Iran wants ‘all states’ to condemn Tillerson remarks in letter to UN

June 20, 2017

TEHRAN – In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council on Monday, Iran strongly objected to recent remarks by the U.S. secretary of state, requesting “all States condemn such grotesque policy statements.” 

In a hearing on the 2018 State Department budget before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Rex Tillerson said the U.S. major policy towards Tehran is to seek “peaceful transition” of the country’s government. 

“This statement is a brazen interventionist plan that runs counter to every norm and principle of international law, as well as the letter and spirit of UN Charter, and constitutes an unacceptable behavior in international relations,” Iran's UN Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo said in the letter. 

“The Iranian government expects that all States condemn such grotesque policy statements and advise the U.S. government to act responsibly and to adhere to principles of the UN Charter and international law.” 

Khoshroo said the remarks brazenly contravene the 1981 Algiers Accords, to which Washington is a signatory. 

“This statement is also a flagrant violation of the 1981 Algiers Accords and other treaty obligations to which the United States is a party. According to the

Algiers Accords, 'the United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs”. 

Tillerson’s remarks already drew strong rebuke from Tehran. 

On Sunday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed the statement as hackneyed and old, emphasizing that Washington has been and will continue to be a loser. 

"In the past 38 years, when has there been a time when you haven't wanted to change the Islamic system?" he said, adding, "Your head has hit the rock each time and always will."

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: "U.S. officials should worry more about saving their own regime than changing Iran's, where 75% of people just voted,” a reference to the unprecedented turnout in the May 19 presidential election in Iran. 

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council reacted strongly, branding “American extremists and Daesh (Islamic State)” as “two sides of the same coin, both seeking to negatively influence the country’s internal environment and make security issues a major concern for Iran.” 

Citing the U.S.-engineered coup in Iran in 1953, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, “Since the 1950s, the United States tried to meddle in Iranian affairs by different strategies such as coup d’état, regime change, and military intervention.” 

These efforts have all failed, Qassemi said, adding that the new U.S. government was “confused” and could be “easily manipulated by wrong information.” 

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department declassified documents on the role it played in the 1953 coup against the democratically-elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh.

The 1,000-page “Foreign Relations of the United States, Iran, 1951–1954” provides information on the use of covert operations in Iran by the Truman and Eisenhower administrations.

The documents cover the period around the 1953 coup d'état, which saw the overthrow of Mosaddegh and the strengthening of the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Foreign Ministry also summoned the Swiss charge d’affaires to Tehran to protest at Tillerson’s remarks.  A note handed to the envoy, whose country represents U.S. interests in Iran. 

Washington and Tehran have had no diplomatic ties since the 1980 hostage crisis, when a number of U.S. nationals were held in Iranian captivity for more than 400 days for espionage activities inside the U.S. embassy in Tehran. 

PA/PA