21 November 2012
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee,
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of
the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
United Nations Security Council
under the agenda item
“Situation in the Middle East; including the Question of Palestine”
21 November 2012, New York
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
At the outset, I would like to express my thanks to Morocco for requesting this meeting of the Security Council to discuss the situation in Gaza.
The Council is convened to debate yet another in a series of repeated and grave crimes perpetrated by the Israeli regime against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories. Increased military operations in densely populated areas especially in the Gaza city, indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli army, the practice of collective punishment, extrajudicial killings, and targeted assassinations are but clear breaches of basic international standards and law, committed by Israel in the Palestinian territories. It is now more than a week that people in Gaza are under brutal attacks of Israeli military campaign and the casualties and destruction inflicted on the Palestinian people continue to rise. The Israeli regime’s deadly air strikes and shelling of Gaza are part of a larger policy marked with state terrorism, expansionism, aggression and oppression. The recent reports indicate that the continuous and increased plundering on the rights and aspiration of the Palestinian people resulted in the deterioration of the situation to an unprecedented and unbearable level.
The question of Palestine lies at the core of the Middle East issues. Deterioration of the situation in Gaza not only threatens the wider region, but also adversely impacts global peace and security. The recent Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip would undoubtedly create more instability and serve to inflame tension and threaten to further destabilize the situation in the region. The Council cannot and should not turn a blind eye to such a critical situation and Israeli’s atrocity. Those who prevent the Council to address this situation are also responsible for the escalation of the crisis and instability.
In this regard we appreciate the statements issued by the Non-Aligned Movement on 15 November 2012 as well as OIC wherein they strongly condemned the latest military campaign against the Palestinian people and believed that this act of aggression by the Israelis and their resort to force against the defenseless people demand the immediate attention of the whole international community and require decisive action by the UN Security Council, which is primarily responsible for maintaining international peace and security.
The Security Council should live up to this immense duty by preventing Israel from continuing to commit atrocities and flout the international law, norms and regulations. Regrettably, the Council has thus far failed to take any serious and tangible action or even attempt to implement its own modest and limited decisions on the Palestinian question, due to the unconditional support extended to Israel by a permanent member of the Council. It is more unfortunate that such a failure has become a commonplace feature of the Council even in the wake of the most atrocious crimes committed by Israel. The recent opposition of the same permanent member to the adoption of a presidential statement on the grave and deteriorating situation in Gaza, in the course of the past couple of days, cannot but be regarded as an explicit support for the war crimes and unlawful activities persistently pursued by Israel. In fact, the Council cannot retain its credibility while it has been ineffective and inactive in addressing the Israeli crimes in Gaza as the gravest situation of international concern. The impunity with which Israel has been allowed to carry out its crimes has emboldened it to continue its policies and practices. It is, therefore, high time for the international community to take effective measures to protect and enforce the basic rights of the Palestinian people and to help put an end to their suffering caused by the persisted illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel. Recognizing the need for taking urgent and meaningful action in the face of the recent escalation of Israeli military operations in Gaza, all members of the Council should act according to their responsibilities in fully and properly addressing the present situation that has clearly heightened the crisis in the Middle East, thus undermining the international peace and security.
The Israeli attacks on Gaza should also be seen from the framework of the decision of Palestine to present its legitimate demand to statehood at the UN. The Israeli onslaught is considered to be blackmailing the Palestinian people for exercising their legitimate rights, and the restrictions applied by certain countries regarding the aids to the Palestinian Authority amounts to punishment of the Palestinians for exercising their basic rights in shaping their fate and future. In fact, by taking such inadmissible punitive measures against a nation, the principles of international law and principles recognized for nations to pursue their legitimate demands are abundantly breached by those who often pretend to preach them. The international community should show its solidarity with the Palestinian people by overwhelming supporting the Palestinian bid to enhance its status at the United Nations.
I don’t want to take the time of this Council to respond to the irresponsible claims of the Israeli representative. In the context of Israel’s defiance of the international community, particular reference however should be made to the infamous Israeli nuclear weapons program, which is a showcase of five decades of concealment and deception and total disregard for the demand of the international community, echoed in the NPT 2010 Review Conference, which called upon it to accede to the NPT immediately and without any condition. Nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime with an unparalleled record of state terrorism and resort to aggression and the threat of force against other countries presents a real threat to regional and global peace and security and the non-proliferation regime. This threat needs to be urgently and decisively addressed by the international community and the initiative for the creation of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East should be actively pursued.
I would also like to point out that the Islamic Republic of Iran has officially declared its commitment to the fundamental principle of the Charter, to refrain from the threat or use of force against any member of the United Nations. The daily barrage of illegal threats to resort to force by officials of the Israeli regime requires urgent and serious attention by this Council. At the very least, this Council should demand that the Israeli regime abandon its policy of flouting international law and the UN Charter and cease and desist immediately from resorting to the threat or use of force.
Thank you, Mr. President