12 March 2012
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee,
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of
the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
under the agenda item
“Situation in the Middle East“
United Nations Security Council
12 March 2012, New York
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I would like to thank you for convening this high level debate on “The situation in the Middle East”. There is no doubt that this high level debate is of high importance in exploring the ways and means of preserving peace and stability in the Middle East; at the time the region is undergoing complex and profound changes and significant developments are unfolding.
In the last couple of days the Gaza Strip has witnessed the renewal of the bombardments and day and night attacks by the Israeli regime and many civilians including women and children were targeted and several houses were destroyed. This new round of crimes comes along the continuations of deprivation of more than 1.5 million Palestinians of all their basic needs of life. There are also numerous violations of international humanitarian law as well as gross violations of human rights by the occupying regime. There is no justification for the Security Council to remain silent vis-à-vis the perpetrators of these crimes. The international community has the responsibility to act and to put an end to the deliberate targeting of civilians. The irony is that some States, who criticize the use of veto by Russia and China in the case of Syrian resolution, have resorted several times to veto in this Council to keep the Israeli aggressor above the law and not to subject it to accountability. We are expecting to see what would be the reaction of the Security Council to this new wave of killing civilians and the crimes committed by the Israeli regime in Gaza.
The Islamic Republic of Iran follows closely the developments of the situation in Syria. We firmly believe that the current crisis should only be resolved through Syrian-lead political dialogue in a peaceful manner.
I met last week Mr. Kofi Annan and while expressing our deep worrisome over the continuation of violence in Syria and the urgency for a political process, I presented our views of a prospects for a quick and peaceful settlement of the crisis. We are also actively engaged with some of the major players in the region in an effort to curb and find a solution for the crisis in Syria. In this regard I would like to present the following points:
- We strongly believe that provocative statements in line with a so-called “regime change” or transfer of power would only undermine the prospects for any possible political settlement in Syria. Encouraging the opposition towards armed struggle and pushing the country towards a civil war would have disastrous consequences not only for Syria but to the whole Middle East region and should be avoided. We also believe that use or threat of sanctions does not help to resolve this issue but would worsen the humanitarian situation in Syria.
- In order to realize a political settlement for the Syrian crisis, there is an urgent need to put an end to foreign interventions and funneling money and arms to the opposition groups. The Syrian opposition armed groups should also immediately and unconditionally cease all acts of violence. Legitimate political demands and aspirations should only be perused through non-violent means. The call for national dialogue should be heeded by all opposition groups.
- The people at the conflict areas are in need of humanitarian assistance and the presence of armed groups would impede rendering assistance to the civilians who are in dire need of humanitarian aid.
- We welcome the appointment of Kofi Annan as the Special Envoy of the United Nations for Syria. Considering his broad experience in resolving disputes in different parts of the world during his tenure as the Head of this Organization, we are very much optimistic that he will be able to carrying out this important task in the best interest of the Syrian people.
- Special Envoy should be in close consultation with Syrian authorities and the opposition parties for an inclusive political dialogue with no preconditions or predetermined outcome by any group in order to find a comprehensive and detailed agenda and plan for reform with specific timetable for its implementation with a view to restoring national stability and public order as soon as possible. We sincerely hope that his mission lead to a prompt end to violence and continuation of the political process in resolving peacefully the crisis in Syria.
- In finding a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, the world community should strictly abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the basic norms governing international relations. The ideal of the founders of the United Nations was to establish a just and peaceful international relations through prohibition of the use of force, nonintervention in the internal affairs and peaceful settlement of disputes. States have an obligation to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. We as a close friend of Syria in the discharge of our responsibility are engaged in an extensive consultation with the Special Envoy and other stake holders in and outside the region for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. The Islamic Republic of Iran is supportive of any constructive, unbiased, impartial and peaceful Syrian-led political process and we stand ready to play our role in that process.
I would like to conclude, Mr. President, with the wish for a harmonious world of lasting peace and prosperity in the Middle East which requires the concerted efforts of the entire international community.
Thank you, Mr. President