President Rouhani: Only Through Economic Development and Cultural Improvement Can We Eliminate Violence and Terrorism
January 24, 2014 • 11:44AM

Iranian President Rouhani opened Thursday's session of the Davos Forum on World Economic Development with an address entitled "Iran in the World," which revived the Dialogue of Civilizations approach of former Iranian President Khatami. Rouhani referenced the economic crisis in every nation, and the hunger and unemployment that produces the "the rank-and-file" of terrorists. He said Iran is ready for economic cooperation with other nations on energy and other areas, and urged nations in attendance to pursue economic projects with Iran. President Rouhani's remarks were simulataneously translated into the English below.

President Rouhani began his address Thursday morning with the statement that this is a welcome opportunity to engage and intereact with global leaders. He said, "The characteristic of the Iranian people is prudent moderation," which he called "a characteristic of my government," and the reason he was elected. Today, he said, "All nations are in the same boat; there are protests on all continents. Social justice must be taken into account: systems will endure that benefit all people...

"In policy-making, I have a much more long-term outlook. I see Iran in the top ten nations in the next three decades. I intend to prepare the groundwork and overcome all impediments to that. Iran's economy is as modern, congruent and capable and successful as those of the emerging economies. We seek constructive engagement with the world — that is a pillar of my government. Iran has one of the highest rates of human development..."

"We are ready to engage on all issues: terrorism, the Palestinian problem... [but] Economic factors alone are not enough; we need culture and spiritual development; otherwise, we have a race to greedy consumerism.

"Regional cooperation is a priority for us. We want to reopen trade with Turkey, Iraq, Russia, the Caucuses, and multilateral European states. Geneva has led to a new phase of U.S.-Iran relations in the past month. Our region [of the world] is burning with violence. It gets its rank-and-file from the army of hungry and unemployed. Fighting terrorism involves economic development. Only through job creation, economic development, and cultural improvement can we eliminate violence and terrorism, and provide hope for the future. The path to security leads through ethics and development. All nations must see competition as fair and based on merit. Having access to technology is necessary for development. That is why Iran has never sought anything but peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and will not accept any obstacles to its scientific development. Nuclear weapons have no place in our security plan. Iran has never launched any invasions... We went to Geneva with a determination to reach an agreement. What we ask is a prelude to a different agreement: economic engagement; fighting violence; standing up against violations against the oppressed, and engagement in the economic field. Energy security is essential, and a mutual interest of all nations."