brutal US sanctions and like the [1980-1988 Iraqi] imposed war, the enemy will be defeated and humiliated,” Safavi stated.
The illegal US-led sanctions on Iran have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted toward military objectives.
Slogans Against Terrorism, Drug
It is not acceptable that a group militarily invades the Middle East from several thousand kilometers away and brings death, war, terror, threat and invasion to the region, and ignores the sensitivity of the people of the region to their destiny and their national security and remains apathetic towards their calls against injustice and invasion as they label their support for their innocent coreligionist, ‘resistance to peace and interference in the affairs of others’.
See the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. No longer can the slogan of ‘fighting terrorism and narcotics’ be used to militarily occupy a country while narcotic production in that very country increases many folds, terrorism expands many folds, thousands of innocent people die, or are left injured and homeless, infrastructures are destroyed, regional security is threatened and the main culprits continuously accuse others.
Occupation of Countries; Unforgiveable Crime
I announce clearly that the occupation of other countries under the pretext of freedom and democracy is an unforgivable crime.
Nature of Colonial State
Who abducted forcefully tens of millions of people from their homes in Africa and other regions of the world during the dark period of slavery, making them a victim of their materialistic greed?
Who imposed colonialism for over four centuries upon this world? Who occupied lands and massively plundered resources of other nations, destroyed talents, and alienated languages, cultures and identities of nations? Who triggered the first and second world wars, that left seventy millions killed and hundreds of millions injured or homeless. Who created the wars in Korean peninsula and in Vietnam?
Who imposed and supported for decades military dictatorship and totalitarian regimes on Asian, African, and Latin American nations? Who used atomic bomb against defenseless people, and stockpiled thousands of warheads in their arsenals? Whose economies rely on waging wars and selling arms? Who provoked and encouraged Saddam Hussein to invade and impose an eight-year war on Iran, and who assisted and equipped him to deploy chemical weapons against our cities and our people.
What country’s military spending exceeds a thousand billion dollars annually, more than the military budgets of all countries of the world combined? Which governments are ever ready to drop thousands of bombs on other countries, but ponder and hesitate to send a bit of food aid to famine-stricken people in Somalia or in other places?
Violation of Human Rights
As you are all aware we are presently facing important, numerous and diverse challenges that I will refer to some of them.
-Organized attempts to tear down the institution of family and to reduce the status of women.
-Widespread violations of human rights, terrorism and occupation.
-Aggressions against indigenous cultures and national values.
-Poverty, illiteracy, health deprivation and gap between the poor and the rich.
-Ignoring noble values and promotion of deception and lies.
-Violations of rules of international law and disrespect of commitments.
-Escalation of threats and arms race. inefficacy of international mechanism to prevail over these challenges and to bring durable peace and security.
Security Council, an Instrument
The United Nations has to be the symbol of democracy and nation’s equal rights. If we make speech about human beings’ equal rights in politic units, we have to make speech about nation’s equal rights too. Then the United Nations can be the herald of democracy in the world if it’s symbol of democracy.
Membership of Occupiers in the Security Council
Can Security Council settle peace and security in Iraq when occupiers are permanent members of the UNSC? Can the UNSC make a fair decision about this topic? For thirty-three long days, the Lebanese lived under the barrage of fire and bombs and close to 1.5 million of them were displaced. Meanwhile, some members of the Security Council practically chose a path that provided ample opportunity for the aggressor to achieve its objectives militarily. We witnessed the Security Council of the United Nations practically incapacitated by certain powers to even call for a ceasefire.
The Security Council sat idly by for so many days witnessing the cruel scenes of atrocities against the Lebanese while tragedies such as Qana were persistently repeated. Why? In all these cases, the answer is self-evident. When the power behind the hostilities is itself a permanent member of the Security Council, how then can this Council fulfill its responsibilities?
Some permanent members of the Security Council, even when they are themselves parties to international disputes, conveniently threaten others in the Security Council and seek condemnation, even before any decision by the Council, their opponents by the Council.
The questions are: What can justify such exploitation of the Security Council? Does this not erode the credibility and effectiveness of the Council? Can such behavior contribute to the ability of the Council to maintain security?
Washington InsincereIn Talks Offer
Chairman of the Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff Major General Hassan Firouzabadi underlined Washington’s lack of sincerity in its recent offer of talks with Tehran, and stressed that Tehran will never accept talks with the US under pressure.
“The (US) offer of talks concurrent with intensification of sanctions is the US contradiction,” Firouzabadi said on Monday, Fars News Agency reported.
He noted that making such offer at this point of time shows the US lack of sincerity.
Firouzabadi said that as the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Americans cannot offer to hold talks and at the same time intensify their sanctions against Iran.
On February 2, US Vice President Joe Biden said Washington was ready to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear energy program.
On February 6, the US Treasury Department announced new sanctions targeting Iranian oil revenues. The sanctions prevent Iran from gaining access to earnings garnered through crude exports.
On Thursday, in a strong response, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei lashed out at the idea of any talks with the United States under pressure and threats.
Leader Has Final Say
A senior cleric said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution is the only authority who can decide on holding talks with the US.
“With regards to making peace and negotiations with the US, the only person who can make a decision is the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, and others can have no opinion on this,” Ahmad Khatami said on Sunday.
Khatami, who is a member of the Assembly of Experts, made the remarks during the rally marking the 34th anniversary of the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, in the city of Tabriz.
Referring to hostile US actions against Iran such as the imposing sanctions, Khatami said negotiations would only be meaningful when the conditions are equal for both sides and as long as Washington maintains its arrogant nature and considers itself above other countries, no talks can be held with American officials. On February 2, US Vice President Joe Biden said Washington was ready to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear energy program. On February 6, the US Treasury Department announced new sanctions targeting Iranian oil revenues. The sanctions prevent Iran from gaining access to earnings garnered through crude exports.
Meanwhile, a member of the Majlis said Washington’s offer to hold direct talks with Iran is unacceptable, adding that the US only seeks to make up for the failures that it has suffered in Syria.
“From the point of view of the revolutionary [Iranian] nation, the Americans’ offer is by no means acceptable,” Ismail Kosari said.
“American politicians intend to continue their crimes and the reason that they raise the issue of negotiations is to make up for the defeats they have suffered in the region, particularly in Syria,” he added. For Tehran to consider Washington’s offer of talks, the US must first change its approach by accepting Iran’s nuclear energy rights, lifting the sanctions against the Islamic Republic and putting an end to the crimes that it is committing in the region, the lawmaker said.
He added, however, that during US President Barack Obama’s tenure, the Americans have only ‘pretended’ to seek a change in their foreign policies.
Kosari said the US intensifies the sanctions imposed against Iran on the one hand and offers to hold talks under pressure on the other hand.
Lawmaker Abbasali Mansouri Arani said Israel’s bid to shore up its security with the deployment of Patriot missiles in conjunction with the Iron Dome missile system will fail.