In the name of God, the Compassionate and the Merciful
Allow me to begin by expressing my appreciation to you and French Presidency for convening this meeting on the multifaceted challenges that we face in combating violence and extremism in the Middle East and beyond. I also thank the Secretary-General and High Commissioner for Human Rights and other briefers for their inputs to this debate.
The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns widespread targeting and killing of ethnic and religious minorities by Daesh terrorists and all other extremist groups. We also condemn the destruction of Mosques, holy shrines, churches, temples as well as artifacts, and archeological treasures representing the rich cultural heritage of humanity.
Violent extremism has emerged as unprecedented composition of narcissistic, dogmatic and violent entities with global agenda, and with the following characteristics:
1. It is a unique global terror network, active in recruiting in as many as 90 countries, all united in pursuing a policy of terror and destruction. They mobilize individuals, grow their ranks, spread their influence and threaten places near and far. As such, this phenomenon is reminiscent of the Arab-Afghans of the 1980s and could be dubbed European-Arabs. Thus, it is indicative of failing to learn from history.
2. These like-minded extremists have consolidated their networks by sharing terror tactics and romanticizing violence and bloodshed. They continue to use the most advanced social media to reach out to the young people and recruit new fighters from all around the world, some starting as tourists and ending up in terrorism.
3. It has committed unparalleled brutality, as it set fires to houses and school, enslaves the free, oppresses the vulnerable, and kills the innocent with astonishing cruelty. Beheading, burning and enslaving women and children, shamefully advertised by the group on social media, exposes the extent of the threat they pose to the global community.
4. While these terrorist groups falsely call themselves Muslims, they have killed thousands upon thousands of Muslims, which is unprecedented in human history. Killing around 140 innocent Yemeni people in two recent suicide bombings an San'a was one of the latest example in this savagery. Acting in a true Takfiri manner, they call whoever is not with them nonbeliever, thus condemning them to death. They have established an ever expanding list of enemies, including Shiites, Christians, Yezidis, Kurds, Turkmens as well as vast majority of moderate Sunnis, subjecting them to slavery and death.
Until terrorist and extremist groups are not dismantled, these extremists will continue to pose the gravest threat to the world. The international community's inconsistent, incoherent policy and strategy in combating extremist groups has fundamentally not only did undermine the effort to confront them, but also resulted in emboldening them.
A genuine commitment by the international community to a serious and comprehensive approach to challenge extremism is imperative. Any failure in this field will doom efforts in ridding the region of this malicious force. A comprehensive strategy against Daesh must address ideological, social, political and economic dimensions of violent extremism.
If there is a genuine resolve to combat extremism, it must be translated into specific and effective actions. It is imperative to adopt a united front, with a clear message and a coordinated strategy. The disruption of financial and logistical support and sharing of relevant information and intelligence as well as enforcing effective and coordinated border control are critical to the success of this campaign. Failing to take the necessary actions to disrupt support to terrorists and destroy their networks would only lead to more bloodshed and destruction.
In the 68th Session of the General Assembly, Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, called for a World Against Violence and Extremism and backed it up in every instance and field. We have been steadfast in our fight against extremism and have in practice demonstrated that Iran is a true partner in a sincere international fight against extremist groups.
Thank you Mr. President.