27 June 2012
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of
the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
On “The Situation in Afghanistan”
Before the Security Council of the United Nations
27 June 2012, New York
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I would like to start by expressing our gratitude to Mr. Ladsous, Under-Secretary General for peacekeeping operation and Mr. Fedatov, Executive Director of UNODC for their briefings today at Council.
The Report of the Secretary General and other statements presented today dealt with key points regarding the situation in Afghanistan and the prospects of International engagement after drawdown of foreign military forces from Afghanistan. I therefore wish to touch upon briefly some developments regarding Afghanistan from our vantage points.
Afghanistan still faces some important challenges that can derail the country’s stabilization and development, and harm regional and international security. Terrorism, violentces, extremism and narcotic drug production and trafficking are among the major threats that Afghanistan faces. But one important issue for the region and in the area of relationship between Afghanistan and its neighbors is the presence of foreign forces in that country. Such a presence has provided a major security concern over the past decade for the neighboring countries and the region and therefore the latter are scrupulously follow the issue of status of forces and their final drawdown from Afghanistan. In analyzing the situation on the ground, we believe that the long-term international engagement in Afghanistan should not lead to long term presence and permanent foreign military bases or military and security presence in Afghanistan. The longer the presence of foreign forces, the longer disability may endure. Of course, the Afghan authorities have assured their neighbors that such a long term presence may not be a source of security concern for its neighbors. Nevertheless, in our case at least we have experienced incidences such as the drone transgression into our air space and obviously security consideration is a matter that could not be compromised.
Another area of ongoing concern is the drug production and traffic. Mr. Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in his statement today at this chamber noted that %90 of world’s opiates is produced in Afghanistan. The narcotic drugs originating from Afghanistan is not targeting neighboring countries only, it affects other countries far away from the region as well. This menace has hindered the advancement of the affected countries towards development and has put at risk their social cohesion.
On the national level the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken enormous drug trafficking measures. Based on such an approach, the Islamic Republic of Iran has mobilized 30,000 troops of our military and law enforcement forces along the joint borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan. We has also reinforced and re-managed the fortifications, facilities and intelligent control systems in transit and border check-points, in order to prevent the entry of trafficking caravans into the country and annihilate them in case of infiltration. More than 400 kilometers of embankments along the borders, 800 kilometers of deep canals, 90 kilometers of concrete walls and 20 kilometers of barriers, as well as 140 kilometers of barbed wire fencing, are just some of the controlling and security measures taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran along its eastern borders, which were visited by Mr. Fedotov, the Executive Director of UNODC, during his trip to Iran in July 2011. In order our fight against the narcotic drugs to be effective, there is a need to review the regional and international policies and programs in order to overcome short falls and effectively counter with such a global problem -as narcotics. The Islamic Republic of Iran, once more, emphasizes its strong determination to combat against this significant global problem, and expresses its readiness to cooperate with others to resolve decisively such problems of global concern.
On regional cooperation we have continued our talks with Afghan authorities on bilateral, trilateral and regional basis to further strengthen our cooperation, particularly in relation to increasing our coordination on security matters, counter-narcotics efforts, illegal immigration and completion of developmental projects including building roads and railways. On the issue of the return of Afghan refugees, we are happy that the May conference on the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees to Support Voluntary Repatriation, Sustainable Reintegration and Assistance to Host Countries was held in Geneva. The Conference launched an integrated framework for multilateral cooperation and coordination agreed between the Governments of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan and UNHCR. We look forward for its implementation through a commitment to sustained and tangible support by the international community.
Early next month we will have Tokyo Conference. The Conference will be yet another opportunity where the neighboring countries as well as international partners exchanged views on how to move further on creating the conditions suitable for the economic growth for Afghanistan. We hope that the outcome of Tokyo Conference would pave the ground for a more economic prosperity for Afghanistan with the active participation of all the neighboring and regional countries in the infrastructural and developmental projects in line with the wishes of Afghan people and Government. Any initiatives elaborated in Tokyo conference should strengthen the trust between Afghanistan and its neighbors through active engagement, interactions and partnership. The neighboring countries of Afghanistan have a legitimate interest in Afghanistan’s security and long-term stability and play their role in promoting Afghanistan’s socio-economic development. Obviously the prospects of a stable and flourishing Afghanistan would be ideal situation to its neighbors and the wider region. The continuing engagement between Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners in the areas of trade, economic development and infrastructure development must be therefore supported. Here we should also emphasis on the central role of the United Nations in coordinating international efforts in Afghanistan which is of paramount importance and enjoys our full support.
I thank you Mr. President, for your kind attention.