SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Hassan Rouhani on Thursday blamed the rise of the IS group and other militants on the mistakes of the West and said the solution to stopping them must come from the Middle East.
“The strategic blunders of the West in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus have turned these parts of the world into a haven for terrorists and extremists,” he said in a speech to the 193-member UN General Assembly. In a reference to the United States and Israel, Rouhani blamed the rise of violent extremists on outsiders. “Certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hand of madmen, who now spare no one,” he said.
The comments were among the strongest yet by Iran on the rise of the extremist groups, suggesting Washington and its allies were the problem, not the solution, and that Middle Eastern governments should deal with the threat. “The right solution to this quandary comes from within the region and regionally provided solutions with international support and not from the outside the region,” he said. “The extremists of the world have found each other and have put out the call, ‘extremists of the world unite’. But are we united against the extremists?” Dr Rouhani asked.
The United States, backed by five Arab allies, this week carried out air strikes against Islamic State positions in Syria, expanding an air campaign against the group in Iraq. Despite Iran’s obvious interest in seeing the militants neutralised, Rouhani made clear his suspicions about the long-term impact of Western military intervention in the Middle East.
“All those who have played a role in founding and supporting these terror groups must acknowledge their errors,” President Rouhani said. A day earlier, US President Barack Obama used the UN podium to state his case for a more forceful, co-ordinated global response against Islamic State that would seek to dismantle what he called a “network of death”.