Speaking in the Third Committee of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly General Debate on Friday, the First Secretary to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Mohammad Ghorbanpour lamented that some countries have brazenly claimed that humanitarian goods are exempt from sanctions and that this is a terrible lie.
Following is the full text of the statement:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
Allow me at the outset to express my Government’s unwavering commitment to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, including but not limited to “respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all” as well as “non-intervening in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of States”.
Human rights, which connect us to one another through a universally shared set of rights and responsibilities, are the rights inherent to all human beings regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion or any other status. Everyone is entitled to these rights without any discrimination whatsoever. Moreover, taking into account the universality of human rights and the fact that nobody, under any circumstances whatsoever, can claim ownership thereon, any forceful attempt to push countries to have a similar interpretation of the subject would severely undermine the principles of universality, objectivity and non-selectivity in the consideration of human rights issues.
The Islamic Republic of Iran enjoys a very rich and long history with respect to civilization and human rights. Besides its international commitments and obligations, my Country has consistently and continuously exhausted all efforts to promote as well as protect human rights and dignities based on its principles.
We fervently believe in a nonselective view of human rights, which requires human rights to avoid politicization. Large scale human rights violations have become more of a routine habit, the instances of which can be seen in Palestine and the seemingly unending war on Yemen. In fact, those who preach to others about human rights and portray themselves as pioneer defenders of human dignity not only lack the necessary resolve in their argument but also tread the line of hypocrisy when it comes to their own human rights commitments. They are the main supporters of criminals in the occupied Palestinian territories and the main sponsors of sophisticated weapons which are used against Palestinian and Yemeni women and children on a daily basis.
The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly advocates the inalienable right of Palestinian people to self-determination. The despotic Israeli regime has embarked on ethnic cleansing in the occupied Palestinian territories. The very basic rights of Palestinians are trampled upon on a daily basis and amid a deafening silence by supporters of the Zionist regime - this is most regrettable. Unfortunately, the world is witness to horrendous crimes by the so-called flag-bearers of human rights against indigenous peoples. The latest revelations in Canada prove that practices to occupy territories through ethnic cleansing have either become normalized or accepted.
We follow with serious concern the situation of people in Afghanistan, particularly that of those who are displaced inside and within its neighboring countries, that are in dire need of international support, especially to effectively combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation in Afghanistan clearly demonstrates the true face of not only the U.S. but also those who have invaded the war-battered country two decades ago under the pretext of fighting against terrorism and upholding human rights.
The right to development is a fundamental human right for developing countries. We condemn any attempts by certain countries in order to deter the development within developing countries so as to maintain their all-out monopoly in international relations. It is no mystery to anyone that unilateral coercive measures constitute an impediment to the development of those who refuse to bow to arrogant powers.
We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the imposition of the United States’ inhumane and illegal unilateral coercive measures, especially during the pandemic. Such unlawful measures taken by the United States and pursued by its allies are meant to confiscate our resources abroad and deter third countries from legitimate trade with Iran, especially when it comes to providing humanitarian goods to my Country. The inhumane and illegal unilateral coercive measures have even denied the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is a matter of great regret that certain countries brazenly claim that humanitarian goods are exempt from sanctions – that in itself is a terrible lie. As the late Idriss Jazairy, the former special rapporteur on the negative impacts of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights has put, and I quote, “While US sanctions including humanitarian exemptions, there were reports that aid is on hold as banks, insurance and logistics companies await clarification.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran is of the view that dialogue and cooperation based upon mutual respect on equal footing is the only way to guarantee the promotion and protection of human rights at the international level. Weaponizing human rights, taking a selective approach and cherishing double standards are of no help whatsoever to the realization of our shared goals. Instead, such measures can only divert international human rights organizations from their basic goals and further castaway human rights from their lofty objectives.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, my Government aims to remain committed to engaging in constructive cooperation with the United Nations mechanisms in a balanced and non-politicized manner. Mechanisms such as the universal periodic review should further be strengthened as a workable solution and as the sole mechanism that considers the human rights situation in all Member States equally.