Iran at the Munich Security Conference 2019

Iran at the Munich Security Conference 2019

A conversation with Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif

February 20, 2019

By Jan Oberg

The Western mainstream press hasn’t done much to enlighten their audiences to the plain fact that there is more than one side to a conflict between at least two.

The Transnational is happy to make available some other views, particularly since Iran is the David and the West the Goliath and since omission is more effective in propaganda terms than fake.

Iran’s views, its history, its reasons to do what it does and see the world as it does is woefully under-represented in the said press.

So is leading media’s criticism of US policies vis-a-vis Iran. They systematically take the side of the strong, the bully and the war-threatening side of the conflict.

If the Munich Security Conference has no other merits, it does offer an opportunity to hear many voices and here them from their own representatives and not through Western news agencies and journalists.

And, so, the voice of Iran through Javad Zarif, its brilliant foreign minister, is worth listening to for its intellectual quality, references to history, its outspoken criticism of the US and other West from a man who knows the West much better by being educated there and having lived there for decades – something no Western high-level politician has in Iran.

In a long analysis with many quotes, the Politico magazine characterises his speech and conversation thus – “It was a striking performance, conducted in fluent and colloquial English, that quickly became the most talked-about presentation at the annual Munich Security Conference — for its bluntness, its audacity, and its timeliness.”

Here you’ll experience diplomacy and facts with clear passion, here is history and alternative ways of seeing the world, here is an emphasis on serious contradictions and psycho-political projections in Western policies, and here is elegance with humour and a recognition that everything is not as it should or could be in Iran.

And there are no threatening of others but a marked – defensive – pride and emphasis on Iran’s own strength.

In short, here is a few minutes which every Western international affairs intellectual and foreign policy-maker should see and listen to. I’m afraid they don’t – and if the do, they will be sure to never utter the obvious – namely that this man has a point.

And indeed not only one.

Photo on top © Oberg PhotoGraphics

2 Responses to "Iran at the Munich Security Conference 2019"

  1. Robert J.   February 23, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Excellent post. That Lyse Doucet (the woman) was really unbearable – uudholdelig kælling, as we say in Danish. Amazing how Zarif could keep his cool under those conditions.

  2. fjahanpour   February 20, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    The stakes are very high. The question is whether we believe in the rule of law or the law of the jungle and endless wars. Iran that has been demonised since the revolution in 1979 tried a rapprochement with the West by taking part in detailed talks with all the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany (and not the United States alone) and reached an agreement that was unanimously endorsed by the EU and by the Security Council. While Iran has abided by her side of the deal, and 14 reports by the IAEA since the agreement have certified Iran’s compliance with the deal, the Trump administration has unilaterally withdrawn from the deal as it has from many other international treaties, and is now forcing European allies to also leave the deal and violent the Security Council resolution. The issue goes now higher than Iran. It is about whether Europe wishes to protect the rule of law or wants to appease a bully the same it did prior to the Second World War with all its disastrous consequences. It is time to stand up to the Trump administration and demand that it returns to the deal.


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