The roundtable for looking into the roots and dimensions of terrorism in West Asia and Iran’s role in fighting terrorism was held by the initiative of the Iranian embassy in Portugal, attended by Iranian and Portuguese researchers and experts. At the same time with the first anniversary of Major General Soleimani’s martyrdom and his comrades, by the initiative of the Iranian embassy in Portugal and by participation from the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) of the Foreign Ministry, a virtual roundtable was held on January 4, 2021, evening, titled “ Fighting Terrorism in West Asia, Status, Actors, and Iran’s Role,” attended by Dr.Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour – Deputy Minister of MOFA & President of IPIS; Dr.Daman Pakjami, the Iranian Ambassador in Lisbon; Dr. Majid Ghafelebashi-Research Deputy of the Center; Dr.Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Professor at University of Tehran; Dr.Keyhan Barzegar, Professor at Islamic Azad University and Middle East Affairs Researcher; Dr.Ghoncheh Tazmini, Guest Researcher from the Middle East Center of London School of Economics; Mr. Paulo Dentinho, Senior News Correspondent at the RTP TV Network; and Mohsen Ghasemi, Ph.D. Student of International Relations at NOVA University of Lisbon. At the outset of the roundtable, Dr. Sajjadpour stated that the real and root fight against terrorism required setting aside selective inferences and tool use of terrorism, fundamental encounter with the roots of terrorism in the region including occupying and repressing regional states by the US and Israel and making up for the injustices done to the people of this region , and especially the west mending its ways with Iran which was on the right side of the fight against terrorism.
Also, Dr.Daman Pakjami , our country’s ambassador, commemorated General Soleimani and the other martyrs of the US terrorist strike in last January and analyzed the Hormuz Peace Initiative by the Islamic Republic of Iran which is based on Iran’s record of pacifism from long ago up to now and Iran’s constructive role in establishing trade security along the Silk road, Iran’s actions for securing uninterrupted supply of oil to the world markets over the last hundred years and Iran’s efforts to keep the regional states’ security over the recent decades. He hinted at the destructive role that the trans-regional countries play in spreading and supporting terrorism and extremism in the region, and also pointed to the constructive efforts made by the Islamic Republic of Iran in keeping peace and its mediating role in various issues surrounding Iran, ranging from Tajikistan, Iraq, and Syria to Azerbaijan and Armenia over the last two or three decades. By regard to Dr.Rouhani’s proposal in initiating the campaign of “Coalition for Peace” at the general assembly of the UN in 2018, he said that the way to establishing stability and uprooting terrorism and insecurity in the region was return to dialogue and understanding by all regional states and expulsion of foreign forces from the Persian gulf . Also, Dr.Barzegar , in his speech about the roots of terrorism in West Asia, cited the relation between foreign occupation and terrorism as one of the characteristics and causes of this phenomenon in the region , in addition to the impact of the local geopolitics and geographical circumstances on the nature and modus operandi of terrorism in each region. As he mentioned, to fight terrorism, by regard to the unrelated shape and nature of terrorism in various regions including in Afghanistan, Syria, and North Africa, the national and local capacities of the regional countries must be tapped into, an experience perfectly used in Iran under the auspices of General Soleimani. Mr. Paulo Dentinho, Senior News Correspondent at the RTP TV Network stated that the core causes of terrorism in the region must be traced back to the Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. In this relation, formation of the first group of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan based on the Wahhabi ideology supported by Saudi Arabia triggered emergence of extremist groups in this country and other regions. He also cited the US erroneous behavior, especially during the Trump era, which led to the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement as intensifying tensions and emphasized that establishing peace in the region without regard to Iran’s positive role in fighting terrorism and without its participation in the peace process is impossible. Dr.Ghoncheh Tazmini described economic and medical terrorism as one of the most inhuman forms of terrorism in the region, especially during the corona pandemic, and described blocking the banking process in Iran, in a time when there is urgent need for imports of drugs, as a clear example of this type of terrorism. In his speech, Dr.Marandi said that the west made a conscious mistake in fighting terrorism by calling the terrorists who had come from the Libyan civil war at the beginning of the popular movements in the Arab states as freedom-fighters and supporting them in Iraq and Syria. While these same western sources, in their upside-down and biased narratives, illustrated Iran and the Axis of Resistance’s real and successful war against terrorism in the region as a threat to the region by Iran, which was not consistent with the realities on the ground. Also, Mr.Ghasemi as the last speaker of the roundtable pointed to the role of commander Soleimani in fighting terrorism in the region. To sum up the roundtable, the Research deputy of the IPIS , who moderated the meeting, described the trend of fighting terrorism in West Asia as having two features; shame for those who backed and equipped the terrorists and martyred commander Soleimani who was at the forefront of this fight, and honor for Iran and the Resistance Axis who actually fought terrorism and cleansed the region from the terrorists.
The whole webinar can be watched at the YouTube page of the Iranian embassy in Portugal at: