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Iran’s letter to UNSG on the plight of the Palestinian prisoners on the behalf of the NAM

1 Mar

Riceviamo e volentieri pubblichiamo la seguente dichiarazione di S.E. Dr. Mohammad Khazaee, ambasciatore della Repubblica Islamica dell’Iran alle Nazioni Unite, ringraziando l’Ufficio Stampa della Delegazione iraniana all’ONU.

In the Name of God
Press Release
Letter of H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Chairperson of the Non-Aligned movement, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

H.E. Mr. Khazaee in his letter, dated 28 February 2013, to H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon conveys the Movement’s grave concern regarding the critical situation of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees unlawfully held by Israel, the occupying Power. While appreciating the principled statements and positions of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative on this critical issue, he underscores the urgent need for international efforts to address the plight of Palestinian prisoners and detainees. He concludes by stressing that all other UN bodies, especially the Security Council and Human Rights Council, should fulfill their responsibilities in respect to this ongoing crisis.
Full text of the letter:
I write to you, in my capacity as Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to convey the Movement’s grave concern regarding the critical situation of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, including children and women, which are being unlawfully held by Israel, the occupying Power, in prisons and detention centers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel.
While the Movement expresses its deep appreciation for the principled statements and positions you have affirmed, including through your Special Representative, Mr. Robert Serry, on this critical issue, we underscore the urgent need at this time for international attention and efforts to address the plight of Palestinian prisoners and detainees. We emphasize in this regard the urgency of attention to recent crises, which have raised tensions and are causing further instability in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
The NAM stresses its grave concern in particular about the recent death of a Palestinian man, Arafat Jaradat, in an Israeli prison on 23 February 2013, following his arrest on 18 February by the Israeli occupying forces, and about the circumstances surrounding his detention and death, including reports of his subjugation to forced interrogations and beatings. Echoing the call made by your Special Representative, the Movement calls for an independent, impartial and transparent investigation into this serious incident as soon as possible and for the release of the investigation’s results under United Nations auspices. The Movement would be grateful for your efforts to facilitate this important matter and to contribute to diffusing the tense situation, which risks further destabilization with far-reaching consequences.
In this connection, the Movement also conveys its deep concerns regarding the plight of several Palestinian prisoners and detainees who are undertaking long-term hunger strikes in peaceful, nonviolent protests of their detention by Israel without charge or trial and other abuses and oppressive measures violating their most fundamental human rights. The lives of at least four men on hunger strike are in imminent danger due to their deteriorating health conditions. NAM calls for immediate attention to this crisis and for an urgent, humane solution to their plight in accordance with international legal standards and principles. Furthermore, the Movement reiterates its demand upon Israel to release all Palestinian prisoners and detainees and to cease forthwith its arbitrary arrest and detention of Palestinian civilians.
It must be reaffirmed that Israel has specific obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, towards the Palestinian prisoners and detainees in its incarceration as well as towards the entire Palestinian civilian population under its military occupation. We thus urge Your Excellency to use your good offices and the moral authority with which you speak on behalf of the United Nations, consistent with the purposes and principles of its Charter, relevant resolutions and international law, to compel Israel, the occupying Power, to respect its legal obligations in this regard. A clear message must be conveyed to Israel that it will be held accountable by the international community for its violations of international law.
Moreover, the NAM stresses the necessity of ensuring the requisite assistance to Palestinian prisoners and their families, including for the reintegration of prisoners into their communities, particularly in light of the devastating impact this issue has had on Palestinian society as a whole. We express our appreciation in this regard for the efforts of the United Nations agencies on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
In parallel with the actions that you and your Special Representative are taking, the Movement believes that all other UN bodies, especially the Security Council and Human Rights Council, should live up to the expectations of the international community and fulfill their responsibilities, in accordance with purposes and principles of the UN Charter, relevant resolutions and international law, in respect to the plight of the prisoners and detainees that are unlawfully held by the Israel, the occupying Power.

