Israeli Occupation of Palestine Central to All Regional Conflicts: Iran’s UN Envoy
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam Ali Khoshroo highlighted Tel Aviv’s crimes in the Middle East and said the Israeli regime’s occupation of Palestine is “core and central to all conflicts” in the region.
“The Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is the core and central to all conflicts in the Middle East,” Khoshroo said, addressing a UN Security Council Open Debate in New York on Monday on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Comprehensive Review of the Situation in the Middle East and North Africa.
“The injustice has been continuing for more than seven decades, intensified through Israeli expansionist, aggressive and apartheid policies towards Palestinians and the Region,” he added.
Following is the full text of the Iranian UN envoy’s statement:
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
I would like to thank the Russian presidency for organizing this debate and inviting my Delegation to participate. I also would like to warmly welcome His Excellency Mr. Sergey Vershinin, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and acknowledge his important role in the Astana Process, which is one of the most efficient processes to establish peace and security in the Syrian Arab Republic with the participation of Russian Federation, Turkey and my country.
A comprehensive review of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) requires, first and foremost, an examination of its “root causes”. Such a review should also include the performance of the Security Council in maintaining peace and security in this volatile region.
A deep analysis of all causes of conflicts and wars in MENA over the past decades proves that, in most cases, there are common denominators, namely: foreign intervention, foreign interference, foreign occupation or a combination of them. Even in very rare cases wherein a conflict has internal roots, it has been manipulated, escalated and prolonged due to the illegal interference of regional powers or certain countries from the outside the region.
The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands is undoubtedly the core and central to all conflicts in the MENA region. The Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is the core and central to all conflicts in the Middle East. The injustice has been continuing for more than seven decades, intensified through Israeli expansionist, aggressive and apartheid policies towards Palestinians and the Region. Israeli regime incremental aggressive and expansion policies of this regime and its behavior towards its neighbors is and continues to be the main source of threat to the peace and security in this region. While the Palestinian territories and Syrian Golan Heights remain still under illegal Israeli occupation, Israel has undertaken more than 100 strikes to Syria and Lebanon.
The new mass murder committed by Israel against unarmed Palestinian civilians is the latest in an old pattern followed by the Israeli regime during the course of the past seven decades.
The unlawful announcement on al-Quds al-Sharif and the transfer of the US embassy to this city is another example of the policies that are exacerbating the problems in MENA region and the whole Islamic world. The impunity this regime has enjoyed for so long wouldn’t have been possible without the help it receives from the United States.
At the same time, there are other major contributors.
Any foreign intervention, occupation, ensuing instabilities and attempts to engineer societies in the MENA region have led to instability which serves as a breeding ground for terrorist and prepare breeding grounds extremist groups to grow. These groups who initially received support from certain states and quarters within and outside the region, to fight for them eventually turned into monsters threatening their supporters and creators. As a result, terrorism and extremism, as a serious threat to peace and security, is much stronger and more spread out in the MENA region today following many invasions by the US and its allies more so than it was in 2001.
The other crises in our region, such as the one in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, are all examples of crises being stoked through invasion, illegal foreign intervention, terror, extremism and violence. These problems have persisted and deepened due to the failure of the international community in carrying out its responsibilities in addressing the root causes and because of erroneous actions of the outsiders and naive trans-regional actors.
The situation in Yemen is a very serious threat to regional and international security and another breeding ground for terrorist groups. Foreign military interventions have never led to the resolution of any dispute, and there is no doubt that the ongoing war in Yemen is not an exception. Saudi led Coalition war of aggression in Yemen and numerous war crimes committed by it directly endangers peace and security. Acts such as deliberate attacks on residential areas and civilian targets, imposing humanitarian blockade, using famine as a war tactic and denial of access to international relief agencies are all war crimes and punishable under IHL. The international community and this Council should hold the Saudi regime accountable for these criminal acts, and intervene effectively to end the senseless military operation, including the ongoing attacks against Hudaydah, the lifeline of basic humanitarian aid to millions of needy Yemenis, establish a ceasefire, ensure the delivery of humanitarian and medical assistance to the people of Yemen without any discrimination, and restoring peace and stability in this country through Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue on national reconciliation without preconditions.
In Syrian Arab Republic, Since the beginning of the on-going tragedy, Iran has always called for a peaceful solution to the conflict, based on the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, as well as the right of the Syrian people to determine their own political future. Time and again, Iran has reiterated that there can be no military solution to the situation in Syria. As such, we have always adhered to a genuine, Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process in order to achieve peace and national reconciliation. While the United States and its regional allies continue their narrow and short-sighted goals in the region, Iran and Russia have made great sacrifices to combat the ISIS and other terrorist groups all over the region. While they are pursuing policies to weaken the central Government in Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran is present in Syria, upon request by the legitimate Government, to assist them to combat terrorism.
As our participation in the Astana and ISSG meetings shows that we support any initiative which can help achieving an end to this conflict. The” Astana format “to which Russia and Turkey and Iran, are guarantors has developed to an effective instrument for joint platform to fight terrorism and contributing to peace and stability in Syria.
The experience gained during the past decade in the MENA region proves that the era of regional and global hegemony has long passed, and any effort by any power to achieve it is futile. Instead of yielding to foreign domination or trying to dominate others, countries in our region should seek to create a stronger, more prosperous and more stable region. The Iran-phobic statements we hear these days , including today are being actively perpetuated by those who are badly in need of creating an imaginary enemy to sell their arms and embark arms race in the region has nothing to do with peace and security in the Middle East.
We, in Iran, view our security and stability as inseparable from those of our neighbors. Countries in this region have a common history and culture as well as indivisible opportunities and challenges and can only enjoy security and stability at home if and only if our neighbors enjoy internal and international stability and security. We expect other regional countries to adopt a similar approach, and instead of insisting on the failed experiment of trying to purchase or outsource security, to concentrate on dialogue, mutual understanding, confidence building, and cooperation with neighbors.
The Islamic Republic of Iran views the establishment of a “Regional Dialogue Forum” in the Persian Gulf as the best means to resolve regional crises and create a stronger region. The objective of a strong region — as opposed to a quest for hegemony and the exclusion of other actors — is rooted in recognizing the need to respect the interest of all stakeholders. Any domineering effort by one country is not only inappropriate but essentially impossible; indeed, those who insist on following that path create instability.
We can begin adopting confidence-building measures to bring regional countries closer to each other on the basis of such principles as the sovereign equality of states, non-resort to the threat or use of force, peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for territorial integrity of other States, inviolability of international boundaries, non-intervention in domestic affairs of others, and respect for the right of peoples to self-determination. By fostering a common understanding of the threats and opportunities at the regional and global levels, we can move towards achieving a non-aggression pact and creating common mechanisms for regional cooperation. The countries in the MENA region, as the inheritors of the richest civilizations, should stand lofty. We can solve our own problems amongst ourselves and secure a better future for all of our children without outside interference and patronage, both of which come at a heavy cost to our collective dignity as well as our future development.
I thank you Mr. President