Iran says foreign military intervention in the Middle East is behind the rise of extremist and terrorist networks.
Addressing a UN Security Council open debate on countering terrorism, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam Hossein Dehqani said Tehran has long been consistent in fighting terrorism.
“Iranians of all ages and affiliation, particularly the youth, have been consistent in rejecting and fighting violent extremism, ranging from the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Daesh and other similar forces in Yemen, Iraq and Syria,” he said.
Iranians have also tried to help fight extremists on the ground, and provide a path to combat their ideology, including through promoting ‘dialogue among civilizations’ and ‘world against violent extremism,’ he added.
Dehqani said violent extremism is the most critical challenge that the Middle East is currently facing.
"As our world recognizes no borders, many other parts of the world are also threatened as a result of this spreading scourge," he said.
Syria and Iraq, Dehqani said, are among the nations that "have borne the brunt of the atrocities and barbarity practiced by extremist groups,” but other nations are also vulnerable.
“The blind violence committed by the individuals and groups affiliated with Daesh in such different parts of the world as Lebanon, Nigeria, Tunisia, Libya, Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels and other parts of the globe highlight the widening scope of the threat posed by the rise of violent extremism.”
Dehqani said Takfiri ideology lies at the "very core of the predicament that we now face," adding "the international community needs, first and foremost, to focus on this vicious ideology" and its opponents.
Takfiri proponents, he said, seek to instill hatred and anger in the hearts and minds of the youth everywhere in the Muslim world and beyond.
“Those with wealth and power have sought for decades to disseminate this school of thought in Muslim nations and around the globe at large, and force it upon communities in a bid to advance their short-sighted agenda.
"Al-Qaeda and the Taliban were their first so-called 'achievement', and Daesh and al-Nusra are the latest,” Dehqani added.
The Iranian ambassador also hit out at Israel over “engagement in all sorts of terrorist activities,” and its attempts to “suppress the legitimate resistance of Palestinians whose lands are occupied.”