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Iran slams illegal foreign presence in Syria, says war on terror must not be used as pretext

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFV) patrol the countryside of the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli in Syria’s northeastern Hasakeh province, on April 20, 2022. (File photo by AFP)

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations has censured the “illegal presence” of foreign forces in Syria, stating that the war on terrorism must not be used as a pretext to undermine Syria’s sovereignty.

Addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Majid Takht-Ravanchi reiterated Tehran’s call for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the Arab country, saying their plundering of Syria’s natural resources, particularly oil and agricultural products, must come to an end.

“This criminal act not only violates Syrian territorial sovereignty, relevant Security Council resolutions, and the United Nations Charter, but also has a negative impact on efforts and measures aimed at restoring the Syrian economy,” he said.

He stressed that the war against terrorism must not be used to undermine Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“After more than a decade of conflict in Syria, it has become evident that only one solution exists: a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned political process facilitated by the United Nations,” Takht-Ravanchi said.

He added that Iran supports the continuation of inter-Syrian talks in Geneva and welcomes the convening of the Constitutional Committee’s seventh session.

The Iranian ambassador also strongly condemned Israel’s repeated violations of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called on the Security Council to hold the Tel Aviv regime accountable for such acts of aggression.

Since a foreign-backed conflict erupted in the Arab country in 2011, Israel has been mounting attacks on Syrian soil for several years, targeting government positions as well as resistance forces that have been fighting the Daesh and other terrorist groups.

The Damascus government has on numerous occasions condemned Israeli airstrikes as well as the illegal presence of American and Turkish forces in the country, which both Washington and Ankara claim aims at fighting terrorism.

Since its onset, the Syrian conflict has killed nearly half a million people and displaced around half of the country’s population.

Speaking at the Tuesday meeting of the Security Council, Syria’s delegate underscored that ending the illegal presence of the United States, Turkey, and Israel in his country will help eliminate the terrorist presence, end all forms of displacement, restore Syrian national economic resources and improve the humanitarian and living situation in the country.

“The United States and its Western allies continue to obstruct the delivery of cross-line aid within Syrian territory to justify their continued violation of Syria’s sovereignty through the so-called cross-border aid mechanism that serves as a lifeline for terrorists,” the Syrian envoy added.

Senior UN officials also urged the council not to forget about the dire humanitarian situation in Syria in light of other conflicts, with Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, emphasizing that “Syria is a hot conflict, not a frozen one.”


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