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Iran Official: Terrorism Must be Fought Rationally

Iran's deputy foreign minister, Javad Zarif, says the battle against terrorism must be fought rationally and under the leadership of the United Nations. Mr. Zarif characterized the attacks of September 11 as a "perverted response to injustice and exclusion." He expressed Iran's profound empathy with the United States. "Empathy is the only human response," he said. "We can not but set aside our differences and share the pain and anguish of not only thousands of families that lost their loved ones but an entire nation that has been traumatized by the terror of this crime."

Mr. Zarif said it is understandable that the attacks of last month have stirred strong emotions but that wisdom is needed to respond. "Emotions and anger are only human but we need a great deal of collective reflection and wisdom for a rational and far-sighted response," he said. "We need a response that will focus not only on this horrific crime but on terrorism in general wherever and whenever it occurs."

Mr. Zarif said it is even more important to focus on the "root causes of injustice and exclusion that can be exploited by demagogues to inflict so much harm on innocent human beings."

The Iranian foreign minister said the United Nations provides the best forum for the battle against terrorism. He also expressed strong support for a global summit against terrorism where a consensus can be reached on effective steps to fight it.