May 31, 2023

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Iran’s peaceful and tolerant approach has seldom been returned in kind

TEHRAN- “People are of two groups. They are either your brothers in faith, or your equals in humanity.” 

As the chairman of the Iranian delegation to the IPU summit, I included the former saying by Imam Ali (PBUH), in part of my address. 

The theme of the 146th IPU assembly, which took place from the 11th to the 15th of March in Manama, Bahrain, was promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies: Fighting intolerance. 

In my main address at the assembly, I also emphasized the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the topic of tolerance, by a reciting a line from the popular Iranian poet, Hafiz, who wrote “Peace, in the life and the next, can be summed up in a mere two concepts: compassion for friends and tolerance for others.” 

The international audience was then reminded that despite the incorporation of these valuable religious and cultural teachings in Iran’s policy and creative initiatives to develop peace and cooperation in international forums; our peaceful and tolerant approach has seldom been returned in kind. They were then provided with different examples of the oppression suffered by the great Iranian nation in the hands of international players who claim to uphold peace and tolerance and yet have targeted our people through different means from the military invasion of our country to sanctions on everything from technology to medicine. As the chairman of the Iranian delegation, I saw it as my duty to condemn the most recent targeting of Iranians in a hybrid attempt by the US “at a sport it calls regime-change,” as it is such attempts and not “a shortage of assemblies on the topic,” that destroy all hope for peaceful coexistence. 

My delegation however, had far more to share than the Islamic Republic’s peaceful identity and our people’s grievances for the attempts of certain international players to destroy our peace and security.  We also shared valuable lessons which can inspire and guide others who truly wish to pursue peace; lessons on resistance!

In the main address, I emphasized the role of resistance in making the great Iranian nation capable of overthrowing a Western-backed monarch, defending the country against military invasion with empty hands, and putting up with a host of inhumane unilateral coercive measures and sanctions.

It was through this resistance, I reminded the audience, that the great Iranian nation was able to pursue its dream for independence and freedom and also free the oppressed in the world from Western-backed terrorist groups such as DAESH, aka ISIS. Here, I presented the audience with a picture of the martyr Iranian Commander General, Qassem Soleimani, who led the victorious battle against DAESH and was assassinated by the supporters of these terrorists, as a result. 

In this international summit on fighting intolerance, I criticized the intolerant position of many in withholding help from the war-ridden nation of Syria following the recent earthquakes due to fear from American sanctions on the country, and used the immediate relief provided by the Islamic republic as an example of our unwavering support for the oppressed. As a part of this stance, I restated, that the Islamic Republic welcomes “mutual cooperation to help strengthen other nations so that they call can demand an equal share of power” which we believe is an essential step in facilitating peaceful coexistence. 

Throughout the assembly, my delegation also held and attended meetings with other world leaders such as heads of parliaments from Bahrain, Emirates, and Iraq in which all sides stressed the importance of cooperation in the advancement of mutual goals in addition to effectively addressing challenges in the region. 

In the meeting with Bahraini officials, the head of the Bahraini parliament expressed hope that cooperation between the two countries in all fields would be further expanded to promote growth of the bilateral relations. In response, I recounted the two countries’ shared history and religious and cultural background and welcomed the suggestions of my Bahraini counterparts. The Bahraini parliament’s request for the resumption of direct flights from Manama to Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz was also confirmed by my delegation during this official meeting.

In another meeting, the Iraqi head of parliament emphasized the important role of the Islamic Republic of Iran in resolving the challenges in the region and expressed hope that the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia will increase stability in the region which can increase bilateral economic relations. 

Mojtaba Rezakhah was chairman of the Iranian parliamentary delegation to the IPU Summit in Bahrain.

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