23 July 2013
Statement by H.E. Mr. G. Hossein Dehghani
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of
the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement
before the United Nations Security Council Open debate
“Situation in the Middle East; including the Question of Palestine”
23 July 2013, New York
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
It is an honour for me to address this meeting of the Security Council on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at this open debate on the situation in the Middle East; including the question of Palestine.
Since the last open debate, despite regional and international peace initiatives and efforts, Israel, the occupying Power, it has continued its policy of colonization of Palestine. The occupying Power’s settlement campaign reached a seven-year high in the first quarter of this year alone, in violation of the relevant resolutions and in grave breach of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention. Palestinian civilians continued to be arrested, detained and forcibly displaced; the occupying forces continued to use excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators and to cause civilian casualties; the blockade on the Gaza Strip continued, inflicting grave socioeconomic loss and humanitarian hardship; and settlers continued to attack and terrorize Palestinians and their villages and properties, including religious sites. In addition to the exposure of plans for the construction of more than 1,000 settlement units, in the past months, more Palestinian land has been seized by the occupying forces and more Palestinian buildings have been demolished, displacing several Palestinian families, provocations continue against Muslim and Christian holy sites, especially in Occupied East Jerusalem, dangerously inflaming religious sensitivities.
The ongoing Israeli settlement campaign and other provocative and illegal actions underscore the occupying Power’s preference for occupation, annexation and domination of the Palestinian people and their land and starkly highlight its unwillingness to respect international law and to act in good faith for the sake of peace and stability in the Middle East. As a result, the recent period has witnessed the deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders remains in grave danger.
If Israel persists with such unlawful behavior will only undermine the current efforts being exerted towards achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East and further destabilize this fragile situation, which threatens international peace and security. The international community must therefore act to ensure that these efforts do not fail. This requires a call on Israel, the occupying Power, to cease forthwith all of its illegal measures and to abide by international law and the spirit and longstanding parameters of the peace process.
The Non Aligned Movement thus reiterates its calls for a halt to all the occupying Power’s illegal practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Respects for international law and United Nations resolutions, including resolutions of the Security Council, are fundamental for the realization of a just and peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict. Continued failure to comply with the law demands accountability.
NAM stresses the urgency of action by the international community to redress the unjust and critical situation being endured by the Palestinian people under Israel’s decades of military occupation. The members of the Security Council cannot remain onlookers, but rather must act to contribute to advancing the efforts to resolve this prolonged, tragic conflict by which the Palestinian people have been too long deprived of their inalienable human rights, including the right to self-determination and the right to return, and enjoy freedom in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Israeli air force has continued to violate Lebanese airspace, intensifying its incursions over Lebanon, including recent flights at low altitude over Beirut. Such activities are a blatant violation of Lebanese sovereignty and the relevant international resolutions, particularly Security Council resolution 1701. They are also a clear infringement of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles and provisions of international law. NAM calls on the Security Council to condemn those violations in the strongest possible terms and prevail on Israel to end its violations of Lebanese sovereignty, whether in the air, at sea or on land, and fulfill all of its obligations under Security Council resolution 1701.
Regarding the occupied Syrian Golan, the Movement is concerned about the Israeli military fortifications in violations of the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement that would bring the risk of tension, escalation and confrontation in the area. NAM reaffirms that all measures taken, by Israel, the occupying Power, to alter the legal, physical and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan, as well as Israeli measures to impose its own jurisdiction and administration there, are null, void and have no legal effect. The Non-Aligned Movement demands that Israel abide by resolution 497 (1981) and withdraw fully from the occupied Syrian Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967, in implementation of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
NAM condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the act of aggression committed by Israel against the Syrian Arab Republic on Sunday, 5 May 2013. NAM requests the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities by clearly condemning this Israeli aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic, taking necessary measures to prevent its recurrence and holding Israel accountable for this act of aggression
I shall now speak in my national capacity and I would like to react to what was stated by the representative of the Israeli regime against my country.
With regard to the presidential election I should say that the Iranian nation is proud to have a democratic election with more than 70% of turnout wherein Dr. Rouhani won a landslide majority during that election held on 14 June 2013. This high turnout once more showed the vibrancy of the Iranian polity and society and strong potentials for dealing with any impediments in the way towards stability and enhancement of Iran’s international stature. This is a reality that the Israeli regime cannot endure and that’s why days remaining to Presidential inauguration, it has already started its smear campaign to distort the facts on Iran’s election and elected officials. This reflects its deep concern over any development towards stability and tranquility in the region.
On Iran’s nuclear issue- which is exclusively peaceful in nature and in full conformity with our international obligations, I should say that we are not only party to NPT, but are party to all major international instruments banning the production and use of weapons of mass destruction, namely, the CWC and BWC and are fully committed to all the relevant legal obligations under those treaties. We strongly support the idea of a Middle East free from nuclear weapons. While the non-adherence of the Israeli regime to the international instruments on weapons of mass destruction and its non-compliance with its related obligations under the UN Charter and International Law is a well-known fact.
Furthermore, the Israeli-regime’s brutal practices in killing innocent women and children, in particular during 33-day war against Lebanon and the 22-day attack on Gaza are well-established and known facts. The regime’s terrorist operations all around the world including assassination of Iran’s nuclear scientists are also well-kwon to the world as well. To cover its terrorist nature, the Israeli regime tries to pinpoint and blame others for terrorism. This is partly because of the impunity that this regime enjoys by some countries. The EU indecision to condemn Israel for all its state terrorism on the one hand and putting Hezbollah’s military branch in terrorism list based on false and unjust accusations on the other is a biased and double-standard approach towards terrorism. Hezbollah is part of Lebanese socio-political fabric and is respected and accepted by the people of Lebanon and a legitimate resistant movement against the Israeli regime’s aggression. The European Union decision would not generate any doubts about the popular character of Hezbollah, but would rather further complicate the situation in the Middle East. The European Union should live up to its responsibility in redressing this situation and reconsider its unjust decision. However, our advice to the representative of the Israeli regime is that instead of leveling baseless allegations against others in the region, it would be better to abide by the norms and regulations of international law and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and to correct its behavior for the sake of peace and stability in the Middle East.
Thank you, Mr. President