Saturday, May 25, 2024

UN Chief Cuterres: Middle East, World can’t afford more war

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Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmatihttps://www.khaama.com
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, urged self-restraint from both Iran and Israel during an emergency session of the Security Council, warning of the real danger of a devastating full-scale war in the Middle East.

The UN Security Council convened on Sunday at the request of Israel’s permanent representative and was attended by the UN Secretary-General.

Guterres called for an immediate halt to hostilities and reminded all UN member states that the UN Charter prohibits the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country.

However, the UN Secretary-General also condemned the attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus and stressed the importance of respecting the principle of immunity for diplomatic premises and personnel.

Guterres strongly condemned the severe escalation of tensions resulting from the Islamic Republic’s extensive attack on Israel and added that neither the region nor the world can afford further escalation of war.

According to Arab News, Amir Saeed Iravani, Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations, stated in this UN Security Council meeting that Iran’s attack on Israel on Saturday was “precise, targeting only military objectives, carried out with precision to minimize the risk of escalation and prevent harm to civilians.”

Iran’s representative stated, “We had the right to defend ourselves. The international community’s silence towards Israel only emboldened them. Israel has no respect for international laws, and the US, UK, and France turned a blind eye to reality.”

As reported by IRNA, Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations, in a letter to António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Vanessa Frazier, the ambassador and permanent representative of Malta, whose country holds the presidency of the Security Council this month, emphasized: “Military action taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran to defend itself, which is explicitly provided for under Article 51 of the UN Charter, in response to the repeated military aggressions of the Israeli regime, especially its military attack on April 1, which was in complete contradiction to Article 2, Paragraph 4 of the Charter, has been taken.”

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, called on the members of the council during this emergency session to “explicitly condemn Iran and immediately identify the IRGC as a terrorist organization.”

Erdan told the Security Council, “The only option is to condemn Iran and use any necessary means to hold it accountable for its heinous crimes.” He emphasized, “Impose sanctions on Iran soon.”

Meanwhile, Robert Wood, the deputy US representative to the United Nations, warned that “if Iran or its proxies take actions against the United States or further actions against Israel, Iran will be responsible.”

He strongly condemned Iran’s attack on Israel and added, “Iran’s reckless actions threaten not only the people of Israel but also other UN member states in the region, including Jordan and Iraq.”

The US diplomat further stated that the United States “will consider additional actions to hold Iran accountable in the United Nations” and urged the Security Council to condemn Iran’s actions explicitly and to urge its “partners and proxies” to stop their attacks.

However, Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s representative to the United Nations, accused the Security Council of hypocrisy and double standards for not convening a session in a similar manner after Israel’s attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus or what he called “Israel’s current regular attacks on Syria and Lebanon.”

The Russian ambassador warned that “if the council continues its inaction on such matters, then your request for self-restraint from all parties will be in vain.”

According to Agence France-Presse, Barbara Woodward, the UK ambassador to the United Nations, accused Iran in the Security Council session of seeking to destabilize the Middle East. She said that Britain will continue to defend the security of Israel and all our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq.

Nathalie Broadhurst, the deputy permanent representative of France, stated that Iran has crossed a new threshold in its destabilizing actions in the Middle East and is at risk of escalating military tensions, for which “it will be responsible.” She called on Tehran and its allies to “immediately and without further delay cease their destabilizing activities throughout the region.”

Iran retaliated on Saturday for Israel’s attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, which killed seven people, including two generals from that country, by firing dozens of drones and missiles towards Israel. Iran had warned that Israel would be “punished” for the attack on April 1st.

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