Mohammad Javad Zarif made the comments in an essay titled How to Handle the Enabling Conditions for Extremism and Terrorism, published in The Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs biannual political analysis publication.
“It is easy for us in West Asia to blame the West as the ultimate culprit in our problems…Simultaneously, it has been even more convenient for the West to blame us – Muslims in the West Asia region – irrespective of our divergence, disagreements and even disputes and conflicts,” he said.
Zarif further wrote, “Finger-pointing in both directions, and within the region, is perhaps the easiest diversion for everybody. But this is neither accurate nor helpful, as our world has become far more complicated than ever before.”
Another refutable approach, Zarif said, was the adoption of “myopic views of a complex situation” and “shortsighted self-serving policies.”
Such attitude could manifest itself in such statements by the national security advisor of a major regional state as “extremists and the Syrian forces will destroy each other on the battlefields of Syria,” he said.
“Simplistic scenarios” such as assuming that there was a “direct relationship” between dictatorship and extremism, and that “democracies do not fight each other” formed a third myth, which had to be avoided towards tackling terror at its root.
“While there is some truth to it, the actual situation we face today is more complex than the statement would indicate, and defies convenient explanations,” he added.
Zarif also called for “honest soul-searching” on the part of all components of the international community towards eliminating the reasons behind a rise in extremist inclinations among youths in every society.
Some of the root causes are “marginalization, disenfranchisement, and disrespect” facing minorities, according to Zarif.