In a keynote speech to the 1st Conference of Asian Cultural Dialogue in Tehran on Saturday, Zarif criticized US President Donald Trump’s recent racist slur against countries, saying that such an approach hindered inclusive dialog among nations.
“Today, we unfortunately see an individual having assumed power in the United States who has so little understanding that he describes entire nations with obscene and unacceptable and even unbelievable words,” Zarif said, referring to but not naming Trump, who on Thursday described El Salvador, Haiti, and certain African nations as “shithole” countries.
Zarif said, “Such words stream out of the mouth of an individual who deems himself the [chief] executive of a country; that culture, that orientation and approach is an obstacle in the way of a paradigm of inclusive dialog.”
The top Iranian diplomat said the world has over the past centuries been characterized by a paradigm based on power and zero-sum games, “which has had no result for the people of the world but loss, violence, conflict, and killings.”
He said human experience has proven that zero-sum games and the practice of forming alliances to eliminate supposed enemies ends in loss for all the parties involved.
The Iranian foreign minister cautioned, however, that the incompetence of some governments has raised concerns and caused social divisions.
Those incompetent governments, he said, have tried to promote hatred and create phobias, among them Iranophobia.
He underlined the need for dialog to cope with all regional and global crises.