New York, 28 February 2013

Khazaee Transcript on Asia Society

1 Mar

Riceviamo e volentieri pubblichiamo questo intervento del rappresentante della Repubblica Islamica dell’Iran presso le Nazioni Unite ringraziando l’Ufficio Stampa della delegazione iraniana all’ONU.

Khazaee Transcript on Asia Society

In the Name of God
Introductory Remarks by H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee,
Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
to the United Nations in Asia Society
20 February 2013
Mr. Moderator,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to begin by thanking the management of Asia Society, especially Ms. Suzanne DiMaggio, Vice President, Global Policy Programs, for inviting me to this meeting.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, as heir to a 7000-year-old civilization and a rich culture deep rooted in annals of history as well as a record of close to three centuries of no aggression against any country, is well-versed in dealing and interacting with other nations. Article 152 of the Iranian Constitution, upon which the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based, stipulates the establishment of peaceful relationship with all nations, based on “mutual respect” and “legal parity”. Thus, diplomatic negotiations and dialogue with the United States does not constitute a red line for my country. although it is only a part of the complicated and multilayer relationship between Iran and the US
However, the question is as to why the establishment of relationship between our two countries on a just and equal footing has so far been elusive. And, while the both sides declare their readiness to negotiate, how does each of them define negotiations and their implications? I am not intent, today, of dissecting the history of Iran-US relations and enunciate the strains in the past decades. Instead, I prefer to be proactive and forward looking. Nonetheless, to briefly elucidate the conditions that I referred to, I feel I need to very briefly review the major developments that have affected the relationship between our two countries, hoping that it helps us better grasp the reason for the current mistrust and, therefore, better prepare to break the impasse:
First, in principle, diplomatic ties between nations should not be cut off under almost any circumstances. Despite grievances and bitter experiences, mostly emanated from the gross intervention in Iran’s domestic affairs, which, inter alia, led to the Coup in 1953 against the Iranian democratically-elected government and unwavering support for the 25-year dictatorship that followed it, the Islamic Republic of Iran did not initiate severing ties with the US. The diplomatic rupture occurred in April 1980 on the initiative taken by the then US administration. Despite so-called US Operation Eagle Claw in the same month, which constituted a blatant act of aggression against Iran, Tehran agreed, as a sign of goodwill, to take part in the negotiations that led to the signing of the Algiers Accords. Whereas, the US Government, which had committed itself, according to the same Accords, to respecting Iran’s rights and to abstaining from intervening and interfering in Iran’s domestic affairs, not only failed to honour its commitment but also it increased its intervention and, at times, its hostility .
Second, In the course of the two decades following the Algiers Accords, more bitter moves were made by successive US administrations against the Iranian people. They included lending support to Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, attacking two Iranian offshore oil platforms in the Persian Gulf in 1987, shooting down Iranian passenger jet airliner, killing 290 people, in 1988, trying to disrupt Iran’s ties with its neighbors, allocating budget to destabilize the Iranian Government, and the list goes on and on.
The confidence building measures that Iran adopted during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the Afghan War in 2001 and the US attack on Iraq in 2003 as well as the three rounds of talks between Iran and the US on the US force status in Iraq and Iran’s readiness for the fourth round, all, regrettably, met with disappointing answers by the US, which included branding Iran as part of the so-called ‘axis of evil’, following Iran’s constructive approach on the Afghan front.
Third, gaps between the US declared positions and the actions against the Iranian nation have been widening in the past few years. Senator Barack Obama in an interview with the New York Times in 2007 envisioned forging a new relationship with Iran and stated that, if elected president, he would “engage in aggressive personal diplomacy” with Iran, by conducting talks at the highest level, offering economic inducements and a promise not to seek “regime change.” Nonetheless, the President-elect, in the first step, left unanswered the congratulatory message sent by the Iranian President.
In his Nowruz message, in March 20, 2009, President Obamastated that: “My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us…” He stressed that, “instead of threats”, he would seek “engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.” The same themes also appeared in the letters President Obama sent to Iran’s Supreme Leader. They represented a new approach that the Iranians welcomed and the letters were replied to.
As the Supreme Leader stated in his speech in March 2009 in the city of Mashhad, I also could assert that, had the Islamic Republic of Iran observed the slightest sign indicating a practical change in the US Government behavior, it would have certainly reciprocated in kind. Here, allow me to refer to a few actions by the US government that went counter to its ostensibly friendly gestures:
Beginning from November 2009, the US Government took a number of aggressive measures against Iran, which include signing into law at least 4 major Acts and issuing 9 executive orders that you are all aware of and I don’t need to detail them. It is just worth mentioning that, in comparison, the whole number of executive orders had been issued against Iran by the previousUS presidents in the preceding 25 years had not gone beyond 18.
The above are only part of the destructive measures against Iran. I don’t want to take more time by detailing such confrontational measures as cyber warfare against Iran’s nuclear sites, the terrorist attacks against Iranian nuclear scientists by the Israelisand removing the a known terrorist group responsible for the killing of more than 16000 ordinary Iranians, from the terrorist list. The moves that I referred to consist definitely of economic war against the Iranian people if not tantamount to declaring war against a sovereign state. In sum, when the US proposesnegotiations in Munich and few days later gives effect to new and harsher sanctions against the Iranian people in Washington, how could anybody expect the Iranians not to be doubtful and not to ask for proof of the US seriousness and goodwill . Each of these actions alone could cast serious doubt on the goodwill of the US Government in establishing a just relationship with Iran in the minds of the Iranians, who consider themselves victims of the US policies.
