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UN, Member States Condemn Israeli Strike On Iranian Consulate In Damascus

03.04.2024 05:42

'The inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and personnel must be respected in all cases in accordance with international law,' says senior UN official.

The UN and its member states on Tuesday condemned Israel's attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria's capital while the US accused Iran of targeting Israeli and US facilities.

"The inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and personnel must be respected in all cases in accordance with international law," Mohamed Khaled Khiari, Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, told a UN Security Council meeting.

Khiari highlighted that there have been a growing number of deadly assaults on Iranian targets in Syria which have been linked to Israel, particularly since Oct. 7.

"Open sources have reported at least a dozen such attacks since the beginning of this year," he noted as he called on all parties to "prevent further escalation and the worsening of tensions that undermine regional peace and security."

At the session, Russian envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzia reminded that Israel's military operation in the occupied Palestinian territories is continuing, despite the UN Security Council recently passing a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"We are extremely concerned by such blatant disregard by the Israeli authorities with the connivance of the United States for a legally binding decision of the Council," he stressed.

Nebenzia criticized the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, deeming any assaults on diplomatic premises protected by the Vienna Conventions of 1961 and 1963 unacceptable.

He called on the international community to "unequivocally condemn Israel's reckless actions."

Red line of international law breached time and again: China

Eleven people, including three Syrians and a Lebanese national, were killed in the attack on the Iranian consulate. Among the casualties were two generals of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the Quds Force commander in Lebanon and Syria, and his deputy, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, along with five military advisers.

Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, also condemned the Israeli attack.

"The red line of international law and the basic norms of international relations have been breached time and again, and the moral bottom line of human conscience has been crushed time and time again. Such a situation, such a tragedy must stop immediately," he said.

He demanded an immediate halt to such attacks and urged influential countries to play a constructive role in achieving an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and restoring peace and stability in the Middle East.

Iran's charge d'affaires, Zahra Ershadi, called on the Council to "vehemently condemn this unjustified criminal act and terrorist attack."

Ershadi denounced Israel's persistent atrocious acts against the people of Gaza, despite calls for a cease-fire and UN resolutions, showing disregard for international obligations.

"The US is responsible for all crimes committed by the Israeli regime," she said, adding "the savage and genocidal acts in Gaza could not be happening without explicit consent and comprehensive political, financial and military support as well as partnership from the US."

Syria's permanent representative to the UN, Qusay Al-Dahhak, echoed the Iranian envoy, saying the attack would not have happened if Israel did not have the "blind support of the United States."

Meanwhile, Robert Wood, the deputy US ambassador to the UN, said the US had no involvement in Monday's attack in Syria and had no prior knowledge of it.

Saying that the US continues to gather information about the attack, Wood said: "As we gather details, one thing is clear. Iran and its proxy and partner groups need to avoid escalating tensions in the region."

He noted that Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime and Iran had targeted Israeli and US facilities and personnel, adding they would not refrain from protecting themselves. -

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