Sunday, April 21, 2024

Iran envoy sends letter to UN chief, says Tehran’s presence in Syria fully legal

Iranian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Amir Saeid Iravani has stressed that Iran's presence in Syria is totally legal and at the request of Damascus. He stated that his country reserves its inherent right to self-defense and will take decisive measures to protect its forces, interests and facilities against any threats posed by the US or others.

The Iranian diplomat issued the warning on Monday in a letter sent to the UN secretary general and the chief of the Security Council, stressing that Iran’s presence in Syria is fully legal.

Here is the full text of Iravani’s letter:

Excellency,

On instructions from my Government, we would like to respond to unsubstantiated allegations made against the Islamic Republic of Iran in the letter dated 27 March 2023 from the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2023/227), in which the United States tried, in yet another cynical attempt, to legitimize its ongoing violation of international law in Syria by accusing Iran of supporting the so-called non-State militia groups.

The allegations imputed to Iran in the letter are completely unfounded and categorically rejected. As stated in our prior letters, including the letter dated 7 September 2022 (S/2022/680), the Islamic Republic of Iran has never been involved, directly or indirectly, in any attacks against the United States military forces in Syria and Iraq.

The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns the unlawful military strikes by the United States forces against civilian infrastructure in Syria on 23 March 2023, which resulted in the tragic loss of innocent civilian lives and severe damage to Syria’s infrastructure. The United States must bear its responsibility for committing such a heinous crime that has violated Syrian national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the UN Charter as well as the basic rules of international humanitarian law.

The Syrian Arab Republic has explicitly and repeatedly stated that the presence of U.S. forces in Syrian territory is illegal and constitutes a violation of Syrian national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Syrian Arab Republic has consistently called upon the United States to put an end to its occupation and unlawful presence in Syria, and therefore, the United States’ invocation of and reliance on the right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter to justify its armed attacks against civilian infrastructure in Syria is nothing more than an arbitrary and erroneous interpretation of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter that is untenable, invalid, and devoid of any legal support.

The United States must acknowledge that the continued plunder of Syrian resources, the ongoing occupation of Syrian territory, and its support for separatists are the main causes of the confrontation of the Syrian people against the United States military forces. The United States cannot place the responsibility for its blunders and crimes on others.

The United States must stop its unlawful actions, end its illegal occupation, and adhere to its international legal obligations, including the pertinent resolutions of the Security Council, which required all Member States to uphold and respect Syria’s national sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. This is in the interest of regional and international peace and security.

The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates, once again, its strong commitment to Syria’s national sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence. Iran’s presence in Syria is fully legal and is based on a formal request and consent from the Syrian government to provide assistance and support in the fight against terrorism.

The Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its inherent right to self-defense under international law and will take decisive measures to protect its forces, interests, and facilities from any threat or unlawful act perpetrated by the United States or others.

I should be grateful if you would circulate the present letter circulated as a document of the Security Council.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

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