Iran UN envoy underlines commitment to combat terrorism

Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi slammed double standards under the pretext of combatting terrorism and stressed commitment to combat terrorism.

“I would like to join the previous speakers in expressing my appreciations to Ambassador Mohamed Al Hassan of Oman and Ambassador Agustin Santos of Spain for their able leadership in the facilitation of the 7th review of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy,” Takht Ravanchi said addressing the UNGA meeting on Terrorism and Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.

“I begin by paying special tribute to the victims of terrorism particularly Major General Qasem Suleimani, a prominent figure in the fight against Da’esh in Iraq and Syria, who was assassinated in a terrorist attack perpetrated by the U.S. forces on 3 January 2020 in Baghdad International Airport,” he noted.

“While emphasizing national ownership and leadership in combating terrorism, and recognizing the pivotal role of the General Assembly in this process, the Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates its unwavering commitment to combat terrorism and rejects all acts and methods of terrorism, Iranian diplomat said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that terrorism can only be countered through international cooperation as well as methods that primarily address its root causes,” he added.

“Still, in most parts of the world, socioeconomic and political problems, illegitimate military presence and foreign military intervention and occupation, constitute the main sources of terrorism and violent extremism,” he stated.

“However, our longstanding legal position is that any resistance against occupation and foreign intervention in the exercise of self-defense cannot be considered terrorism,” Takh Ravanchi said.

“In this context, the Palestinian people have every right to resist the occupation of their territory by the Zionist regime,” he noted.

“It is also our strong belief that under the pretext of fighting terrorism, no State has the right to commit acts of aggression, interference in the internal affairs of other States, or condone flagrant violations of human rights and humanitarian law, such as torture, kidnapping, illegal detention, disappearance or extrajudicial execution and targeted killing,” he reiterated.

“At the same time, unilateral coercive measures (UCMs) continue to undermine the efforts of targeted countries in countering terrorism.”

“Furthermore, since by nature, UCMs target ordinary people, they contribute to the root causes of terrorism. In addition, UCMs are generally imposed to incite insurgency and dissatisfaction among ordinary citizens against their government and as such are no less than acts of terrorism.”

Envoy went on to say: “The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly rejects double standards as well as unlawful unilateral actions under the pretext of combating terrorism. Unilateral listing of UN member States or their constitutionally-established institutions accusing them of supporting terrorism, in order to pursue a political agenda, contradict purposes and principles of the UN Charter and as such must be rejected.”

“The presence of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) and their accompanying families in the conflict zones is still a growing source of concern to our entire region.”

“My delegation welcomes the achievement of the 7th review to address the issue of transfer of FTFs to and within conflict zones. Unfortunately, since the last review in 2018, the 7th Strategy has failed to address some other fundamental issues related to FTFs that are among the emerging issues such as repatriation,” Takht Ravanchi said.

“While there are unanswered questions as to how and why those FTFs including from countries that claim to pioneer human rights have been radicalized and deployed, committing acts of terrorism in our region, it is also a matter of serious concern that the same countries refrain from repatriating those FTFs and their families especially women and children from camps in conflict zones,” he added.

“Since 1979, more than 17,000 of our innocent citizens, including the President, the Prime Minister, the Head of Judiciary, several ministers and members of Parliament as well as several nuclear scientists, have been assassinated by terrorist groups that are being sheltered and provided safe havens in Europe and North America with unimpeded access to and connections with government officials.”

“It is to be reminded that the strategy ‘calls upon member states to deny terrorist groups safe haven, freedom of operations, movement and recruitment and financial, material or political support’ and ‘to ensure that terrorists do not find safe haven online.'”

“In the same vein, the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly supports access to justice for victims of terrorism and victims of measures taken under the pretext of fight against terrorism including through drone attacks.”

“As the Strategy recalls, any national efforts to compensate the victims of terrorism should fully respect international law including the principle of immunity of states and their properties,” diplomat said.

“On the issue of terrorist attacks against critical infrastructures, the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the reference, in this resolution, to the condemnation of terrorist attacks against energy facilities, including nuclear facilities, that lead to radiological as well as radioactive environmental disasters.”

“This is in reference to the first ever terrorist attack on 11 April 2021 and simultaneously with the current 7th review of GCTS negotiations, against the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, a nuclear facility under the supervision of the IAEA.”

“While acknowledging the importance of efforts to counter the financing of terrorism, we reiterate our principled opposition regarding any reference to non-UN, non-inclusive initiatives that embrace political rather than technical considerations on the financing of terrorism.”

“However, the Islamic Republic of Iran implements this strategy in accordance with its international obligations as well as relevant internal policies and regulations.”