The Iranian Mission to the United Nations called on the world powers to avoid violating the legal frameworks of the UN Security Council (UNSC).
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly Sixth Committee, Hussein Qaribi, a member of the Iranian mission, underscored the importance of protecting the credibility of the UNSC, adding, “The big powers, too, should abide by the law and not use the Security Council as a tool,” IRNA reported on Saturday.
“Moreover, all of the council’s decisions should be adopted on the basis of international law and the provisions of the [UN] Charter, including the principles and objectives of the UN Charter,” he added.
Qaribi argued that unilateral extra-territorial legislations against other countries run counter to the law and constitute the use of force in international relations.
The diplomat slammed some ideas about the legitimacy of threat and use of force, calling for collective effort to promote the key principles of the UN that oppose such approaches.
Encroaching on General Assembly
Meanwhile, Iran’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Gholam Hussein Dehqani lashed out at the Security Council for making inroads into the authority of the General Assembly.
“The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) reiterates its concern over the continuing encroachment by the Security Council on the functions and powers of the General Assembly and those of the Economic and Social Council through addressing issues which fall within the competence of the latter organs,” Dehqani said.
He made the remarks in an address to the Sixth Committee of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of the NAM member states.
He added that the NAM countries are also worried about the attempts to ‘enter areas of norm-setting and establishing definitions which fall within the purview of the General Assembly’.
“The Non-Aligned Movement reaffirms that the reform of the organization should be carried out in accordance with the principles and procedures established by the Charter of the United Nations and preserve the legal framework of this constitutional instrument,” Dehqani stated.
He noted that NAM believes the UN is a ‘central and indispensable’ forum to address issues pertaining to international cooperation, economic development and social progress, peace and security, human rights and the rule of law, based on dialog, cooperation and consensus-building among states.
The movement attaches great importance to strengthening the UN role and recognizes the efforts to develop its full potential, the envoy said.
“Important elements in the United Nations’ reform process are the democratization of its principal organs and respect for the General Assembly’s role and authority, including questions related to international peace and security,” Dehqani added.
He stated that the sanctions imposed by the Security Council on Iran over its nuclear energy program still remain an issue of serious concern to NAM states, adding that the movement believes that the imposition of bans should be considered a last resort.
“Sanctions may be imposed only when there is a threat to international peace and security or an act of aggression, in accordance with the [UN] Charter. They are not applicable as a preventive measure in any and all instances of violation of international law, norms or standards,” the diplomat pointed out.
He stressed the importance of clearly defining the objectives of sanctions ‘based on tenable legal grounds’ and said bans should be imposed for ‘a specified timeframe’.
Dehqani emphasized that NAM fully supports all efforts to resolve disputes among states peacefully and based on the provisions of international law and the UN Charter.
UK Constructive Moves KeyTo Reviving Ties
Iran and Britain can reopen their embassies in London and Tehran, respectively, if the British government engages in constructive interaction with Iran, a senior legislator said.
“If the British government respects the rights of the Iranian nation, engages in constructive interaction with us and corrects its past mistakes, [we] can even move toward reopening of the two countries’ embassies,” said Ebrahim Agha Mohammadi, a member of the Majlis Foreign Policy and National Security Commission, Press TV reported on Saturday.
However, Agha Mohammadi warned that ‘mischief’ and ‘meddling’ in Iran’s internal affairs will lead to even ‘more severe’ reaction by Tehran.
In November 2011, Iranian MPs voted to downgrade diplomatic ties with Britain to the level of chargé d’affaires in response to its sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, over Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Three days later, Britain closed its embassy in Tehran and asked Iran’s diplomatic staff to leave London within 48 hours.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham announced last week that Iran and Britain have agreed to appoint non-resident chargé d’affaires as a first step towards reopening of embassies.
Her announcement followed a statement to the same effect by the British Foreign Office.
“The Majlis ratification for downgrading of Iran-Britain ties was [made] because of Britain’s interference in Iran’s internal affairs,” Agha Mohammadi recalled. He also expressed hoped that the British government would rectify its mistakes and proves ‘by actions’ that it is not going to meddle in Iran’s affairs.
IRGC: 2,000 Km Maximum Range of Missiles
Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps (IRGC) in a statement on Saturday rejected media reports claiming that Iran has developed missiles which could reach targets 12,000 km in distance, stressing that the maximum range of Iran’s missiles is 2,000 km.
