24 January 2012
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Eshagh Al Habib
Deputy Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
under the agenda item 36 entitled
“The Situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine”
before the Security Council of the United Nations
(24 January 2012, New York)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I would like to thank you for arranging this open debate on the situation on the Middle East and Palestine. We have started a new year while popular uprisings and the aspiration of the people in the Middle East for democracy, rule of law, independence, and rejection of foreign domination as well as their affection to Islamic values are bearing fruits.
One of our prime objectives in our foreign policy is to strengthen the trust between the Islamic Republic of Iran and our neighbors and countries in the region through active engagement, interaction and partnership. The countries in the Middle East share common interests in the region’s security and long-term stability and each should play their role in promoting regional socio-economic development. Obviously, a stable and economically flourishing and prosperous Middle East would create an ideal situation to each and every country in the region to move in the path of development and economic growth. Our continued commitment towards brotherly relations with our neighbors and regional partners in the areas of security, economic development is thus a goal seriously pursued by my Government.
There are mischievous attempts aimed at sawing discord and create divisions among nations in the Middle East region. They tried to divide peoples by fomenting sectarian, ethnical and religious differences. The fact is that the nations in the region, with diverse ethnic and religious diversity, have lived together in harmony and coexistence for centuries.
We condemn the continuation of Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza by land, sea and air. We believe that it is an aggressive and savage action that breaches all international laws and norms, constitutes a crime against humanity and poses a serious threat to international peace and security as well as to regional stability. The blockade also constitutes collective punishment that is unconditionally prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention dealing with the rights and obligations of belligerent States.
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the settlement of the Palestinian crisis would be achievable only if the inalienable rights of the people of the occupied Palestine is fully recognized, restored and maintained. Regrettably, due to the lack of attention to the root causes of this crisis, the Middle East conflict has remained unsolved for more than six decades. There have been numerous reasons for such failure, which include the continued occupation of the Palestinian and other Arab occupied territories by the Israeli regime, as well as its persistent violations of the rights of the Palestinian people including the right to self-determination, especially the legitimate and inalienable right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. We believe that the only solution to the Palestinian issue and establishment of peace is restoration of the sovereignty right to Palestine and putting an end to occupation. The Palestinian people should be allowed to express their opinions freely regarding their fate and future and the kind of State and Government they want to have through a referendum with the participation of all Palestinian people.
There are disturbing reports on the worsening situation of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees being illegally imprisoned and detained by Israeli regime, in violation of international law, including international humanitarian law. Last week a number of elected officials were arrested and detained by the Israeli regime, including Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. This Council should condemn this new wave in detention campaign against the Legislative Council members, and demand the Israeli regime to immediately release all lawmakers, who continue to be imprisoned or arbitrarily detained.
The Israeli regime has continued its violations of the land, sea and air space of Lebanon and refuses to withdraw from Lebanese occupied villages. Golan Heights are still under occupation. In spite of the mounting international calls and efforts to end the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian and other lands under its occupation, Israeli regime continues to violate international law. These occupations and acts of aggression should stop immediately.
Before concluding, I would like to react to the reference made this morning to my country by the Representative of the Israeli regime. This representative has repeatedly diverted from the main debate at this Chamber that is to say the issue of Palestine and has raised the issues that have no relevance to the main debate at hand obviously in an attempt to deflect the attentions from its long list of crimes and atrocities committed and continues to commit such as occupation, aggression, militarism, state-terrorism including masterminding the assassination of Iranian innocent nuclear scientists and crimes against humanity.
Needless to mention, here, that my country is a leading nation in rejecting and opposing all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. As a State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Islamic Republic of Iran has on many occasions, including in this august Council, declared loudly and clearly that the nuclear weapons, as inhumane weapons, have no place in our defense mechanism. Furthermore, Iran peaceful nuclear activities are under the supervision of the IAEA and many inspection teams have visited our installation and another team from IAEA is about to visit Iran in the course of the end of this week. Furthermore, Iran has strived towards the realization of the nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East within the United Nations framework.
However what is urgent for the Council to consider and to take action is the unlawful possession of nuclear weapons at the hand of the most dangerous and biggest threat to the world namely the Israeli regime which has always remained the main and unique source of destabilization in the Middle East. Given its past history of aggressions, war crimes and crimes against humanity including ethnic cleansing it has committed over the past decades in the region, it is expected from this Council to condemn occupying regime for the possession of nuclear weapons, urging it to abandon nuclear weapons and call it to accede to the NPT without delay, and demand this regime to place promptly all its nuclear facilities under IAEA full-scope safeguards. Peace and stability cannot be achieved in the Middle East where the massive Israeli nuclear arsenals and war rhetoric used by the officials of this regime continue to threaten the region and beyond.
I wish also to give a short reply to reference made to my country in the statement of the Distinguished Ambassador of France who accused Iran of sending arms to Syria. We are surprised to hear that false and baseless allegations. This allegation is another attempt to whitewash the firm and verified reports that France in line with its hegemonic policies of the past is arming the illegal armed groups in Syria and is responsible for the fuelling the violence and death of many number of civilians in Syria.
I thank you, Mr. President.