English Translation of Statement By AMIR HOSSEIN JAHANSHAHI
Paris Press Conference, 20 November 2014
It is now 14 months since I placed the proposition for ‘National Reconciliation’ in my country on the table. During this time, many things – both in Iran as well as the region – have undergone profound and undeniable changes and we have seen the new Iranian president, Mr. Rouhani make repeated reference to the need for ‘National Reconciliation’, a theme which has now been picked up and referred to by many other senior figures within the Islamic Republic.
Today, it is clear to me that there is no other path for us than the pursuit of ‘National Reconciliation’ through ‘Economic Reconstruction’. Therefore, there is no turning back and we will not be pursuing our objective by other means.
Today, I also want to formally declare that in light of regretful experiences which have been gained as a consequence of various catastrophes that have unfolded over the recent years in the Middle East and resulted in the destruction of unity and cohesion in Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc., and in accordance with our position mentioned before, the pursuit and promotion of plans by any Iranian political group or individuals involved in regime change, given that its ultimate consequences will lead to internal civil war and dismemberment of our country – would be considered as nothing less than traitorous.
At the same time, it should be clear that under no circumstance would our country require the development of nuclear weapons, which would be against the better interests of our nation and all its peoples including the ruling establishment.
Today, it is my belief that at the helm of power in Iran, key individuals and decision-making bodies have come to a realization that the country’s nuclear impasse needs to be resolved without additional delays. The successful attainment of this objective can only be secured in an atmosphere that prevents a loss of face for my country. But in all probability, the 24 November deadline for reaching a comprehensive agreement was always short of the needed time required for such a complex undertaking. Hence, we will need some extra months.
The resolution of the nuclear file will constitute the first indispensible step for embarking on the path towards the economic reconstruction of our nation, which will be the foundation for ‘National Reconciliation’ in our country. The removal of economic sanctions will, in the aftermath of 35 years of humiliation by the West and our neighbors, open a new era in the history of our nation.
Given the various potentials available to our nation – our widespread community of educated youth, our vast natural resources, our most influential and well positioned diaspora and finally our proud and glorious past history – the economic reconstruction of our country, will lead us to become one of the ten most powerful economies of the world within a decade.
But success in this national goal can only be achieved if we concentrate our efforts towards the most fundamental priorities confronting our nation that will mobilize the entire country towards our objectives:
Creating jobs for all Iranians with special emphasis for guaranteeing employment for every graduate
Providing pension and social security, in line with our national wealth and overall economic capacity, to all Iranians
Restoring the nation’s dignity and lost pride and returning Iran to its rightful historical place in the world.
Our country does not and will not have any border disputes with any of its neighbors. However, there is an overwhelming concern that applies to the territory of Qatar. It is a well acknowledged fact that responsible figures in that land continue to finance Islamic terrorist organizations.
I am aware that both Saudi Arabia and my country have also assisted some of these movements. But, I am convinced that today both Saudi Arabia and Iran have reached the conclusion that their hitherto support for certain such movements has worked against them and now poses a real existential threat to the both of them.
I also believe that today Saudi Arabia and my country have come to an understanding that continued inter-religious provocations between ‘Shias’ and ‘Sunnis’ will have catastrophic consequence for the both of them. It is for this reason that the terrible events in Iraq will pave the way for a new understanding between our two countries. And, finally, the future of peace and security in the Middle East will depend on such an entente.
Returning once again to a main concern of my country, namely Qatar, responsible leaders in that land, whose indigenous population is barely one eight of the total population, have compelled themselves to finance Islamic terrorist organizations in the past and, moreover, seem set to continue in the future.
In these circumstances, while Iran must abandon its military-nuclear program, the principle concern of the Iranian nation is that the leadership in Qatar has and continues to use wealth and resources that might ostensibly belong to the Iranian people – the foundation of which is the natural gas, which Qatar has produced and exploited – to support terrorist elements that ultimately threaten the very existence of the Iranian nation. Thus, the status quo with Qatar is definitely unacceptable and must be completely reassessed at the ripe moment.
As for my own situation with the Iranian authorities, in the course of the past 14 months, we have been in a state of continued communication with different authorities within the ruling establishment. During this period all my resources and networks outside the country have been mobilized to assist the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the ‘۵+۱’ – a task that will continue until such time that a final agreement is signed and sanctions are removed.
Therefore, today, I wish to declare that given the catastrophic economic situation confronting our nation as well as the courageous and realistic approach adopted by the Iranian government, it is my intention to return to Iran under conditions acceptable to the Iranian authorities.
I plan to return to my country no later than Spring 2015, but given the fact that it is not my intention to convey an erroneous image that my return is intended at either pressuring or inflicting damage on the new government, it does not necessarily need to be accompanied with ‘hue and cry’ and media publicity.
Therefore, today, I wish to openly declare that in the coming weeks, in line with my natural obligations given these new circumstances, it is my intention that all my activities should be conducted in a framework that is in compliance with the laws of our country much like those of any citizen with respect to their country.
Finally, I declare that in anticipation of the immediate aftermath of the removal of sanctions, the concentration of all resources at my disposal is being directed towards the economic reconstruction of our nation, given that this is the only true path towards making ‘National Reconciliation’ a reality in Iran.