5 October 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
before the Sixth Committee on Agenda item 107:
“Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism”
(New York, 5 October 2010)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
My delegation would like to begin by congratulating you for your appointment as the Chair of this session of the Sixth Committee. Our congratulation goes to the other members of the Bureau, as well. We assure you of our full support and cooperation.
The Islamic Republic of Iran aligns itself with the statements made on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement and the OIC group.
The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran on terrorism is quite clear and well known. Less than a month ago, I delivered a statement on the occasion of the second review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and outlined our perspectives concerning this global problem.
Terrorism continues to highly influence the international politics as well as the domestic polity of many States, and as such it deserves to be addressed with utmost attention and concern. Terrorism or terrorism related events and their consequences have been a main factor in informing the dominated discourse in international relations.
The Islamic Republic of Iran condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State terrorism. It is our firm belief that resorting to indiscriminate violence and terrorist acts, whether by terrorist groups or by State military forces, and killing and injuring innocent people and generating terror and intimidation among people are criminal acts which could not be justified in any manner.
Terrorism is categorically rejected by all religions and cultures. No true religion can permit indiscriminate violence and acts of terrorism against the innocent civilians. Islam, for instance, as a religion of peace, compassion, hope, brotherhood and goodwill, denounces every form of terrorism and taking the life of a human being, and disallows any cover or justification for acts of violence against innocent people. According to Holy Quran, “Whoever kills another one without justifiable cause, surely he is killing all of humanity. And whoever saves the life of another one, surely he saves the lives of all of humanity” (Sura Al Ma’aidah: Ayah 32).
I would like here to highlight the importance of neutralizing poisonous moves to link terrorism with any religion, nationality or culture. Such sinister approach toward terrorism will only lead to distrust, hatred and division among nations and cultures. It is imperative to multiply our collective efforts to promote dialogue and tolerance among followers of the Devine religions, civilizations and cultures and counter disrespect and defamation of religions.
State terrorism shall not be taken lightly as it has caused catastrophic consequences to many nations of the world. State terrorism has been responsible, directly or indirectly through the proxies, for the overthrowing or destabilizing a number of democratically constituted governments around the world, particularly in Latin America and the Middle East in the 20th Century. It is a policy which is still followed on by certain States, though with new faces. State terrorism is also manifested in systematic killing and kidnapping of the people living for decades under occupation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Moreover, some States have, at times, actively engaged in producing a reservoir of violence and extremism for their short-term interests, ignoring the high probability that it might backlash sooner or later. What happened in neighboring Afghanistan during the Cold War era and its wide ramifications later on, which are felt up to now, is a clear example.
As I stated before, these terrorist activities also show how disorder and violence generated by unresolved conflicts and foreign invasion and interference in a region could be exploited by criminal elements for terrorist activities. Unfortunately, military intervention by foreign powers has not only failed to counter terrorism and violence but also fueled and expanded terrorist activities in the region. The constant increase in terrorism and violence in recent years which has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people and resulted in huge economic damage and instability has been mainly generated or fueled by conflicts and wars inflicted upon region from outside.
Terrorism can hardly be eliminated as long as a culture of terror, intimidation and intervention and militarism is propagated by certain powers. These days terrorism afflicts huge loss and agony on humanity. The innocent civilians bear the main brunt of terrorist acts of the extremist and terrorist groups, on the one hand, and are indiscriminately targeted by States’ military forces under the name of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, on the other. The result is heartbreaking; an increasing number of innocent men and women are slaughtered and injured every day, generating the sense of injustice and despair and contributing to the circle of violence. It is imperative to recognize that terrorism could not be eliminated if the environment that breeds hatred, violence and chaos, including unlawful use of force, aggression and foreign occupation, injustice and exclusion, is allowed to thrive. That’s why we have always stressed the need to address the root causes of terrorism.
States play the key role in eliminating terrorism. A holistic approach to countering terrorism requires a collective will on the part of all States to develop a culture of peace and tolerance, commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes and avoidance of interference in internal affairs of other Member States. Likewise, terrorism could not be eradicated as long as some States continue to give preferential treatment to certain terrorist groups and apply double standard and selective approaches in dealing with this scourge.
Transparency in dealing with terrorism and terrorist groups is of critical importance, since it minimizes the possibility of terrorism or counter-terrorism being exploited to advance political agendas or to violate human rights. By transparency, we mean both the way terrorism is defined and the manner counter-terrorism strategies are implemented. Lack of a clear definition of terrorism has contributed to a confusion which is abused both by terrorist groups and by some States to question the legitimate resistance of people against occupation and aggression
We believe that a consensual definition of terrorism should strengthen international cooperation against terrorism and end any ambiguity concerning this term. Such definition has to be objective and shall include all forms of terrorist acts, including State terrorism, and observe the inalienable right to self-determination and independence of all peoples living under colonial and racist regimes and other forms of alien domination and foreign occupation, as well as the legitimacy of their struggle to this cause, as clearly endorsed in the U.N. General Assembly resolution A/46/51 and other related U.N. documents.
On 8 September 2010, the Second biennial Review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was successfully carried out and a consensus resolution was adopted as its outcome.
As we said before, the adoption of the U.N. Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by consensus in 2006 was an important achievement by the General Assembly toward an integrated and collective approach under the auspices of the United Nations to tackle the problem of terrorism worldwide. The Strategy remains a living document which should be reviewed with a view to its consolidating and adapting it to the new circumstances as appropriate. The responsibility for the implementation of the Strategy lies with the Member States and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) has the important task of coordinating the United Nations’ counter-terrorism activities.
My country has long been a target of terrorism, in some cases supported and encouraged by certain foreign powers which I mentioned in my statement before the “Ad Hoc Committee on Measures to eliminate international terrorism” on 12 April 2010 and the one I delivered on 8 September 2010 on the occasion of the Second Review of the U.N. Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
We have been following with high interest the negotiation process of a draft comprehensive convention against terrorism and continue to engage constructively in the negotiations with a view to resolving the pending issues while recognizing all the initiatives to emerge consensus on the outstanding issues. This should be done without compromising or affecting the established norms and principles of international humanitarian law concerning the legality and legitimacy of people’s struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism and alien domination to achieve self-determination. The new convention should also criminalize acts of terrorism committed by State, including by its military forces.
As I have mentioned before, the Islamic Republic of Iran has spared no effort in fighting terrorism. We stand ready to cooperate with other countries, especially with our neighbors, and with the relevant United Nations bodies to that effect. Iran has been keen to improve its overall capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and crime. The accession of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the three international instruments against terrorism (the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, and its Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf as well as the 1991 Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection) was endorsed by the Parliament a few month ago and now the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party to 9 international instruments against terrorism. Accession to the 1999 Convention against Financing of Terrorism is also under way. Moreover, the Anti-Money-Laundering Act has been in force since early 2008.
It is noteworthy that the Islamic Republic of Iran is planning to host an international conference on terrorism next year in order to study, among others, the nature and character of terrorism. The Conference would also examine different aspects of this global problem as well as diverse ramifications it has had on international relations. The initiative to hold this Conference indicates the importance my Government attaches to international cooperation against terrorism. We hope that the Conference will provide an opportunity to better understand the complex phenomenon of terrorism and mobilize our collective will and efforts against it.