Zarif: Iran committed to peaceful coexistence of all Bosnian groups

July 12, 2021 - 21:58

TEHRAN — Iran’s special envoy attended the 26th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday. He read a message by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in which it was stated that the Islamic Republic is committed to peaceful coexistence of all groups in the Balkan country.

The message reads as follows: 

“On the 26th anniversary of the genocide of thousands of innocent people from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the horrific crime of Srebrenica, I salute the high spirit of those martyrs and express my deepest condolences and solidarity with the government and people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially their bereaved families.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is proud to have stood by the oppressed people of Bosnia and Herzegovina since the beginning of its independence and to provide any assistance in this way. It is committed to upholding the independence, territorial integrity and peaceful coexistence of all ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The events of July 1995 are one of the darkest chapters in the contemporary history of humanity. The commemoration of this genocide reminds the international community of the need for a commitment to justice, non-violence and a sense of responsibility in defending the oppressed, and calls on the international community, especially the powers that claim to uphold human rights and democracy, to adhere to genuine human values.

Although the rulings of the former International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the mechanism of the remaining cases of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia are important steps towards the administration of justice, Srebrenica remains a wound to the conscience of many, as survivors' mothers and homeless people are suffering.

We share in the grief of the families of the victims of Srebrenica who have worked tirelessly for twenty-six years to seek justice and work day and night, and we are committed to remembrance of the victims of this painful event to prevent it from being forgotten and denied.

I once again pay tribute to the high spirit of the oppressed martyrs of Srebrenica and wish them and their late leader Ali Ezzat Begovic divine mercy and for the government and honorable people of Bosnia and Herzegovina security, progress and pride. I believe that the will of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to develop relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina in all areas.”

The Monday ceremony was held by burying the bodies of 19 victims of the 1995 genocide, whose identities were determined by specialized tests, in the presence of the victims' survivors and thousands of citizens of Srebrenica and other regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as foreign representatives.

On July 11, 1995, the Serb forces commanded by General Ratko Mladic overran Srebrenica, which was protected by lightly armed Dutch peacekeepers. They sent women and children away and captured and executed the men and boys they found. The bodies were dumped into mass graves and later exhumed by UN investigators and used as evidence in war crimes trials of Bosnian Serb leaders.

SA/PA

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