13 June 2014
Statement by Mr. Hossein Gharibi, Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Before the General Assembly
On Agenda item 119:
“The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”
13 June 2014 , New York
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
At the outset, I would like to align myself with the statement delivered by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Egypt on behalf of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and I take this opportunity to make the following remarks in my national capacity. I would also like to commend Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Turkey and his colleagues for the hard work of facilitating the fourth biennial review text. My delegation takes note of the Secretary-General’s report A/68/841, which contains an update on measures taken to implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy within the last two years. It, furthermore, contains a matrix of projects under implementation, together with submissions by Member-States and regional and sub-regional organizations that solely and exclusively represent views of each contributing party and not the United Nations.
The growing violent extremism and sectarian violence that is plaguing many parts of the world today constitute a great concern for the international community. To address this concern, H.E. Mr. Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran stressed on the need to promote prudent moderation and to reject extremism. He further developed this theme in his address to the General Assembly in September last year in which he dedicated a significant part of his statement to the imperative of fighting violence and extremism. He spoke of fears and hopes: “fear of institutionalization of violence and extremism” and “the hope of preference of dialogue over conflict, and moderation over extremism.” President Rouhani warned over “the catastrophic impact of violent and extremist narratives” and proposed to the United Nations to consider the idea of “the World against Violence and Extremism” known as “WAVE” that was adopted by consensus in this august Assembly on 18 December 2013.
The resolution expresses alarm over the rise in violent extremism and condemns all those behind this scourge and acts such as targeting civilian population, attacking religious and cultural sites and disrupting the development process in societies. If we look at the current situation and escalation of violent extremism and terrorism in Syria and Iraq, which we condemn in the strongest terms, we see how pertinent was this resolution and the core idea it proposes. It strives to promote a comprehensive collective plan to counter extremism and terrorism, and to advance respectful mutual dialogue with a view to make a secure and peaceful world for all, free from violence and extremism.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been the target of terrorist acts under different forms and manifestations, including State sponsored terrorism during the last two years and for the entire post-revolution era. To cite recent examples, I refer you to the terrorist attacks in Iran’s southeastern border area, including the killing and abduction of a number of the border guards. Terrorists also targeted several Iranian diplomats and diplomatic premises in Beirut, Sana’a and Peshawar resulting in loss of life and injury of diplomats, staff of the missions and pacifist nearby civilians. Terrorism knows no border and violent extremists fueled by intolerance and hatred, nurtured by the environment conducive to the spread of terrorism as well as the receiving of support by their foreign sponsors, pose high risk to peaceful life of nations, victimizing innocent civilians.
Iran fully understands the untold consequences of acts of terrorism for the victims and for the society at large. We have a high regard for the large number of Iranian victims of terrorism which amounts to almost 17,000 affected by numerous terrorist attacks over the last 35 years and the Government has taken all possible measures to address their needs and concerns properly. These victims are the best evidence of failed policies of terrorist groups and those who support them for the sake of pressuring our nation.
Iran opposes any attempt to equate the legitimate struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation for self-determination and national liberation with terrorism. Such equation is aimed at prolonging occupation of the territories and oppression of their people. The use of State power for suppression and violence against peoples struggling in opposition to foreign occupation and in exercising their inalienable right to self-determination should continue to be condemned.
We strongly reject the unilateral preparation of lists accusing other States of so-called “sponsoring terrorism” and any consequences thereof, which is inconsistent with international law and is merely exploited as a political tool to advance other agendas and political goals of enlisting governments. Such unilateral acts would encourage reciprocity by the targeted States and would only undermine urgently required joint efforts by all States to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We invite such governments to reconsider their unilateral policies that in no way contribute to global fight against terrorism.
The same concern also applies to the misusing of multinational financial action entities created initially by a small group of countries that unfoundedly label UN Member-States in terms of financing terrorism and money laundering. While we commend efforts aimed at capacity building for better cooperation in cutting any support to terrorist groups, we seriously warn against any attempts to categorize States in this regard. The issue of financing of terrorism should be addressed in an impartial, objective, technical and non-political manner. No entity is authorized nor entitled to create rankings among States, which is unconstructive and which only impedes mutual cooperation. We also request that the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, CTITF, to take into account this important criterion in collaborating with such entities wishing to work with the UN system.
For decades a number of root causes and factors have led or contributed to the spread of terrorism. Unlawful use of force against other States, foreign aggression and occupation as well as foreign interference in internal affairs of other States are among such causes and factors to name a few. Moreover, excessive and/or disproportionate use of military force in the name of countering terrorists creates fertile ground for vicious cycles of violence and terrorism. The UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy requires that these conditions to be well addressed.
The Islamic Republic of Iran firmly believes that the Strategy should be implemented in a balanced way under the auspices of the General Assembly. It is in this regard that we highly encourage CTITF to better interact with all Member-States on a regular basis in order to gain more support in the overall implementation of the Strategy, and to strengthen the sense of ownership for all members.
Since the adoption of the third review, a notorious terrorist organization responsible for countless terrorist attacks targeting Iranian civilians was de-listed from the terrorist blacklist of some States. Although the listing of the well-known terrorists itself did not bother their relevant authorities to end impunity for its leaders and perpetrators of terrorist acts against Iranian people, but de-listing them came as the shocking news particularly to the thousands of victims and their families. It unfortunately proved how terrorism can be subject to politics for some parties.
We must recognize that selective or double standards and simply categorizing good and bad terrorism based on the short term political interests would not help us to uproot terrorism. Such wrong approaches could only undermine international trust and cooperation in countering terrorism. The international community should have a unified approach in fighting this scourge in an indiscriminate manner. As we have successfully accomplished the fourth biennial review of the Strategy these days, we must carefully follow national, regional and global plans to implement the Strategy in a comprehensive way, with the cooperation of all, in a balanced manner, with sufficient attention to the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism while avoiding double standards and discrimination for better and lasting results.
I thank you.