25 October 2011

explanation of vote after adoption

 by H.E. Mr. Alireza Jahangiri

Director General for International Legal Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran

on Agenda item 41 of the 66th Session of the General Assembly:

Necessity of Ending the Economic Commercial and Financial Embargo

Imposed by the United Sates of America against Cuba

(New York, 25 October 2011)

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


Mr. President,

The Islamic Republic of Iran voted in favor of the draft resolution and would like to put on record the following explanation of vote after its adoption:


Mr. President,

The overwhelming support for the resolution reflects, yet again, the common understanding and will of the international community concerning the inhumane and illegitimate embargo imposed by the US against Cuban government and people.


Depriving civilian populations of their economic and social rights infringes on their basic human rights and therefore are illegal. Indeed, this is the main feature of the sanctions as we know them today. Economic blockade and sanctions are nothing but illegitimate at least because of the following reasons:


1- There is no single case that arrogant powers have not been behind economic sanctions against developing countries or territories. It has turned out to be a tool not to spur international peace and security but to impose hegemonic intentions of big powers against other nations.


2- Worst of all, sanctions, including ostensibly legitimate ones, always end in targeting daily lives of civilians. They have a dramatic impact on the basic human rights of people. Victimization of innocent ordinary people is sine qua non of sanctions. There are ample evidences that sanctions first and foremost put economic growth and prosperity of civilians in peril;


3- Notwithstanding all the harms that sanctions bear, they have proven to be futile. There is no strong proof that independent nations compromise their revered national interests to the antagonistic wills of hegemonic powers because of sanctions;


4- The argument that sanctions are rather a better option comparing to more forceful measures is irrelevant too. The warmongers are not concerned about the sequence of the punitive measures. Whenever they deem necessary, they undoubtedly resort to force with or without first exercising other measures; and with or without UN approval. Sanctions will not stop them from exercising force, should they themselves find it desirable.


Mr. President,

Yet, the most unjustifiable and deplorable form of sanctions is the imposition of unilateral blockades and extraterritorial application of domestic laws by one State, which unsurprisingly happens to be the United States of America, against others that affect not only the population under sanction but also the interests of the third parties, who are disproportionately and unreasonably being punished.


Numerous international documents have called for swift invalidation of all such measures. Indeed, one may wonder what more should be done to convince the government of the United States to lift the inhumane and futile economic blockade against government and people of Cuba. What more should be said to argue that these illegal measures flagrantly violate the UN Charter, the rule of international law, the multilateral trading system, the norms and principles governing relations among States as well as the clear will of the international community; the will that has been unequivocally expressed in so many resolutions adopted by this body.


The unilateral economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States, serves no purpose but inflicting tremendous hardship and suffering on the ordinary civilians specially women and children. The embargo has seriously jeopardized the legitimate rights and interests of Cuba and other States.  It runs counter to the principles of international law and contradicts the letter and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations.


Mr. President,

The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly rejects and remains opposed to the application of unilateral economic and trade measures by one state against another as well as to the extraterritorial application and effects of national legislation on the sovereignty of other States. We oppose and condemn these measures or laws and their continued application, and will do everything to effectively thwart them and urge other States to do likewise by refraining from recognizing, adopting or implementing extra-territorial or unilateral coercive measures or laws, including unilateral economic sanctions, other intimidating measures, and arbitrary travel restrictions, that seek to exert pressure on other countries – threatening their sovereignty and independence, and their freedom of trade and investment – and prevent them from exercising their right to decide, by their own free will.


The Islamic Republic of Iran shares the concern of the Cuban people and Government and, therefore, emphasizes the urgent need to put an end to such inhumane measures against Cuba and other developing countries and the full implementation of the contents of the General Assembly resolution as just adopted.


Mr. President 

In conclusion, sanctions whosoever imposes them under whatsoever pretext or disguise remain to be illegitimate, futile and misguidedly punitive.


Thank you very much.

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