Fourth, in principle, the logic of the two-track policy of diplomacy and pressure is incomprehensible, as it constitutes a conflict in term. Regrettably, for some in the US, pressure has become an end in itself. The dual track was not even dual, as it relied on one track, and that was pressure. They naïvely believe that pressure and diplomacy complement each other. Some even wrongly attribute Iran’s readiness to participate in the forthcoming negotiations in Kazakhstan to pressures. The wrong perception maintaining that the time is not on Iran’s side should be rectified as well. Because, the ambiguous positions of the West in parallel with more pressure can only beget more distrust, leading Iran, in turn, to lose hope in a negotiated settlement.
Regrettably, the facts on the ground and the US behaviors are indicative of their miscalculations and inaccurate information about the realities of today’s Iran; their assumption that Iran would succumb to pressure is chief among these miscalculations. The unprecedented rally to commemorate the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution two weeks ago, in which millions of people took part across the country, was an additional sign indicating the people’s lack of confidence in the US on the one hand and the futility of the economic pressure on the other.
Consequently, the approach of the Islamic Republic of Iran to negotiation is different. On the one hand, Iran’s sensitivity towards such negotiations emanates from its concern over the conditions leading to negotiations and the result thereof. It should not be interpreted as opposition to negotiation per se, as we have repeatedly stated our readiness for negotiations. Iran’s concern over the result of negotiations arises from the realities and US behaviors, which hang a serious question mark over negotiations per se. The Iranians believe that the US follows the strategy of “negotiation for more pressure” or “more pressure for negotiation.” In the sense that it is not only assumed that Iran could be pressured into negotiation, but also negotiation is turned into a means to bring more pressure to bear on Iran. In a clearer term, as long as the US leaders chose to base their policy towards Iran on ‘my way or the highway’, they should rest assured that Iran would not compromise on its basic rights under pressure or threat.
Meanwhile, I understand that there are people, who seek to conclude that Iran opposes any negotiation and conclude that alternative options should be taken up. I must emphasize that they are totally wrong. Iran has never and does not oppose negotiation in any way. If the right conditions are created and we are reasonably confident that negotiations could come to fruition; undoubtedly, we consider them seriously. Accordingly, I believe that certain ingredients of appropriate conditions for negotiations are as follows: a real change in the current US perception of negotiations; respect for Iran’s national sovereignty; non-intervention in Iran’s domestic affairs; discarding the two-track policy of pressure and engagement; the existence of good faith and political will for mutual understanding; valuing bilateral cooperation in the region and focusing on extensive common interests of the two countries.
Also, it is a fact that there are third parties who feel that they would lose in the case of any détente between Iran and the US. Thus, they spare no effort in impeding the way towards any diplomatic interaction between Iran and US.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In view of the recent calls for negotiations between Iran and the US, as the Iranian high-ranking officials, including the Foreign Minister pointed out, we welcome these calls and consider them a step in the right direction and along the path of creating a trustful environment for dialogue– dialogue with a country that occupies a very important strategic location in the region and has a mostly young population of close to 80 million, an educated and skilled workforce and massive oil and gas reserves, thus possessing a huge potential for cooperating with the outside world. It is safe to assert that Iran is one of the most impactful countries in the world that could help the international community in tackling such global and regional crises and critical situations as stability and security in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Syria and combating extremism, terrorism, trafficking in illicit drug, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and piracy.
Such nation, shored up by a rich civilization, is able and ready to play a constructive role in the international community. our history has taught us to cooperate rather than confront. Nonetheless, there are instances in our history where the Iranians demonstrated their combativeness and resilience in the face of outside aggressions. Therefore, I would like to reiterate once more that negotiation is not a red line for Iran, provided that the US demonstrates in practice its commitment to dialogue on the basis of mutual respect. In that case, our counterparts should rest assured that the Iranian people understand respectful behavior and reciprocate in kind.
Allow me to conclude by reading out a passage from the latest speech by His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei, which summarizes his perspective about the way out from the current situation. He says and I quote:
“We are reasonable, our officials are reasonable, our people are reasonable, we understand reasonable deeds and accept reasonable views. The American should show that they do not try to threaten. They should show that they do not speak and act unreasonably. They should show that they respect the rights of our people, avoid flaring up conflicts in the region and do not intervene and interfere in Iran’s domestic affairs. In that case, they will see that the Iranian political establishment is well-intentioned and our people are reasonable. This is the way to engage the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Americans should prove their goodwill. If they do, then, they will see that the Iranian people will answer in an appropriate way.”
I thank you Mr. Moderator, Mr. Pickering and you ladies and gentlemen for your attention

