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Iranian envoy tells UNSC popular Hamas cannot be excluded

United Nations, New York, Aug 30, IRNA - An Iranian diplomat said in New York on Wednesday that Hamas as a party with deep popular base among the Palestinian people, cannot be excluded.

Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mansour Sadeghi was addressing the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question.

"Hamas has came to power through an election which the whole international community recognized as fair, free and democratic," he said.

He added, "It is therefore high time for the international community to urgently weigh in to counter the Israeli regime's inhumane policies and practices in imposing humanitarian disasters on the defenseless Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere in the Palestinian territories."

"As the realities on the ground well indicate and as reported to the Council today, throughout the period under review, the Israeli war machine has continued to be brutally and relentlessly at work, shattering the lives and livelihoods of the defenseless Palestinian people.

"Only in the past several days and as the Palestinian people and the Muslims across the globe were observing the thirty-eighth anniversary of the Israeli arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Holy City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, the Israeli regime continued with its carnage against the Palestinian people, killing many, among them women and children, in Khan Younis, Beit Hanoun, Nablus and elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territories," he said.

"These appalling crimes of extrajudicial killings and targeted assassinations have continued to be unabatedly committed by the Israeli regime while other Israeli crimes such as: the destruction of homes and infrastructure as well as agricultural lands, the detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, construction of the expansionist Wall and the imposition of collective punishment on the entire Palestinian population, have continued persistently." Sadeqi pointed to the numerous UN reports, saying, "Due to the Israeli practices the whole Palestinian population has been terrorized, their properties have been destroyed, and a humanitarian crisis has been imposed on a whole population.

"The United Nations rapporteurs have rightly described these Israeli brutal practices and policies as `ethnic cleansing'".

Moreover, the Iranian envoy said, "As a result of the Israeli regime's blockade of the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian and economic situation there has deteriorated to a dangerous extent."

He added, "On 9 August 2007, the UN warned that Gaza could face an economic meltdown with `disastrous consequences' unless its main crossings were reopened."

"In this regard, the deputy chief of the UN Relief and Works Agency warned that Gaza risks becoming a virtually 100 percent aid dependent, closed down and isolated community within a matter of months or weeks, if the present regime continues its atrocities." Sadeqi outlined the Zionist regime's concealment and unabated pursuance of nuclear arsenals during the past several decades, saying, "The Zionist regime prime minister's acknowledgement of the possession of nuclear weapons by his regime, in his interview with a German TV channel on 11 December 2006, revealed the true nature of the said regime's clandestine nuclear activities which pose a serious and continuing threat to the international as well as regional peace and security."

He added, "It is undisputable that nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime marked with a long catalogue of various crimes such as state terrorism, aggression and occupation, present a real threat to the regional and international peace and security, and thus requires urgent and decisive action by the Security Council."

"Indeed, this regime should face a united front and must be kept under continuous pressure to relinquish its terrorist acts and its nuclear program and place all its nuclear facilities under international monitoring," he stressed.

The ambassador said, "The Zionist regime has persisted on its aggressive policies towards Lebanon and the occupied Syrian Golan too."

Referring to the Zionist regime's attack on Lebanon last year, he added, "According to the UN Special Rapporteurs, serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law have been committed by the Zionist regime during its aggression against Lebanon".

"They have also reported that the Zionist regime's air force attacked more than 7,000 targets in Lebanon, its navy conducted 2,500 bombardments, and its army fired tens of thousands of shells and rockets.

"As a result, 1,191 people were killed and 4,405 wounded. One third of the dead and wounded, and close to half of internally displaced persons were children."

"Tens of thousands of homes and much public infrastructure were damaged or destroyed. An estimated 1 million persons were displaced... and entire villages were virtually destroyed.

"The aforesaid examples of the persisted Zionits crimes and atrocities attest to the fact that this regime has based its policies and practices on occupation, aggression and bloodshed.

"Its conniving calls and expression of readiness, for peace with the Palestinians are but an ill-intended smokescreen to buy time and to create division among the Palestinians and the countries in the region to pursue its wicked expansionist policies and criminal practices against the Palestinians and other Arabs under its brutal occupation and oppression."

Sadeqi stresseed, "The Palestinian people, backed by the whole international community in particular by the Muslim and Arab world, will indeed continue to be resolute and unwavering in their efforts towards the attainment of their inalienable rights.

"In this context, the Palestinian factions should put the national aspirations of the Palestinian people ahead of their political differences, and join hands to end occupation of their homeland and restore their nation's denied and inalienable rights." The Iranian representative added, "We have repeatedly rejected the internal clashes in the Palestinian territories and have invited all the Palestinian groups to settle their differences through dialogue and on the basis of inclusion and cooperation rather than exclusion and confrontation."

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said, "If the history is of any guide, efforts by any faction in Palestine to exclude the others are doomed to fail.

"Nor Fatah with its long history of resistance against occupation and its popularity among the Palestinian people can be neglected." Sadeqi stated, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has constantly expressed its concern over the dire consequences of the sanctions and blockades imposed by certain quarters against the Palestinian people for exercising their democratic rights.

"Sadly, the international community's failure to address the Palestinian genuine cause, and the flagrant interference of certain powers in the internal Palestinian affairs, has led to the recent unfortunate events."

"The Palestinian Question lies at the heart of the Middle East crisis. Undoubtedly, a durable peace in Palestine and the Middle East will only be possible through justice, full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people, end to discrimination, end to occupation of Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese territories, the return of all Palestinian refugees, and a democratic mechanism through which all inhabitants of Palestine as well as Palestinians driven out of their homeland would have the possibility to determine their future in a democratic and peaceful fashion."

Sadeqi said, "Before concluding, I would like to place on record that my delegation rejects the baseless allegations and distortions raised against Iran in the Council today by the representatives of the Zionist regime and the US.

"These are but a preposterous, and indeed tired, practice to distract the international community's attention from the criminal policies and abhorrent atrocities of the Zionist regime in Palestine and elsewhere in the region.

"It is evident that no amount of slander, deception or smear campaign by the Zionist regime can cloud the obvious fact that this regime poses the sole and the most real, serious and urgent threat that the world and the region are facing today and should be countered by the international community urgently."

... Payvand News - 8/31/07 ... --

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