TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Highlighting Iran’s inherent right to self-defense in response to terrorist attacks, the Iranian ambassador to the UN rejected the allegations raised by a number UNSC members that Tehran has violated Iraq’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Saeed Iravani sent a letter to President of the UN Security Council Michel Xavier Biang on Monday in response to the accusations that Iran has violated Iraq’s territorial integrity by attacking the bases of terrorist groups in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
Here is the text of the letter:
Upon instructions from my Government, I would like to respond to the unsubstantiated claims and unjustified references to my Country that have been made at the United Nations Security Council meeting held on 4 October 2022 under the agenda item “the Situation concerning Iraq” (S/PV.9145) wherein representatives of certain member states of the Security Council, by disregarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s inherent right to self-defense in response to terrorist attacks that target its people and national security, accused Iran of violating Iraq’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity. In this regard, I would like to draw your attention to the following:
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been a major victim of terrorism for more than four decades. Today, terrorist and separatist groups such as the so-called “Democratic Kurdestan Party”, Reform Komala, Communist Komala, Pejak, and Pak based in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region have continued to use Iraqi territory to conduct armed and terrorist attacks against civilians and Iran’s vital infrastructure. These armed groups, which have been designated as terrorist groups under Iranian law, have set up several terrorist training camps on Iraqi territory in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in order to recruit, train, incite, plan, organize, support, and carry out terrorist acts as well as sabotage operations within Iranian territory. From 2016 to present, they carried out 49 terrorist attacks inside and near Iran’s borders, resulting in 24 martyrs and 32 injuries. According to reliable information, all of these terrorist attacks were planned, organized, directed, and carried out from terrorist bases within the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
The aforesaid terrorist groups, with the aim of exploiting recent peaceful assemblies in some Iranian cities to further their nefarious terrorist goals, have incited, armed, and equipped a number of terrorist affiliates with small arms once entering Iran, causing unrest and damage to private and public property, banks, ambulances, and police stations as well as the martyrdom of several Iranian police officers. In addition, one of the most serious terrorist sabotage plots against Iran’s peaceful nuclear facilities was discovered and foiled. The sabotage was planned by the Komala terrorist group.
Given the ongoing terrorist threats, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran has expressed its strong objections on numerous occasions and through sending several diplomatic notes to the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Iraq regarding the continued existence of terrorist groups, training camps as well as their free movement and malicious activities inside Iraq’s territory. Furthermore, during the Joint Security Committee meetings between the two countries, relevant officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran shared and provided irrefutable evidence as well as reliable information to officials in the Government of the Republic of Iraq and officials from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. They were urged to take the necessary measures, in accordance with Iraq’s obligations under international law, the principles of friendly relations and good neighborliness as well as the Iraqi constitution, to control, disarm and refrain from sheltering such terrorist and armed groups whose continued existing training camps and operations pose a serious threat to Iran’s national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
Despite our repeated objections and warnings, neither the Government of the Republic of Iraq nor officials from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region have taken effective and concrete measures to comply with their international obligations. Under these conditions and considering the ongoing terrorist attacks, the Islamic Republic of Iran had no choice but to exercise its inherent right to self-defense under international law in order to protect its people, national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. To this end, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran conducted several military operations on 28 September 2022 in a necessary and proportionate response to armed and terrorist attacks that targeted Iranian civilians and civilian infrastructures. To ensure that all measures taken were in accordance with international humanitarian law, the operations were carried out with the use of a precise weaponry system. As a result, the operations were meticulously and precisely planned with the sole and precise goal of targeting terrorist affiliates, their locations, and training camps where terrorist groups received weapons, training, and deployment with no collateral damage.
The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates its unwavering commitment to Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, unity as well as territorial integrity and urges the Government of the Republic of Iraq, as a responsible member of the United Nations and in accordance with its international obligations, to exercise and extend its effective control over its entire territory within internationally recognized borders, and to refrain from harboring such terrorist and armed groups that plan and organize their heinous terrorist acts against Iranian civilians and Iran’s national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has demonstrated its firm belief in and genuine commitment to Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity by positively responding to and supporting the Iraqi Government’s request to assist in the fight against ISIS/Daesh and its affiliates that threatened Iraq’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, particularly the existence of the Iraqi Kurdistan region. In this regard, it is worth noting Martyr General Ghasem Soleimani’s prominent and exceptional role in defeating ISIS/Daesh wherein he significantly contributed and provided assistance to the Iraqi people and Government, particularly the officials of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, and was rightfully named the Hero of the Fight Against Terrorism and the General of Peace. His cowardly assassination benefited Daesh and other terrorist organizations designated by the United Nations Security Council, who hailed his assassination as “an act of divine intervention that benefited” them.
While the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, it also reserves its legitimate as well as inherent right in accordance with international law and the United Nations Charter to respond to any terrorist threat or attack that threatens its people, national security, sovereignty or territorial integrity at any time it deems appropriate and necessary.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter circulated as a document of the Security Council.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.