Iran says U.S. forces must leave Syria

March 16, 2021 - 19:2

TEHRAN - Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations, has said the United States must withdraw all of its “occupying” forces from Syria.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks in a Monday address to the United Nations Security Council, during which he emphasized that the sole solution to the crisis in Syria would be a peaceful one conforming to international law, according to Press TV.

The Iranian ambassador underlined that all foreign forces that are present in Syria without the Damascus government’s approval, particularly the American troops that are occupying parts of Syria, must leave the country as soon as possible.

“The Syrian people do not accept continued occupation of their soil or violation of their country’s sovereignty and the international community should not concede to it either, because it contravenes the most basic principles of international law,” he noted.

Takht-Ravanchi also strongly condemned frequent attacks by U.S. forces and Israel in Iraq and Syria, noting that such illegal measures only worsen the situation in an already tense region.

“The Syrian crisis has no military solution and the sole way to end it would be a peaceful one in total conformity to principles of international law and articles of the Charter of the United Nations,” he pointed out.

Takht-Ravanchi also called on the international community to put an end to Israel's military adventurism in the region.

Iran has long criticized U.S. military presence in Syria. In late February, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh condemned American attacks on areas east of Syria, saying the illegal bases run by American forces in the country are used to train terrorists for later use against the Syrian government.

“Illegal American bases on the Syrian soil are training terrorists and using them as a means [against the Damascus government],” Khatibzadeh said.

Speaking at a Security Council meeting on Syria in November, Takht-Ravanchi said the U.S. is plundering the Syrian nation’s wealth and oil resources while supporting terrorist groups in the Arab country, calling for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of American troops from the war-ravaged country.
He added that the full, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Syria is essential.

Also in February, Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York condemned the brutal attacks of foreign-backed terrorists and illegal occupation as well as inhumane sanctions. 

Eshagh Al Habib, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, told the UN Security Council on February 25 that “For ten years, the Syrian people have utterly suffered from the brutal attacks of foreign-backed terrorists and illegal occupation, and in recent years, from inhumane sanctions.”

He noted, “The international community has a responsibility to help the Syrian people and government to overcome this crisis and to ensure Syria’s unity, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. In this context, we call for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces that are present in Syria without the permission of its government. These and other aspects of the Syrian crisis have been extensively discussed in the Astana format meeting, held recently in Sochi, Russia, following which a joint statement was issued by Iran, Russia and Turkey. The three countries condemned the increasing terrorist activities in Syria and agreed to continue cooperation to ultimately eliminate Daesh, Al-Nusra Front and all other Security Council designated terrorist groups and their affiliates.”

Al Habib pointed out that these countries also expressed serious concern over the increased presence and terrorist activity of “Hayat Tahrir al- Sham” and other affiliated terrorist groups and the threat they pose to civilians inside and outside the de-escalation Idlib area.

The Iranian diplomat also took a jab at U.S. sanctions on Syria, saying these sanctions will only prolong the crisis and inflict more pain on the Syrian people.

“The application of unilateral sanctions against the Syrian people only further exacerbate the situation and prolong both the crisis and the sufferings of the people. Such sanctions are unlawful, inhumane and unjustifiable, and must therefore come to an immediate end,” he stressed. 

“Mounting political and economic pressures on Syria or making multiple preconditions for the peaceful settlement of the crisis has proven to be counterproductive. Reconstruction of the country and the return of refugees and displaced persons must go hand in hand with the political process. They are interlinked, mutually inclusive and mutually reinforcing,” Al Habib continued.

“Finally, Iran reiterates its commitment to political resolution of this crisis and will continue supporting the people and government of Syria to restore the unity and territorial integrity of their country,” he concluded.

Iran and Syria enjoy close relations. In Late February, Khatibzadeh traveled to Syria and held talks with Syrian officials and attended meetings of think tanks, media outlets and elites in the Arab country. The meetings were held in Damascus in line with Iran-Syria cooperation in public diplomacy, media and cultural arenas.

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