Regressive Mercantilist Policies of the US Endangering the Security of the World
Friday، 04 May 2018 |
MRUD News—Iran Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Abbas Akhoundi, speaking at the 6th Iran-Europe Trade and Banking Conference discussed major concerns of global developments in current era, and the role of Europe in these developments.
"I believe we are already experiencing a time in history where Europe has a defining role in leading the world toward peace or toward war and unrest with a mistake. This would have a dramatic impact on banking and investment which is the subject of this conference", Akhoundi stated.
"Undeniably, the world is currently moving from a unipolar structure (unilateralism) to a multipolar one (multilateralism) and the arrogance and wrong policies of the US are accelerating this process. I believe current developments are far deeper and more serious than the diplomatic conflicts and negotiations of JCPOA, Syria, and Yemen. While the US is heading a regressive, inactive, and retrogressive process, the array of forces in the world is changing drastically. Previously, the US saw itself as the guardian of a free world and a market and competitive economy which was most visible during the Cold War. The US supported competition and free market in the world. But after the fall of the Soviet Union this began to fade gradually. Immediately afterwards some American thinkers like Joseph Nye expressed worries that the US can no longer continue alone and should have some allies; otherwise, it would grapple with internal conflict. We are witnessing this from this part of the world", he continued.
"What is clearly understandable from current US measures is a regressive return to mercantilism. The US President does not speak about the free market and economy. He speaks of mercantilist structure of 15th to 18th century which is dangerous; as mercantilist era had been accompanied by war and bloodshed that can endanger the security of the world. Can anyone evaluate the US Administration’s policies by free market theory, WTO, and other standards of a free economy?” He asked.
The world and particularly Europe are facing huge threats
“We should know what a big threat the world and Europe in particular are facing. If a country that assumes itself a world power moves toward a mercantilist system, we need to know what dangerous impacts it may have on the world.”
He further elaborated, "We can point to the Israeli Regime. It has never had legitimacy, but in these recent years we see that they are in the worst position in terms of public opinion and this has led to dangerous and risky actions. It has previously followed state terrorism and now it is acting more recklessly".
"Alongside these two declining processes, the array of power in the world is changing. The powerful countries like Russia, India, and China are strengthening their positions and are serious players in the world. Whether we like it or not, they have certain goals and are determined to achieve them. In fact, these countries are following clear policies in the world and are paving the way for new opportunities in the world. However, the Power which is hesitant in the world and cannot identify its stance is Europe. On the one hand, it cannot ignore its huge trade and transactions with the US. And on the other hand, it is obvious to the European thinkers that what the US is following is surely regressive and contradictory to development and peace. They may not utter it explicitly, but it is implicitly written in their articles", he noted.
"In our negotiations with Europeans, they usually say they have huge turnover with the US. An important and strategic point which I want the European attendees to particularly pay attention to is whether Europe can continue with US mercantilist policies and still have economic interests? Or may it choose to be a victim of US policies? This is predictable as US policies would endanger security of the world and also it finally confronts the Europe with its mercantilist policies. I believe if the current US policies continue, it may risk Europe's interests and now is the time to speak frankly about this", he concluded.
Iran heir to the Millennial IranShahr Civilization
“Despite some weaknesses, Iranians are more or less aware of their historical, geographical, political and economic position and heir to a long-established IranShahr Civilization, which marked a defining role in the world and in forming Islamic Civilization. In fact, we are a renowned Nation in the world, as pointed out by President of France in his speech in the US Congress.
“We are revising our position in the region and in the world. Although we have shortcomings, we believe we can have a successful revision of our position both in the region and in the world. What we have learnt historically is fulfilling our commitments since we have abided by the contracts.
“The world should take into account that our civilization is comprised of diverse ethnicities and thus we have learnt tolerance and acceptance throughout our several-thousand-year history. We can live with peace and harmony with our regional neighbors.
“Despite all plots in the region, we have considered our interests and responsibilities; we have never initiated a war and acknowledge that we should carry out our responsibility in the region.”
Akhoundi emphasized Iran's commitment to international negotiations and stated: "we are certainly a reliable party for negotiation and believe that we should conform to international rules. Activities in the aviation and maritime industries are not possible without abiding with international rules; accordingly, the banking industry has international rules with which we should comply".
The necessity to safeguard peace for economic and political development
“We are well-informed that we need to conform to the international Conventions and take advantage of its potentials to our interests. We will overcome barriers with logical dialogue and from a fair and equal stance. Meanwhile, what we are facing today is far deeper than banking responsibilities and that is how we can safeguard peace in the region for economic and political development.
“My understanding is that the US policies are not economically justifiable; rather, they are dangerous and regressively confrontational, leading to instability across the world. We expect Europe to fulfill its historical role. Return to mercantilism is risky for the world. We witness that the US aims to maintain peace through suppression and humiliation of nations. Peace is not achieved by suppression; we need international participation and cooperation.”
Two proposals to the Europeans
“We offer two proposals. We had two kinds of negotiations after JCPOA. One has been political negotiations undertaken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its political officials. The other was economic negotiations that we followed up. Our issue with Europe, from the very beginning, was the hesitation of Europe in economic negotiations; in that they could not grant political support to economic negotiations. In economic negotiations, Europe has always been worried about harsh, punitive and unilateral actions of the US. Europe is concerned whether they would have political support if they would succeed in economic negotiations. The relationship between these two spheres [political and economic] was not so strong.
“We should be hopeful and positive that Europe would come to this conclusion: that if the political sphere does not safeguard economic negotiations, the political sphere would not also last long and that is a major concern that needs continued negotiations in order to reach a new understanding of the negotiations in the past two years. We should not get tired and abandon, since negotiations and developments at this level naturally take a long time.”
He said: "I neither give up nor lost my optimism, since I believe we can reach this understanding and propagate it in order to lead the negotiations toward a clear destination".
He also told about his second proposal that "we need to proceed with the Europe in political negotiations as we entered into economic negotiations. We should discuss different economic issues with the European Union".
“If there exists a firm political will to reach a stable understanding, then initiating a future round of negotiations with the EU in economic sphere would be effective and can help continue and sustain international negotiations.
“We have held many negotiations with Europeans. At the same time we have not limited ourselves to talks with Europe and we have entered into negotiations with China and Russia and have secured good contracts. We have also had successful initiatives in logistics and trade.
“In technical issues, such as housing, we are interested in cooperating with Europe. Also in reforming the banking system, we are willing to draw on European experience.
“Despite the synergy we have with Europe, we should ascertain that it has strong political determination to enter into serious economic relations with Iran and to play a more effective role. Currently, Europe is hesitant, and I hope it would get out of this hesitation for the sake of global peace. Together we can establish clear, effective, and frank dialogue".