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Hegemonic illusions must come to an end: Zarif

Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrives to speak during the 72nd High-level Meeting on Peace building and Sustaining Peace at United Nations Headquarters in New York, on April 24, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the time has come to move away from hegemonic illusions which are causing strife in the Middle East.

Zarif made the remarks while addressing the 72nd High-level Meeting on Peace building and Sustaining Peace at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday.

"Conflict prevention requires focusing on the root causes, including the mutually reinforcing afflictions of occupation, foreign intervention and extremism. Additionally, advancing hegemonic illusions or attempting to achieve security at the expense of others through exclusion and block formations, have invariably caused tension and conflict, and led to destructive arms races," he added.

Zarif also noted that Persian Gulf countries must join forces in order to maintain regional peace instead of trying to become regional powers.  

The Iranian foreign minister further called for the establishment of a "Regional Dialogue Forum" and the establishment of new security networks aimed a replacing current national security blocs.

"It is crucial to now shift to a new paradigm based on joining forces to create strong regions, instead of anyone seeking to be the strongest in our region. And shifting from forming security blocks to accepting security networking. Both are predicated on respect for the interest of all stakeholders--large and small--coupled with a win-win philosophy. In the current inter-connected world, no country’s security can be assured at the expense of others," he noted.

On Monday, Zarif said that era of zero sum games is long gone while addressing the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday in New York.

"In the wars of 20th and 21st centuries, there are no winners; only the degree and amount of loss will be different. In the globalized era... you cannot have security at the expense of insecurity of others," he said, adding, "The era of hegemonic influence is long gone."

He added that Saudi Arabia is trying to introduce Iran as a regional threat, while adding that more dialogue is needed among regional states.

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