Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says fight against terrorism requires a multifaceted strategy.
“We need a multifaceted strategy. It may need a military dimension because now Daesh and [the al-Qaeda-linked] al-Nusra [Front] have become a military threat,” Zarif said in an address to a public lecture dubbed “Paradigm Shift from a Zero-Sum Game to a Win-Win Situation” in Singapore on Tuesday.
“But at the same time, it needs an economic dimension because it’s unemployment, it’s deprivation that provides recruits for these people in the regions they come from,” he added.
He emphasized that terrorism poses a threat to all countries in the world and said some governments in the Middle East region still think that their support for Daesh terrorist group would serve their interests.
“Terrorism is threatening the US, Europe and other countries,” he said, noting that Syria and Saudi Arabia are being threatened alike.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.
Zarif’s meetings with Singaporean officials
Zarif on Tuesday held separate meetings with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Parliament Speaker Halimah Yacob and Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Law K. Shanmugam.
During the talks, the sides discussed ways to bolster mutual relations in different fields, particularly in the economic sector following the implementation of a nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers on January 16.
After the JCPOA went into effect, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US were lifted. Iran, in return, has put some limitations on its nuclear activities.
The nuclear agreement was signed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany on July 14, 2015 following two and a half years of intensive talks.
The Iranian minister arrived in Singapore on Monday for a two-day visit on the second leg of his visit to six Southeastern Asian and Pacific countries. He wrapped up his trip to Indonesia where he delivered a speech at an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and held talks with the country’s officials.
Zarif is scheduled to visit Brunei, Thailand, New Zealand and Australia.