Iran Urges Removal of Sanctions on Syria to Facilitate Quake Relief Aid
- March, 01, 2023 - 10:25
- Politics news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations stressed the need to lift the inhumane unilateral sanctions on Syria in order to provide impartial and non-discriminatory humanitarian aid for its people who are suffering in the aftermath of a recent earthquake.
Addressing a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on “The situation in the Middle East: (Syria)”, held in New York on Tuesday, Saeed Iravani said the unilateral coercive measures, which are blatant violations of international law and the UN Charter, have made it more difficult for Syrian people to access their needs and have constrained the ability of government institutions to deliver basic services and improve living standards in the wake of the recent devastating earthquake.
What follows is the text of his speech:
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
We thank Mr. Pedersen and Mr. Martin Griffiths for their updates and insightful briefings.
The recent devastating earthquake in Syria has exacerbated the country's already dire humanitarian situation, collapsing structures and basic services and severely affecting people's ability to meet their basic needs.
Given the severity of the situation, humanitarian assistance must be scaled up and provided in an impartial and non-discriminatory manner, free of politicization or conditionality to ensure that the most vulnerable individuals receive the assistance they require.
We commend the UN and humanitarian agencies for their ongoing efforts to help the Syrian people and alleviate their suffering, especially during these challenging times.
In order to more effectively address Syria's current humanitarian crisis, the international community must focus on lifting the inhumane unilateral sanctions.
We must recognize that the unilateral coercive measures, which are blatant violations of international law and the UN Charter, have made it more difficult for Syrian people to access their needs and have constrained the ability of government institutions to deliver basic services and improve living standards.
The recent exemptions for humanitarian relief are not sufficient and are only an attempt to create the appearance of concern.
Therefore, it is not enough to offer words of solidarity without taking concrete actions. We call for the immediate, complete, and unconditional lifting of these unjustified sanctions.
In the meantime, the continued plundering of Syria's natural resources by foreign forces that have resulted in a severe fuel shortage and exacerbated the humanitarian situation must be ended. According to the Syrian Arab Republic, such criminal acts have resulted in the theft of more than $100 billion in Syrian national resources and wealth, primarily in the form of oil and gas.
We support the full implementation of Resolution 2672 (2023), with a strong emphasis on prioritizing early recovery projects aimed at rebuilding critical infrastructure, enhancing cross-line aid operations, and addressing the pressing challenge of electricity supply, which is a basic requirement for all Syrians.
Such efforts will not only provide immediate relief to the Syrian people but also lay the foundation for sustainable long-term development.
It is also essential to carry out such efforts in close cooperation and coordination with the Syrian Arab Republic Government and fully respecting Syria's national sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
We appreciate and recognize the Syrian Arab Republic's efforts to support and facilitate humanitarian access to all areas of Syria. The Syrian Arab Republic's recent decision to open two new crossing points to facilitate humanitarian access deserves the Council's respect and support.
To ensure a more effective political solution to the Syrian crisis, we continue to emphasize that a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process, facilitated by the United Nations, is the only viable approach to ending the crisis.
We, along with our Astana format partners, will continue to work to achieve long-term and sustainable normalization in and around Syria.
We support the ongoing work of the Constitutional Committee. In this context, we commend the Special Envoy's continuing efforts to facilitate the next meeting of the committee and welcome his recent visit to Damascus and contact with Syrian parties.
We believe that the current procedural impasse in the Constitutional Committee can be resolved through constructive engagement and good faith on the part of all parties involved.
Nevertheless, we must be cautious not to direct our efforts toward initiatives that will only divert the political process and add no value.
Terrorism remains a significant threat to Syria and the wider region and must be addressed decisively. We are concerned about terrorist activities in the areas under occupation.
The illegal presence of military forces in Syria, which violates the UN Charter and international law, is the primary source of insecurity in the country and must be ended in order to create a conducive environment for crisis resolution.
We strongly believe that the fight against terrorism must be carried out in full respect of Syria's national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence, and without using it as a pretext to violate these fundamental principles of international law.
In conclusion, we strongly condemn the Israeli regime's recent terrorist attack on a civilian residential building in a densely populated area of central Damascus on February 19. These heinous attacks were a grave threat to regional peace and stability, as they violated international law, international humanitarian law, and the UN Charter.
The international community must compel Israel's regime to stop its repeated violations of Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the terrorist attacks it has carried out against civilians and critical infrastructure in Syria.
We urge the Security Council to take responsibility and explicitly condemn the Israeli regime's ongoing violation of the fundamental principle of national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Member States, which is the foundation of the UN Charter.
I thank you, Madam President.