Video dell’intervento di s.e. Dr. Mohammad Khazaee a questo link:

Iran’s Supreme Leader: Get the Gun Out of Our Face, and We’ll Negotiate

1 Mar

Iran’s Supreme Leader: Get the Gun Out of Our Face, and We’ll Negotiate
Robert Dreyfuss

Things are looking up a little on the Iran front, even though talks in Tehran between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ended without a deal. Before the talks, Iran had suggested it might be ready to meet the IAEA’s demand to visit an off-limits site called Parchin, though that didn’t happen. On February 26, talks between Iran and the world powers, including the United States, are scheduled in Kazakhstan. There, too, a breakthrough isn’t likely, for two reasons. First, the United States does not seem prepared, yet, to take the two steps that it must in talks, namely, to acknowledge Iran’s right to enrich uranium on its own soil and to offer to relax economic sanctions on Iran as part of a deal. And Iran, caught up in the early days of what promises to be a lively if not tumultuous presidential campaign leading to elections in June, may not be ready to make any sort of deal with the Great Satan.

Still, Iran is taking steps to ease tensions, including processing 20-percent-enriched uranium into fuel rods for a research reactor, which makes the uranium unsuitable for weapons production.

So it’s useful to take a look at an important speech delivered recently by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, thanks to a text provided by Iran’s Mission to the United Nations.

Speaking to an assembly of Iran’s air force, Khamenei accused the United States of trying to dominate Iran and its region, a not unreasonable conclusion given twin US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a vast military presence in the Persian Gulf and across the region. Said Khamenei, accurately enough:

For more than thirty years, the enemies of the Iranian nation have done everything in their power to harm the Iranian nation. There is not a thing which they have not used against the Iranian nation. They provoked conflicts, waged wars, supported the enemy of the Islamic Republic with all their power and they waged hard and soft wars.… They made use of everything they could. They hatched plots, launched coup d’états, provoked military conflicts, shot down passenger airliners, imposed heavy sanctions and increased them on a daily basis.

