THE IRANIAN Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights says ambiguous positions adopted by international bodies, including the United Nations, over the ongoing massacre of Palestinians by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip are aimed at legitimising Tel Aviv’s crimes and encouraging the occupying regime.
In a letter last Sunday to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Council called for serious action to stop the Zionist regime’s crimes against the people of Palestine.
‘Inviting both parties to the conflict without any condemnation of the child-killing occupying regime, or any reference to the right of legitimate self-defence against such a regime, whose very presence in the Palestinian territories is based on usurpation and occupation, can not only be considered as a step toward legitimising the crimes of the Zionist regime in Palestine, but also a clear, systematic violation of the right of nations to self-determination’ it said.
Last Sunday, Israeli warplanes bombed the home of the Hamas leader in Gaza City, as the Tel Aviv regime’s latest aggression against the enclave entered its seventh day.
The Iranian Rights Council noted that the UN’s call for ‘restraint’ by the parties to ‘an unfair conflict’ – as the Palestinians’ elementary defensive actions are in no way comparable with the crimes of the armed-to-the-teeth Israeli regime, – amounts to ‘supporting the occupier, consolidating the occupation, continuing aggression and assisting in aggression.’
It emphasised the constant breach of the basic rights of the Palestinians by acts of aggression by the Zionist regime, including the intensification of genocidal operations, racism, Judaization, illegal settlement construction, forceful eviction of Palestinians from their land, racial cleansing and attacks on the Bab al-Amoud and Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhoods of occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
‘The criminal Zionists are intensifying their attacks on a daily basis amid an apparently deliberate inaction of international circles and many countries who claim to defend human rights,’ the letter said.
It added that ‘silence and inaction of world bodies over such blatant Israeli crimes and the issuance of ambiguous statements, which aim to legitimise the Zionist regime’s behaviour, give grounds to Israel’s crimes.
Directly addressing the UN chief, the council said: ‘While strongly condemning the savage crimes of the Quds (Jerusalem)-occupying regime and indifference or implied consent of some countries and international bodies toward these crimes … the Islamic Republic of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights persistently requires you, as the highest ranking UN official, to use all the existing capacities in line with your missions and duties, to stop these crimes and bring to justice those who are behind them.’
Stressing that the UN secretary general should ‘recognise the status quo as a situation resulting from the violation of jus cogens and compelling rules of international law,’ the Iranian Rights Council suggested that the ‘United Nations set up a commission of inquiry or launch a fact-finding mission and use all in its power, including Article 99 of the UN Charter, to draw the attention of the Security Council to this gross violation of human rights.’
Tensions escalated in Jerusalem al-Quds, the occupied West Bank and Gaza amid the planned expulsion of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, where illegal Israeli settlers are looking to take over the property of Palestinian families.
The Israeli military and illegal settlers intensified the regime’s violations against Palestinians in Jerusalem, including in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound – Islam’s third-holiest site – during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
As of last weekend, at least 188 Palestinians, including 55 children and 33 women, were killed in the Gaza Strip over the past week.
Also in the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces killed at least 13 Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ambassador to the European Union, Abdalrahim Alfarra, told Russia’s Sputnik news agency that the EU needs to ‘take a more realistic stance’ as it ‘bears great responsibility’ over the ongoing conflict between the Palestinians and the occupying regime.
- A Russian official says the United States’ practice of blackmailing other countries and imposing sanctions on them is continuing under the administration of President Joe Biden and will never end.
‘Never ending story. The US blackmails and sanctions even its allies. During the previous US administration, West European companies were intimidated to such an extent that they ran away from Iran,’ Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna, said in a tweet last Tuesday.
He was referring to the failure of the European parties to the 2015 JCPOA Iranian nuclear deal – France, Britain, and Germany – to fulfill their contractual commitments to Tehran after the then-US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned the pact in May 2018.
‘No changes since then so far. This policy will continue with few exceptions,’ he added.
- The United States has imposed sanctions on Turkey – a fellow member of NATO – over its acquisition of advanced Russian missile systems.
A notice of the sanctions, imposed last December, was due to be published on the US Federal Register, the daily journal of the US government, today (Tuesday).
Turkey has condemned the sanctions as a ‘grave mistake’ that would inevitably harm mutual relations between Ankara and Washington, and has threatened retaliation.
The sanctions target Turkey’s top defence procurement and development body, the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), its chairman Ismail Demir and three other Turkish defence officials, namely Mustafa Alper Deniz, Serhat Gencoglu, and Faruk Yigit.
Turkey and Russia finalised the agreement on the delivery of the S-400 missile systems in late 2017.
The S-400 is considered Russia’s most advanced long-range, anti-aircraft missile system.
The US alleges that the S-400 is not compatible with the military hardware owned by the other members of NATO. Washington also claims that the defence system poses a threat to the American Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, which were to be jointly produced in Turkey.
However, that production was cancelled by the White House over Ankara’s purchase of the Russian-made air defence systems.
Ankara has gone ahead with the procurement nevertheless.
Turkey has sought to boost its air defence particularly since Washington decided in 2015 to withdraw its Patriot surface-to-air missile system from the Turkish border with Syria, a move that weakened Turkey’s air defences.
Before turning to Russia, the Turkish military reportedly walked out of a 3.4 billion dollar contract for a similar Chinese system. The withdrawal took place under purported pressure from Washington.