8 October 2008

Statement By

H.E. Mr. Eshagh Al Habib

Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative

of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Before the Sixth Committee

On Agenda item 99:

“Measures to eliminate international terrorism”

New York, 8 October 2008

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


Madam Chair,

We are very pleased to see you chairing the committee. My delegation would like

to congratulate the Chairman and the other members of the bureau for their election and

thank the Secretariat for all their efforts.

The Islamic Republic of Iran aligns itself with the statements made by Pakistan

and Cuba on behalf of the OIC group and the Non Aligned Movement, respectively.

Madam Chair,

The Islamic Republic of Iran reaffirms its unequivocal condemnation of all acts of

terrorism committed by whomever and for whatever purposes. It is our principled

position that resorting to indiscriminate violence, be it by terrorist groups or by State

military forces, and killing and maiming innocent civilians and generating terror and

intimidation could not be justified in any manner.

Sadly, terrorism remains a major concern for the international community and

continues to adversely affect the security and stability of many States. The phenomenon

is truly transnational and as such only through collective cooperation and coordination

led by the United Nations would we be able to tackle it. This requires political will of all

States and avoidance of double standard policies and selective approaches in dealing with

terrorist groups. It is also necessary that international counter-terrorism efforts be

organized under the auspices of the United Nations and carried out in full conformity

with the United Nations Charter and international law, international human rights and


humanitarian law. Nonetheless, the systematic abuse of, or excessive, counter-terrorism

measures in recent years has caused serious concern. We should stick to our high

principles, primarily the rule of law, while countering terrorism. The fact that the United

Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has appropriately placed human rights as the

fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism indicates the high importance of

complying with international law, in particular human rights law when dealing with


Madam Chair,

We believe that a consensual legal definition of terrorism would strengthen

international cooperation against terrorism. Such definition has to be objective and

include all forms of terrorism including State terrorism, on the one hand, and to make a

clear distinction between heinous acts of terrorism and legitimate struggle of peoples

under foreign occupation for restoring their fundamental right of self determination, on

the other.

Terrorism can hardly be eliminated unless its diverse root causes are duly

addressed and resolutely removed. It is necessary to spot and eradicate the underlying

causes of terrorism that breed resentment and despair, and generate hopelessness. Foreign

occupation which suppresses the people, subjugates them and deprives them of their

fundamental right of self-determination is the main source of hatred and desperation.

Foreign occupation violates the basic principle of international law, including the Charter

of the United Nations, international humanitarian law and human rights. Likewise,

unlawful use of force and aggression provide a fertile ground for the spread of violence

and terrorism. It is very disturbing that territorial integrity and political sovereignty of

States are simply violated in the name of chasing and hunting terrorists and innocent

people are accidentally! slaughtered. Nonetheless, resorting to large-scale armed force, in

retaliation against perpetrators of terrorism, may, in most cases, only cause the symptoms

to get disappeared without healing the infectious disease.

In our efforts to uproot terrorism, due attention should be paid to all ways and

means that may be used by terrorist groups and elements to pursue their dangerous

activities. In this context, we share the concern that terrorist groups may increasingly use

internet for pursuing their criminal activities, including for identifying potential targets,

given the easy access to images and exact map of infrastructure facilities as well as state

facilities and other places of public use.

Madam Chair,

Unfortunately terrorism, particularly State terrorism, has plagued our region for a

long time. However, the proliferation of terrorism in recent years which has claimed the

lives of thousands of innocent people is alarmingly unprecedented. This vicious trend is

mainly generated or fueled by ongoing conflicts and wars inflicted by non-regional

actors. These conflicts have provided a feeding ground for terrorists to propagate

violence and terror. Iran has consistently warned against the threats caused by continued

presence and activities of a notorious terrorist group (MKO) in a neighboring country

under the patronage of foreign forces.


Here I would like to reiterate the importance of fighting drug trafficking as

essential prerequisite for eliminating terrorism, given the fact that drug-trafficking has

been used as a financial resource for some terrorist groups in the region. For decades,

Iran has been at the forefront of a costly war against transnational drug traffickers.

According to the recent UNODC’s drug report more than 80 percent of world drug

seizure in 2007 was in Iran. More than 4000 Iranian law enforcement personnel have lost

their lives and billions of dollars have been spent to combat drug traffickers, and to

interdict opium shipments. We urge the international community to pay more attention to

this issue.

Madam Chair,

Ill-intended attempts to foul any religion, ethnicity or culture by linking them with

terrorism must be rejected. Such unwise and simplistic approach toward terrorism, will

only lead to distrust, hatred and division among nations as well as giving a leeway to

terrorists. We welcome all initiatives that seek to promote dialogue among civilizations,

cultures and religions. We reaffirm our commitment to the principles and true teachings

of Islam which rejects aggression, prohibit killing of innocent people and value peace,

compassion and tolerance.

Madam Chair,

The first biennial review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, held on 4

and 5 September 2008, was an important event through which the Member States

reaffirmed their commitment to prevent and combat terrorism in an integrated, nonselective

and comprehensive manner. The resolution adopted as the outcome of the

Conference well indicates this determination.

The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches high importance to the ongoing process of

negotiation of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We

appreciate the valuable efforts of Mr. Rohan Perera, the Chairman, and Ms. Maria

Telalian, the Coordinator, of the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly

resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996, to converge positions on the pending issues of

the draft Convention. It is necessary for negotiating parties to remain actively involved

and try their best in order to arrive at an acceptable solution for the key outstanding

issues. We should be cautious, however, not to compromise or prejudice the established

provisions of international humanitarian law as regards the legality and legitimacy of

people’s struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism and alien

domination, aimed at liberation and self-determination. Otherwise, we would send a

wrong message to those occupying regimes who have never hesitated to resort to terrorist

tactics, including extrajudicial killing, to suppress people’s legitimate resistance against

occupation. The new Convention should also address acts of terror committed by State,

including by its military forces. The fact that ‘all measures of intimidation or of terrorism

[by military forces] are prohibited’, under the 4th Geneva Convention (Article 33), should

persuade us to criminalize such acts in peacetime, as well.


To conclude, Madam Chair, the Islamic Republic of Iran will spare no effort in

fighting terrorism. Iran has taken measures to improve its overall capacity to prevent and

combat terrorism and crime. We stand ready to cooperate with other countries, especially

the neighboring countries and with the relevant United Nations bodies.

I thank you, Madam Chair

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