While celebrating this auspicious day, we would like to pay tribute to the known and unknown martyrs and those who sacrificed and suffered during the glorious years of the revolution, 8 years of imposed war and years of resistance against unfair and unjust pressures and sanctions .We thank [them for]their greatest contribution to the nation and people and feel proud of this sacred struggle.
As pointed out by Iran’s foreign minister in his article titled “What Really Iran Wants” The post-revolutionary foreign policy of Iran has been based on a number of cherished ideals and objectives embedded in the country’s constitution. These include the preservation of Iran’s independence, territorial integrity, national security and the achievement of long-term, sustainable national development. Beyond its borders, Iran seeks to enhance its regional and global stature; to promote its ideals, including Islamic democracy; to expand its bilateral and multilateral relations, particularly with neighboring countries and nonaligned states; to reduce tensions and manage disagreements with other states; to foster peace and security at both the regional and international levels through constructive engagement; and to promote international understanding through dialogue and cultural interaction.”
In 2014 Iran’s foreign policy succeeded in many aspects, achieving its targeted goals on bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. All these efforts once again prove that Iran is in the center of [the]axis of peace and stability in the region.
But I would like to refer to two main topics.
Nuclear negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group of countries are still going on with hopes to reach its desirable results for all parties in due time. But as stressed by our supreme leader “Iranian nation will not buckle under bullying, excessive demands and irrational behavior.” Iran is also looking for a good deal, a deal which upholds our right to access and use peaceful nuclear program based on the NonProliferation Treaty’s laws and regulations. We respect and ask nothing more than rule of the law in its entirety .
Iran is in the frontline of War against violence and extremism.
We believe that the evil nature of terrorism cannot be characterized as good or bad terrorism and resorting to blind violence with recruiting internationally dangerous extremist elements from all over the world for any motives is detrimental to international peace and stability.
We are against those that with their inhuman acts have damaged the image of Islam.
Last year the First International Conference on World against Violence and Extremism was held in Tehran based on the initiative of President Rouhani in the UN General Assembly in 2013.
As reaffirmed in the final declaration of the conference “violent extremism constitutes a serious common concern for all Member States, threatening the security and well-being of human societies, and convinced that there is no justification for violent extremism, whatever the motivation; it also reiterates this global challenge is not and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization, culture, race, and ethnic group.”
Unfortunately Islamophobia as a plot of the enemies of peace and harmony in international relations is spreading in the world and needs to be addressed properly.
In his letter to youth in western world, our supreme leader says “humiliation and spreading hatred and illusionary fear of the ‘other’ have been the common base of all those oppressive profiteers.”
He requests the youth “to study and research the incentives behind this widespread tarnishing of the image of Islam. In reaction to the flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns, try to gain a direct and firsthand knowledge of this religion, through its primary and original sources, the Quran and the life of its great Prophet.”
Also regarding this phenomenon in his letter to the Secretary General of the UN, Iran’s Foreign Minister Dr Zarif emphasized that “This inherently dangerous phenomenon poses serious threat to international peace and security, and the acutely needed ambiance of humane, peaceful inter-state and inter-people relations and the requisite recourse, by all, to dialogue, understanding and tolerance between and among the plurality of ethnic, religious and racial communities in our world today.”
We thank the Philippine government’s support to the Iranian initiative on holding the aforementioned Conference by sending the delegation headed by Secretary Deles Presidential advisor to the Peace Process. As pointed out by President Aquino in his letter addressed to President Rouhani, the Islamic Republic of Iran through this initiative plays a pivotal role in the promotion of harmony among cultures which is essential in ensuring regional and international peace.
Bilateral ties between Iran and the Philippines have been cherished with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2014. This auspicious occasion started with the visit of Philippines chamber of commerce delegates to Iran in January 2014 and ended up with the visit of the Honorable former speaker Jose De Venecia heading a business group of companies to Iran in January 2015. I should appreciate his personal efforts for promotion of bilateral ties during the past two decades.
Last year both countries also held different programs for commemorating this important event which I assume there will be still a bit more in coming days.
In the past year political consultations through exchange of delegates, letters and messages among leaders of the two countries and officials on different ranks continued.
Foreign ministries of two countries had several rounds of talks on the political and consular affairs with full understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead and determined to enhance and diversify mutual ties in the interest of the two nations. This reaffirms once again our strong will and desire to promote existing friendly relations between two nations.
On the economic relations, despite the impact of challenging elements of external forces and with active presence and participation of the private sectors of the two countries, we have succeeded to open new horizons for the future. Trade and investment opportunities and technological cooperation have been identified and with the grace of Allah we will proceed with our plans to expand our overall cooperation in the months ahead.
Cultural and sport cooperation’s are other facets of our successful endeavors of bilateral ties in the past year. With the belief in the importance of interfaith dialogue among scholars and religious leaders, we have conducted a series of discussions between the stakeholders and will have 5th round of inter religious dialogue at the end of March of this year in Manila.
Furthermore with the visit of Philippine’s Sport Commission Chairman to Tehran, signing MOU between two sides and starting joint cooperation through holding sport camps and exchange of athletes in different fields we are on the right track for deepening our people to people engagements.
Tourism is another encouraging area of the cooperation between two nations. We hope with the establishment of direct flight between two Capitals in 2015, we will have more tourists in the year to come.
Parliamentary relationship between two nations has also been active during the year. In 2014 exchange of delegations between two parliaments continued and we have been honored to have Hon. Al-Francis Bichara chairman of foreign relations committee heading delegation to Iran last year and soon we are going to have another delegate from Iran to attend APU in Manila.
We are proud of our Iranian community living in the Philippines. They have always been our inspirations in serving the interest of the two nations. Last year hundreds of Iranian students graduated from Philippine universities, and I would like to thank all relevant officials who rendered their cooperation and assistance in this very important task.
We also congratulate the establishment of Global Half Iranian-Filipino association and pray for their success in fulfilling their mission to promote friendship between two nations.
To you my fellow countrymen, we commend your dignity and hard work and wish you happy and successful life.
At the end, we pray for the success and prosperity of the Government of the Philippines, good health of H.E. President Benigno S. Aquino III, the great people of the Philippines and wish a very successful bilateral relationship between our two nations in the years to come.
Mabuhay and maraming salamat po.