“A section of the media made a mistake in quoting a part of the remarks of the IRGC Aerospace Force Commander (Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh) about IRGC’s missiles and said their range is 12,000 kilometers,” the statement issued by the IRGC’s Public Relations said on Saturday, Fars News Agency reported.
“Actually, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh has pointed to the IRGC Aerospace Force’s defensive capabilities, and said ‘at present, the range of our long-range missiles is 2,000km and the reason is that our enemies are within this range ... and they are not much worth to be targeted by costly missiles’,” continued the statement.
Iranian Defense Ministry’s Aerospace Organization has been responsible for developing Iran’s solid-fuel, surface-to-surface Sejjil and long-range Shahab-3 ballistic missiles which both have a range of up to 2,000 km.
The Shahab-3 reportedly has a range of maximum 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) and is capable of carrying a 1,000-760 kilogram warhead.
This is while the solid-fuel, two-stage Sejjil missile with two engines, is capable of reaching a very high altitude and therefore has a longer range than that of the Shahab 3 model, but not much.
Iran successfully tested second generation of Sejjil missiles and brought it into mass production in 2009. Sejjil missiles are considered as the third generation of Iran-made long-range missiles.
Also, Iran’s 2,000km-range, liquid-fuel, Qadr F ballistic missile can reach territories as far as Israel.
Croatian Support for Iran’s Atomic Right
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic voiced support for Iran’s right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
At a Friday meeting with Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, Josipovic said Zagreb supports any negotiations within the framework of international norms that will lead to a peaceful solution to the issues regarding Tehran’s nuclear energy program, IRNA reported.
Iran and the six major world powers--Russia, China, France, Britain and the US plus Germany--have held several rounds of talks on a range of issues with the main focus on Tehran’s civilian nuclear work.
The two sides have agreed to meet in Geneva on October 15-16 for a fresh round of talks.
Iran says it is prepared to allay western concerns over its nuclear energy program in a ‘win-win manner’, but it also expects the other party to lift its illegal sanctions against the Iranian nation.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and European Union using the claim as an excuse to impose illegal sanctions against Tehran.
Iran categorically rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Josipovic also expressed his country’s readiness to enhance economic and cultural ties with Iran.
Larijani, for his part, praised Iran and Croatia’s longstanding friendly relations and called for the expansion of parliamentary ties between the two countries.
Russia, China Want Iran In Syria Confab
Russia and China have both urged the Islamic Republic of Iran’s participation in the upcoming Geneva 2 conference on the ongoing crisis in Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that western countries are on the right track regarding their attitude to Iran’s participation in the peace talks on the Syrian issue, Press TV reported.
“Recently, strange arguments against Iran’s participation have been replaced by a more realistic approach,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow following talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
Some western countries opposed Iran’s participation in the Geneva 2 conference on the grounds that Tehran did not support the Geneva communiqué in June 2012, which envisaged a process for a Syrian-led transition.
“This argument has never been good at all, because many countries in the region, whose participation in the conference has never been questioned by the western colleagues, work directly to undermine the Geneva 2,” the Russian foreign minister stated.
On Thursday, China expressed support for Iran’s participation in the upcoming conference on Syria.
“Proper resolution of the Syria issue will be impossible without the participation and support of regional countries, especially countries with leverage over concerned parties in Syria, “ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press conference in response to a question about Iran’s role in diplomatic negotiations on Syria.
She also reasserted China’s position that the Syrian crisis can only be resolved politically.
“China hopes parties concerned will seize opportunities, make joint efforts to convene the Geneva 2 talks and start the dialog and political resolution process at an early date in a bid to properly resolve the Syria issue,” Hua pointed out.
On September 29, UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi stated that it would be beneficial if Iran takes part in the Geneva 2 conference and there is the possibility of inviting the Islamic Republic.
On August 12, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov described Iran as an important regional player that can greatly contribute to the settlement of the Syrian conflict, voicing Moscow’s eagerness for Iran’s participation in the conference.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. Reports indicate that the western powers and their regional allies--especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey--are supporting the militants operating inside the country.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced in the violence.
Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, in an interview with Russia Today on Friday, rejected the baseless allegation that there may be a military dimension to Iran’s nuclear energy program.