0950 GMT May 13, 2021
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called for strengthening multilateralism to achieve economic growth and prosperity as he addressed via videoconference the 10th Summit of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8 on Thursday.
“Strengthening multilateralism is of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s top foreign policy priorities,” Rouhani said in remarks carried by the website president.ir.
He added that Iran has invariably supported the developing countries’ collective strive “to attain economic growth, balanced development, public welfare and prosperity, and to preserve national values and cultures and secure a decent status in international relations”.
D-8 is an organization promoting development cooperation among member states in the Islamic world including Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey and Bangladesh.
Rouhani said D-8 has “tremendous capacities” on the path to economic development which could be employed to increase trade volume among member states.
“Given the importance of foreign trade for national development and public welfare of the great people of D-8 member states, I would like to stress that the current trade volume among the eight countries is a far from the actual trade potentials of D-8.
As such, it is necessary that certain mechanisms be developed for the facilitation and promotion of trade among member states, including through customs and banking facilities and mechanisms as also non-banking ones. In this context, such proposed initiatives as a D-8 chamber of barter trade and D-8 credit cards may be helpful,” he said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani denounced unilateralism and economic terrorism as issues that go hand in hand with the coronavirus pandemic in harming the international community.
“Actions like these not only illegally and illegitimately target sovereign governments and independent nations, but are also a serious threat to the achievements of the international community.”
The Iranian president also pointed to the issue of “organized Islamophobia” in the world, saying that the phenomenon “has not only targeted the sublime values of Islam, but it has also brought with it wider adverse economic and developmental consequences for Muslim countries”.
He pointed to an “economic war” waged by the United States against Iran, saying the hostile approach totally failed and all measures taken by Washington to bring Tehran to its knees have been proven futile.
“I am proud to announce that the US illegal and unilateral measures aimed to bring the great people of Iran to its knees have failed,” said Rouhani.
“The illuminous testament to the failure of the United States in the economic war it has waged on the Iranian people is that Iran, struggling with sanctions and the coronavirus combined, managed to secure an economic growth of more than 2% in the year when the world economy shrank by 3.5% and many countries experienced a negative economic growth of -5% to -10%,” he pointed out.
The United States began imposing heavy economic sanctions against Iran in 2018 after former US president Donald Trump scrapped the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 Iran nuclear deal signed with world powers.
While the Trump administration described its anti-Iran measures as the “maximum pressure” policy, Tehran slammed the measures as “economic war” and “economic terrorism”.
In the past four years, Rouhani added, the international community has witnessed as the US economic war against Iran has intensified. “These oppressive sanctions have inflicted substantial damage to our country.”
The president stressed that despite US efforts, “the nuclear deal, which the US violated and maximally tried to obliterate, has been preserved owing to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s tactfulness”.
Rouhani said the US must return to the JCPOA by “lifting the sanctions and adopting practical arrangements”.
“That is the obligation of the same government (the US) that has reneged on the promise. The Islamic Republic of Iran will respond to US action by positive action,” he said.