by Our Diplomatic Affairs Editor
Our Diplomatic Affairs Editor recently sat down with Dr. Alireza Delkhosh, the newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Sri Lanka. In this exclusive interview, Dr. Delkhosh shared profound insights into his vision for Sri Lanka, drawing upon a wealth of experience garnered through an illustrious career in diplomatic services.
Born on January 14, 1972, in Khoy, Dr. Delkhosh has consistently demonstrated a commitment to international relations and diplomacy. Holding a Ph.D. in Public International Law from Allame Tabatabie University (2010), his academic prowess complements extensive practical experience in the field.
Our discussion delved into various aspects of Dr. Delkhosh’s diplomatic journey, highlighting key roles such as Deputy of the Public Diplomacy Center, Head of the Border Law office, and Deputy of the Iranian Embassy in Turkey. From his service as a Political Secretary in Uzbekistan to his advisory role to the Deputy Foreign Minister for International Law, Dr. Delkhosh’s diverse portfolio underscores the depth of his contributions to the diplomatic landscape.
Among the topics explored was Dr. Delkhosh’s vision for Sri Lanka, reflecting his dedication to fostering stronger bilateral ties. As a seasoned diplomat, he provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities inherent in the region, shedding light on strategies for collaboration and mutual growth.
The interview also touched upon the ongoing situation in Gaza, where Dr. Delkhosh’s expertise in international affairs added a nuanced perspective.
Question: Welcome to Sri Lanka, Ambassador. First of all, can you tell us about your vision and priorities as the Iranian Ambassador to Sri Lanka in 2023 and beyond?
Answer: First of all, thank you for arranging this interview. I am very pleased that I have been appointed by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran as Ambassador Plenipotentiary to Sri Lanka, with the mission of developing relations between the two countries.
Iran and Sri Lanka are two civilized and cultured countries. Despite the historical relations and ancient interactions between the people, the knowledge and information of the people of the two countries about each other is very little. In Iran, people have little information about Sri Lanka, and in Sri Lanka, many people know little about Iran. My first and main work priority is to enhance the familiarity of the people of the two countries about each other across various academic, economic, cultural, religious, and artistic levels and domains so that we can present a correct and favourable portrayal of the two countries to the people with the cooperation of the media.
Another priority of the Embassy in this new period is the enhancement of the economic relations between two countries. Fortunately, the economies of both countries complement each other. Iran has skilled engineers and numerous Start-Up and Knowledge-Based companies with a high capacity and readiness to engage in Sri Lanka to export technical and engineering services to this country.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka’s diverse agricultural and mineral products enjoy a significant market in Iran. For example, Sri Lankan tea is a popular fixture, which decorates Iranian dining tables.
Q: How does Iran perceive its role in promoting regional peace and stability in South Asia, and what specific strategies do you plan to implement to contribute to this objective during your tenure as an ambassador?
A: The Indian Ocean is regarded as Iran’s neighbouring and closely connected region. Consequently, Iran places great importance on security and peace in this area. Any possible instability or insecurity in the Indian Ocean, particularly in the South Asian region, has the potential to impact the security of the Persian Gulf region. Furthermore, Iran maintains warm and entente relations with all South Asian countries, both at the governmental and societal levels, reflecting a favourable perception. Moreover, Iran plays an active and influential role in certain regional organizations in South Asia. Its involvement in the IORA organization as a member and also its membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization contribute to Iran’s engagement in fostering peace in the South Asian region. Iran and the South Asian countries possess significant opportunities for cooperation and active collaboration. These opportunities can be leveraged to advance regional peace, stability, and security.
Q: What diplomatic strategies and initiatives can Iran employ to promote stability and peace in the Middle East, particularly in the context of the ongoing situation in Gaza?
A: The primary cause of instability in the Middle East is the presence of foreign forces in the region. These external powers, originating from thousands of kilometres away, have disrupted the stability and security of the Middle East by meddling in the internal affairs of countries. The nations within the region possess substantial capabilities to safeguard their own security. However, the presence of obstructive foreign powers hampers their efforts. Currently, countries in the region are engaged in cooperative efforts, fostering bilateral and regional collaboration. If external influences withdraw from this region, many of its problems are likely to be resolved on their own.
Q: Can you elaborate on Iran’s stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and what steps do you believe can be taken to achieve a peaceful resolution to the situation in Gaza?
A: Certainly, the issue of Gaza and the inhumane assaults of the Israeli regime on the people of Gaza will be remembered as dark chapters in contemporary history. Because the Zionist regime’s military apparatus and war machines persistently engage in ethnic cleansing, genocide, war crimes, and human rights violations, displaying no regard for international human rights and humanitarian regulations. On the other hand, international organizations, including the United Nations and especially the Human Rights Council and the Security Council, have thus far fallen short in their role as custodians of international peace and security and become defenders of individuals against fundamental violations of human rights.
During the OIC Riyadh summit on November 11, Dr. Reisi, the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, made proposals including the immediate ceasefire and the cessation of killings by the Zionist regime, lifting restrictions on humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, identifying the leaders and perpetrators of crimes against Gaza’s people as war criminals, bringing them to justice, allowing the Palestinian nation to determine its destiny through a referendum, and evacuating the occupied territories from occupiers.
The Islamic Republic of Iran anticipates that the responsiveness demonstrated by the nations towards the indifferent positions adopted by governments in response to the crimes committed by the Zionist regime will have an impact. At present, individuals across the globe, ranging from America to Europe and Asia to Africa, are voicing their indignation and resentment about the continuing inhumane tragedies unfolding in Gaza.