Mohammad Khatami

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has issued an open letter to the United Nations Secretary General calling for immediate action to “achieve historic reconciliation” in response to growing extremism across the world.

In a letter published on his website on Thursday January 15, Khatami refers to Iranian initiatives for “Dialogue among Civilizations” and “Coalition for Peace”, saying that after the events of September 11, “some thought that with a coalition to fight terrorism, this ominous phenomenon could be uprooted. But had this decision been successful, why would we be seeing such waves of terrorism all across the world?”

Khatami insists that “proponents of kindness, defenders of freedom, justice and human rights” are not few and far between in the world but their voices are not heard. He calls on the United Nations to take initiatives to make these voices heard.

Khatami adds that what has been going on in recent years in the name of “fighting terrorism” has not only been ineffective, it has at times “fomented the fires of this awful curse”.

Khatami refers to the role of “poverty, deprivation, oppression, occupation, displacement, despotism, and worst of all, human humiliation by corrupt and expansionist powers” in the growing number of terrorist attacks in the world.

At the beginning of his statement, Khatami condemns the “terrorist crime in Paris and the similar troubling events before and after it” calling on the United Nations to go beyond mere condemnation, and begin effecting a “historic reconciliation”.