Iran urges U.S. immediate exit from Syria

June 19, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran has denounced the United States’ illegal presence in Syria, urging the U.S. government to put an immediate end to its military presence in the war-torn country, IRNA reported.

“We strongly condemn the violation of international law, in particular, the IHL (International Humanitarian Law) by the U.S. in Syria, and stress that it must put an immediate end to its illegal presence in parts of Syria," Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Tuesday at the United Nations Security Council meeting on “Middle East: Syria – Humanitarian”.

Takht Ravanchi said the Islamic Republic continues its consultations with other guarantors of the Astana peace process on a range of issues, including Idlib’s de-escalation area.

“Along with other guarantors and in line with international law, Iran continues supporting the inherent right of the Syrian government to fight terrorists designated by the Security Council,” he stated.

“While International Humanitarian Law must be observed by all without exception, this cannot and should not be used as a pretext to call for stopping the fight against terrorism as it would be paradoxical,” he added.

The Iranian diplomat underscored the need to fight against the most dangerous terrorists who have taken a large number of civilians as their hostages.

He added, “This, in fact, is a practical protection of civilians and should lead to the release of all civilians who are trapped in terrorist-held areas.”

It is obvious that these internationally designated terrorist groups cannot and should not be allowed to continue their control over a large part of a sovereign state’s territory, Takht Ravanchi asserted.

“The current situation in Idlib, which allows terrorists to use over two million civilians as human shields and conduct their operations, cannot and must not continue indefinitely. This, among other things, will prevent the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, delay the country’s reconstruction, and hamper the political solution, all of which are inherently interlinked.”

“Ultimately, the right to determine the future of Syria belongs exclusively to Syrians themselves. We must genuinely support a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process,” he concluded.

Earlier this month, a senior member of the Syrian parliament rejected the claims about an agreement on Iranian military advisors’ withdrawal from the country, adding that the U.S. is entitled to no rights at all to make decisions for Damascus.

The remarks came after some news outlets claimed that Damascus and Washington had stricken a deal about Iranian military advisors leaving Syria.

MH/PA

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