8 April 2013
Statement By Mr. Hossein Gharibi Delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Before The Sixteenth session of the Ad Hoc Committee established by
General Assembly resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996 (Measures to eliminate international terrorism)
New York, 8 April 2013
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran associates itself with the statement made by distinguished representative of Egypt on behalf of the OIC Group and the one made by my own delegation on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Islamic Republic of Iran condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State terrorism. We firmly believe that resorting to indiscriminate violence and acts of terrorism, whether by terrorist groups or by State military forces, and killing and injuring civilians and generating terror and intimidation among the public are criminal acts which could not be justified in any manner. My country has long been a target of terrorism, and we fully understand the untold consequences of acts of terrorism for the victims and for the society at large.
Terrorism seems to have superseded any challenge of similar kind in contemporary history. It has stained our daily life for long and continues to jeopardize the safety and security and general well being of increasing numbers of people around the world. And despite all efforts made at various fronts, we are far from uprooting this menace and the threat of terrorism continues to affect our societies. For decades a number of causes and factors has led or contributed to terrorism. Unlawful use of force by States, foreign aggression and occupation as well as foreign interference and meddling in internal affairs of States are among such causes and factors, to name a few. Unlawful use of force and occupation of other countries prepares ground for vicious cycle of violence and terrorism. The constant increase in terrorism and violence in recent years which has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people and resulted in instability as well as huge economic damages in our region has been mainly generated or fueled by conflicts inflicted upon the region from outside.
Excessive use of military force in the name of eliminating terrorists which has proved to be more fatal to the innocent ordinary people than to terrorists has also contributed to a sense of despair and desperation in the target populations. The agonies of those increasing numbers of men, women and children who fall victims to blind airstrikes and indiscriminate bombings could not be explained away as unfortunate collateral damages. Their unfair suffering as innocent human fellows should be addressed as seriously as those of innocent people who are victimized by acts of terrorism.
Moreover, unfortunately terrorism has long been manipulated by some as a political leverage against others; they have not hesitated to sit and work with terrorists whenever they saw it as beneficial to their narrowly defined geopolitical interests. We must indeed reject functional approach toward terrorism. While it is always repeated that all forms of terrorism should be condemned by all States, in reality, there is a discriminatory stance by some States toward terrorism. Some States take preferential treatments to those terrorist groups which work in their short-sighted political interests. A recent case is the decision of some countries to delist the notorious terrorist group that has killed and injured thousands of Iranians, from their list of terrorist organizations. Although even that listing didn’t put practical restrictions on the group’s activities in those countries but such clear political moves demonstrate the actual challenges the international community faces in fighting terrorism.
Terrorism could not be overcome without addressing State terrorism which has caused catastrophic consequences to many nations of the world. State terrorism is also manifested in systematic killing and kidnapping of the people living for decades under occupation. State terrorism has targeted scientific and technological development by assassinating the elite human resources in the developing countries. During the recent years, there have been several incidents that professional scientists have fallen victim of terrorist attacks in my country which unfortunately received least reaction from those who should have taken true measures to combat and eliminate international terrorism. The international community should come united to have a unified approach in fighting this scourge in an indiscriminate manner. It is indeed a key in advancing a worldwide fight against terrorism.
Ill-intended attempts to tarnish any religion, culture or nation by linking them with terrorism must be rejected. Such ill-advised approach to terrorism would only lead to distrust, hatred and division among nations as well as giving a leeway to terrorists. We welcome all initiatives that seek to promote dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions. It is imperative to multiply our collective efforts to promote dialogue and tolerance among followers of the all religions, civilizations and cultures and counter disrespect and defamation of religions.
This Ad Hoc Committee of the General assembly has made some important contributions in international campaign against terrorism by drafting a number of international instruments to criminalize and prosecute acts of terrorism. The Committee has yet to accomplish its mission by finalizing a draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism which has been under consideration for several years now.
The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches high importance to the ongoing process of negotiation of the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism and recognizes all initiatives geared toward reaching consensus. We are committed to remain actively and constructively engaged with a view to arriving at consensual solutions for the key outstanding issues. This should be done without compromising or affecting the established norms and principles of international humanitarian law concerning the legality and legitimacy of people’s struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism and alien domination to achieve self-determination, as clearly endorsed in the U.N. General Assembly resolution A/46/51 and other related U.N. documents. The new Convention should also criminalize acts of terrorism committed by State, including by its military forces.
We believe that a consensual definition of terrorism should strengthen international cooperation against terrorism and end subject-to-abuse ambiguities concerning this term. Such definition has to make a clear distinction between heinous acts of terrorism and legitimate struggle of peoples under foreign occupation for restoring their fundamental right of self determination.