SHAFAQNA – A political analyst says certain media outlets, specially Arab ones, have been trying to misrepresent stances of Iran on recent events in France.
In an exclusive interview with IRNA, Iran’s former Ambassador to Germany and Ex-Secretary of Supreme Natioanl Security Council Hossein Mousavian said Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, in meeting with his French counterpart, expressed sympathy with the families of victims of recent terrorist activities in France and stressed that the principle of freedom of expressin should be respected along with freedom of thought.
Mousavian said there is a confusion over Iran’s stances. ‘Actually, there are more than one interpretation of Iran’s position. Some media refer to stances taken by President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif and say Iran has condemned the attacks.
Some other media such as al-Arabia, try to present distorted reports of some Iranian politicians’ remarks and claim that Iran is a supporter of terrorism and is not much different from ISIL, said Mousavian.
‘Unfortunately, Islamic Republic of Iran, since its beginning, has not had a unified strategy in public relations which is part of a bigger weakness in ‘public diplomacy’ that still continues,’ he added.
‘When an event such as Charlie Hebdo happens, we should take a coordinated and comprehensive position and should condemn both the terrorist attacks and sacrilege to Prophet Muhammd (PBUH). The two condemnations should be simultaneously presented to the world public opinion.’
According to Mousavian, on the nature of Charlie Hebdo events a number of points should be taken into consideration.
‘First of all, the publication of insulting cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a manifestation of the West’s moral decline. However, if ISIL and al-Qaeda try to show themselves as defenders of sanctities of Islam, it will be a shame to the Muslim world. Iran should keep its distance with terrorist groups such as ISIL and al-Qaeda and introduce them as the biggest sacrilege to Islam and Islamic sanctities.’
He added Iran, in cooperation with other Islamic countries, should come up with new plans to diplomatically pressurize individuals and their countries when they insult Islamic sanctities.
Mousavian also said US support for terrorist groups is one of its strategic mistakes which has been criticized by Western analysts, too.
‘Terrorist groups have become a trouble for their Western supporters now. Fifty world leaders gathered in Paris because a few Frenchmen were killed, but when ISIL kills thousands of Muslims, even a single Western leader says nothing in protest. There are some people who are ready to listen to these facts and Iran should consider it.’
‘The expansion of Islam in West in recent years is an undeniable fact. Iran should be vigilant so that young Muslims are not attracted to Salafi and Wahhabi deviant groups. This phenomenon is both an opportunity and a threat and needs common sense of Islamic World and Iran should take the initiative in this regard,’ concluded Mousavian.