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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

FM Zarif: US behaving like ISIS in threatening to destroy Iran's cultural heritage

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Jan 10, IRNA -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US seeks to emulate the war crimes of DAESH, menacing the cultural heritage of the millennia-old civilization of Iran.

Zarif made the remarks in a statement in the wake of a ban on his visa to take part in the UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting in New York.

The statement was read by Iran's envoy Majid Takhte Ravanchi to the United Nations Security Council who said "I am here today to deliver a statement on behalf of H.E. Minister Zarif whose visa was denied by the U.S. in contravention of the Headquarters Agreement."

Zarif's statement read:

"We are meeting today to discuss a momentous imperative we are all confronted with.

The world is at a crossroads: with the end of monopolies on power, one unhinged regime is frantically clamoring to turn back time. This has meant more damaging American unilateralism in defiance of international norms and law: most recently a dastardly targeted assassination of the heroes who were the nightmare of groups such as ISIS. But since the regime's inauguration, more and more threats and attacks against the people of Iran and other sovereign nations in utter disregard of the Charter. It now even seeks to emulate the war crimes of DAESH, menacing the cultural heritage of the millennia-old civilization of Iran.

Our January 8th action against an air base in Iraq from which the cowardly armed attack against Martyr Soleimani was launched, was a measured and proportionate response to a terrorist attack, in the exercise of our inherent right to self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter.

This rogue US regime has withdrawn from several landmark accords, including the Paris Agreement, the INF Treaty, and not least, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. That, in an open affront to this very Council, has involved unprecedented and unlawful US punishment of anyone who attempts to comply with Resolution 2231, which unequivocally endorses the JCPOA.

It has also adopted mob tactics to expand or gain market share in the face of the increasing diversification of the sources of power. In the case of my own country, US economic terrorism has involved the strangulation of access of ordinary Iranians to food and medicine as well as use of illegal unilateral sanctions to give American oil a foothold in Asia. No one is spared from this malign behavior, as evidenced by how the US approaches global trade – including its targeting of European infrastructure to force the entry of its own natural gas.

The question amidst this rogue behavior is how to protect the UN Charter. For if other states become "passive unilateralists"; if they succumb to unilateralism in their bilateral relationships or compromise Charter principles for the sake of short-term gains or the avoidance of immediate harm, they inadvertently encourage the lawless unilateralist to bully them.

To protect multilateralism, we must never appease unilateralist regimes. We need political will as well as an instrument that will safeguard the values, principles and multilateralism enshrined in the Charter. Such an instrument should include

- Renewed commitment to the Charter, particularly non-intervention in internal or external affairs and prohibition of the threat or use of force,

- Rejection of all coercive unilateral measures including sanctions as unlawful, entailing international responsibility, including financial responsibility to compensate damages imposed on the target and third countries,

- Assigning international criminal responsibility for obstructing in any way, shape or form humanitarian trade,

- Prohibition on depriving individuals from their liberties and extradition upon judicial requests made on the basis of or related to unilateral coercive measures - including sanctions.

Iran is dedicated to multilateralism and committed to the Charter and its principles.

Our commitment to the JCPOA as well as our most recent inclusive initiative to promote peace and security in the Persian Gulf region (Hormuz Peace Endeavor, or 'HOPE') prove our strategic approach.

With the engagement of other littoral States of the Persian Gulf, the objectives of HOPE can be realized. In this endeavor, we welcome the assistance of the United Nations–including by acting as an umbrella."


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