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Zarif Says Big Powers’ Miscalculations Root Cause of Surge in Extremism in West Asia

Zarif Says Big Powers’ Miscalculations Root Cause of Surge in Extremism in West Asia
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By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said miscalculations and major mistakes made by the world's big powers over the past decades are the main cause of the surge in extremism in the West Asia region.

Zarif made the remarks in a speech delivered at the Faculty of World Studies at the University of Tehran on Monday, the second part of a five-part course in international relations entitled, “World in Transition,” which he is offering.

“Extremism was a result of miscalculations and occupation [of regional countries by world powers]. The main problem, which evolved into the existing sad conditions is the problem of ‘misunderstanding’ and ‘miscalculation’, which caused both regional powers and superpowers to make mistakes,” he explained.

"Miscalculations made by big powers, or in other words superpowers, with regard to the world's modern order have resulted in consequences, which are by far more disastrous than the mistakes made by other countries," Zarif emphasized.

He described the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq as one of the big powers' miscalculations, saying that there were many ambiguities surrounding the attack at its onset.

"But something was conspicuous. It was clear from the very beginning that this [US] war [against Iraq] would lead to the spread of extremism in the world."

In early 2003, the United States, backed by the UK, invaded Iraq under the pretext that the regime of the country's former dictator, Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction [WMD]. No such weapons, however, were ever found in Iraq.

The invasion plunged Iraq into chaos and led to the rise of terrorist groups, including Daesh [the Arabic acronym for Takfiri terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group], across the region.

The US and a coalition of its allies further launched a military campaign against purported Daesh targets in Iraq in 2014, but their operations in many instances have led to civilian deaths.

Elsewhere in his speech, Zarif touched on the US withdrawal from several international treaties, and said such a policy is just similar to those bigoted and obstinate ideas that contravene the world's realities on the ground.

Some players in the international scene, like the United States, have struggled to take control of the situation by resorting to old-dated rules and reliance on their military superiority, but their approach led to a "disaster," Zarif added.

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