And, of course, President Obama launched a major cyberwar offensive against Iran which, had it been done it reverse, would have been branded an act of war, not to mention what appears to be a US and Israeli campaign to assassinate Iranian scientists.

On the topic of negotiations, Khamenei was widely reported to have closed the door. But here is what he actually said:

Now the Americans have raised the issue of negotiations again. They repeat that America is prepared to directly negotiate with Iran. This is not new. The Americans have repeatedly raised the issue of negotiations at every juncture. Now their newly appointed politicians repeat that we should negotiate. And they say that the ball is in Iran’s court.

But, he added:

It is you who should explain the meaning of negotiations that are accompanied by pressure and threats. Negotiations are for the sake of proving one’s goodwill. You commit tens of acts which show lack of goodwill and then you speak about negotiations. Do you expect the Iranian nation to believe that you have goodwill?… We do not see any goodwill.

Khamenei noted that when Obama took office in 2009, he reached out to Iran. But, Khamenei said, things haven’t changed much in four years, with continuing American sanctions against Iran, threats of war, and US support for the Sunni Islamist–led rebellion against Iran’s Syrian ally. Of the assassinations, Khamenei said :

Their agents, their allies and Zionist spies openly killed the scientists of the Islamic Republic. They did not even condemn these terrorist activities. [On the contrary] They supported them. This is their record. They imposed sanctions—which they wanted to be crippling—on the Iranian nation. They openly said, crippling. Who do you want to cripple? Did you want to cripple the Iranian nation? Do you have goodwill?

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So, said Khamenei, “Negotiations are meaningful when the two sides negotiate with good intentions and without planning to deceive one another. Negotiations should be on equal terms. Negotiations for the sake of negotiations, tactical negotiations and offer of negotiations as a superpower gesture, are deceptive moves. They are not honest moves.” He added:

I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary. I speak openly and honestly. A diplomat says something, but he actually means something else. We speak openly and honestly. We speak clearly and decisively. Negotiations are meaningful when the two sides show their good intentions. [Negotiations are not meaningful] when one side does not show his good intentions. You yourselves refer to this as pressures and negotiations. These two things are not compatible. You want to point the gun at the people of Iran and say, negotiate or we will shoot. You say these things to intimidate the Iranian nation. You should know that the Iranian nation is not intimidated by these things.

Then, he added, “Negotiations with America will not solve any problems.”

To tell the truth, it’s difficult to find fault with Khamenei’s logic. Iran is, in fact, participating in talks with the IAEA and the P5+1.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, engaged in what appears to be a bitter struggle with allies of Khamenei among Iran’s ultraconservatives over the presidency, also spoke about the prospects for talks with the United States. Speaking one day earlier than Khamenei, Ahmadinejad said: “Take your guns out of the face of the Iranian nation and I myself will negotiate with you.”

In covering the two speeches, American media outlets seemed to find disagreements between the two Iranian leaders. The Washington Post, for instance, reporting Ahmadinejad’s comments, wrote:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday reiterated his desire to engage in direct talks with the United States, on the condition that the West stop pressuring his country.

Fair enough. But The New York Times, covering Khamenei’s speech, headlined its article thus: “Supreme Leader of Iran Rejects Direct Talks With US.” In the piece, it wrote:

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rejected any idea of bilateral talks with the United States on Thursday, in a speech in which he seemed to dismiss the views of Iranian officials—including the country’s foreign minister—who had advocated for such negotiations.

But it seems that Khamenei and Ahmadinejad were both saying the same thing, namely, that they’ll negotiate as long as there is no gun to their head and if they are convinced that the United States is negotiating in good faith.

Just because he outlined a good domestic agenda in his State of the Union address, Barack Obama shouldn’t get a pass on his plans to continue our dirty foreign policy.

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