International legal order under threat by unilateralism: Iran

May 18, 2018 - 20:25

Gholamali Khoshroo, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, said on Thursday that “international legal order is under threat by unilateralism” practiced by the United States.

The remarks by Iran’s top diplomat to the UN comes as Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the international Iran nuclear agreement and moved Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds (Jerusalem).

“Today more than ever, multilateralism and international legal order is under threat by unilateralism,” Khoshroo said in a statement read at the general session of the UN.

Following is full text of his speech published by IRNA:

Allow me to first express my Delegation’s appreciation to the Polish Presidency for convening this open debate. Indeed, the choice of this crucial topic for our debate is very appropriate and timely. 

First and foremost, I align myself with the statement made by the representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on behalf of NAM and thank the Secretary-General and the President of the International Court of Justice for their inputs. 

Today more than ever, multilateralism and international legal order is under threat by unilateralism, disregard to the international law and disrespect to the common interest of international community as a whole. Prerequisite for a rule-based international legal system is full respect to sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and upholding the principles of international law as well as customary international law. 

Since the establishment of the United Nations, maintaining international peace and security has been one of the key concerns of the international community. With that in mind, prohibition of the threat or use of force as enshrined in the UN Charter is a sine qua non achievement of the United Nations. Unfortunately, certain member states tend to use intimidation, use or threat of force to impose their will over others. These practices undoubtedly lead to disorder, instability and insecurity as we see in some regions, especially in the Middle East. 

“Unfortunately, certain member states tend to use intimidation, use or threat of force to impose their will over others.”

At the same time, some developing countries are unjustly targeted by arbitrary unilateral economic sanctions. The morally wrong and ethically unjustified unilateral measures not only defy the rule of law at the international level but also infringe upon the right to development that ultimately leads to the violation of basic human rights. It is a fact that such measures have almost always been initiated by only one member state, the United States, that is apparently addicted to sanctions wherein they see sanctions and the use of threats as the only tools in its toolbox in pursuance of its agendas. These practices obviously contravene international law and the Charter of the United Nations, especially where they deprive nations of their lawful and legitimate rights under treaties as well as fundamental human rights of individual citizens in the targeted States. In many cases, unilateral sanctions are imposed as a result of extraterritorial application of domestic legislations against legal and natural persons in other countries in spite of many General Assembly resolutions against such these unlawful measures. 

Unilateral measures, either in the form of illegal recourse to war, occupation, aggression or denying the sovereignty of member states or waiving the immunity of states under an unsubstantiated legal doctrine, are obvious manifestations of the rule of power, not the rule of law. These practices can undoubtedly be qualified as internationally wrongful acts that negatively affects a rule-based international order and endanger maintenance of peace and security. 

It is also a well-established principle of law enshrined in numerous international instruments, including treaties and General Assembly resolutions, that States should implement in good faith what they have pledged to do. One of the primary goals of the United Nations, as stated in the Preamble to the Charter, is to establish conditions under which justice and respect for international obligations can be maintained.