“Neither the Syrian people will accept the continued occupation of their territory or violation of their sovereignty, nor must the international community accept this, as it runs counter to the cardinal principles of international law,” Takht Ravanchi said in a statement that he read at the UN Security Council on Monday, adding, “We once again call for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces present in Syria without the permission of its government, particularly U.S. forces that continue to occupy parts of the Syrian territory.”
He condemned the illegal US attack at the Syrian-Iraqi border on February 25, warning that such unlawful moves would only escalate tension in the region.
Here is the full text of his statement,
“At the 10th anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict, all efforts must be made to end the fighting. In this context, a number of key principles are of paramount importance and must be observed fully, effectively and in good faith by all.
This crisis has no military solution and must therefore be settled peacefully and in full conformity with international law, particularly the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.
The conflict cannot and will not end without ensuring the full sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. This can, in no way, be compromised.
Neither the Syrian people will accept the continued occupation of their territory or violation of their sovereignty, nor must the international community accept this, as it runs counter to the cardinal principles of international law.
We once again call for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces present in Syria without the permission of its government, particularly U.S. forces that continue to occupy parts of the Syrian territory.
In this context, we condemn the unlawful military strike on the Syrian-Iraqi border on 25 February 2021. Such unlawful acts escalate the already tense situation in the region, and hence must stop.
Equally, we condemn the continued Israeli military attacks in Syria. They are unlawful, provocative and destabilizing. That regime must be compelled to put an end to such military adventurism.
Similarly, restoring Syria’s territorial integrity requires unabated fighting with all terrorist groups as any pause in such operations will allow them to consolidate their presence and atrocious activities in Syria, prolong the conflict, and delay the political solution of the crisis. Of course, protection of civilians must at all times be a guiding principle in combating terrorists.
We also strongly reject abusing counterterrorism efforts to support any separatist tendencies or illegitimate self-rule initiatives or violation of Syrian sovereignty.
A truly Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process is critical. Along with the Astana guarantors, Iran supports the work of the Constitutional Committee and stresses that its work should continue without foreign interference and externally imposed timelines.
Likewise, while the Committee’s work must be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement, reconstruction of the country and the return of refugees and displaced persons must go hand in hand with the political process. They are interlinked, mutually inclusive and mutually reinforcing.
Mounting political and economic pressures against the Syrian government and people or making multiple preconditions for the peaceful settlement of the crisis has proven to be counterproductive.
Measures such as politicizing humanitarian aids, return of refugees and displaced persons, and in particular, imposing unilateral sanctions, only prolong both the crisis and sufferings of the Syrian people, who are already suffering seriously from other hardships, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic.
By any measure, these sanctions are unlawful and inhumane, violate the basic human rights of the Syrian people, and must therefore be removed immediately.
Iran is committed to political resolution of this crisis and will continue supporting the people and government of Syria to restore the unity and territorial integrity of their country.”