Art and ExperienceIranian FM Zarif voiced his deep concern over the issue of global warming and environmental degradation, calling for collective cooperation to combat this universal threat.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 5th International Green Film Festival Friday evening, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif commended the efforts made by Head of Environmental Protection Organization, Masoumeh Ebtekar, saying “wherever she is present, Iran is introduced to the world in the best possible way.”

Zarif paid his respect to the present artists at the ceremony, including master of Persian painting and miniatures Mahmoud Farshchian whose works have been gifted to the world’s top officials by Iran’s Foreign Ministry, adding “Iranians are opposed to violence against human beings, nature and living organisms and we should be able to introduce this rich culture through our art, free of all the falsities and misconceptions formed around it in the region.”

Highlighting the fact that manifestations of violence and extremism have no place in Iranian-Islamic culture, the top diplomat added “before anybody else would begin to worry about the preservation of nature, Iran and Islam had deemed the destruction of nature a crime against humanity.”

“Today, we need to declare that the earth is getting warmer every day and moves toward destruction,” said Zarif. “We must admit to the fact that all the world must throw its weight behind the protection of the environment regardless of any geographical borders.”

“The same violence that is wrecking Syria today is rampaging through Paris,” Zarif added, “we are all sitting in one ship and must accept that our future is tied to one another.”

The 5th Green International Film Festival opened in Tehran as well as in other provinces across the country on May 13 and ran until May 20, after a ten-year hiatus.

Organized by Iran’s Department of Environment, the festival aimed at promoting the culture of environmental protection with artistic expression and recognizing valuable art works to increase public awareness on environmental issues.