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Tehran calls for withdrawal of ‘uninvited forces’ from Syria

An Iranian diplomat urged some countries to withdraw their forces from Syria and respect the country’s sovereignty.

“Parallel efforts must also be made to ensure the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria through ending the occupation of its territory including the occupied Syrian Golan, withdrawing of all uninvited foreign forces from that country, ceasing to support any separatist tendencies or illegitimate self-rule initiatives, and preventing the violation of Syrian sovereignty particularly by acts of aggression of the Israeli regime, which Iran condemns strongly,” Majid Takht Ravanchi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, said in a UN Security Council session on “The situation in the Middle East (Syria – Political and Humanitarian)” on Wednesday.

Here is the full text of the statement:

 In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Mr. President,

I would like to begin by reiterating our commitment to support the restoration of the unity and territorial integrity of Syria.

In his recent visit to Damascus, our Foreign Minister conveyed this message to the President and Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic. He also reiterated Iran’s support for the Syrian presidential elections and hoped for its success.

Committed to the peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis, we remain hopeful that the ongoing consultations would soon result in holding of the Constitutional Committee’s sixth meeting. To that end, we encourage the Committee’s co-chairs to engage constructively with Mr. Pederson, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria.

Parallel efforts must also be made to ensure the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria through ending the occupation of its territory including the occupied Syrian Golan, withdrawing of all uninvited foreign forces from that country, ceasing to support any separatist tendencies or illegitimate self-rule initiatives, and preventing the violation of Syrian sovereignty particularly by acts of aggression of the Israeli regime, which Iran condemns strongly.

More importantly, shielding the terrorist groups in certain parts of Syria must come to an immediate end. Attempts to portray some terrorist groups as moderates or to categorize them as good and bad terrorists must stop. They must neither be shielded nor be allowed to use civilians as a shield.

Alleviating the sufferings of Syrian people is imperative and requires constructive cooperation of the entire international community. The Council must go beyond the old debate on the so-called “cross-line and cross-border access”; depoliticize the humanitarian assistance-related subjects; and focus on measures that can actually and quickly lessen the sufferings of those in need, ensure fair distribution of aids to people under or outside the Government’s control, and, more importantly, encourage and ensure the soonest return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes. Obviously, in so doing, the sovereignty of Syria must be fully respected and ensured.

In this context, once again we call for the removal of unilateral sanctions on Syria. They are irresponsible, immoral and unconstructive. Such unlawful and unjust measures only prolong the sufferings of the people, delay the return of refugees and displaced persons, hamper the reconstruction efforts, and adversely impact the political solution.

We condemn weaponizing food and medicine through sanctions, and as our Foreign Minister stated in his recent visit to Damascus, we will support the Syrian government’s efforts in resisting this economic terrorism.

We will continue our efforts in assisting the people and Government of Syria to overcome the enormous challenges they face.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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