Iranian Envoy Urges End to Looting Syria's Oil
TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi called for lifting sanctions against Syria and stopping the plundering of the country's oil.
The Syrian people have suffered greatly from one of the gravest humanitarian situations in the world for over 10 years, Ershadi said, addressing the UN Security Council on 'The situation in the Middle East (Syria – Humanitarian)' on Wednesday.
She pointed out that unfortunately, “people are suffering more now than they ever have” as USG Martin Griffiths has been told by Syrians and humanitarian workers during his recent visit to Syria.
Ershadi said the international community has a serious political, moral and ethical responsibility to address this dire situation.
"The visit of the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator to Syria, enabling him to collect firsthand information as well as to assess actual situation on the ground, was a welcome act," the Iranian envoy added.
She underscored that it is promising that, according to his account, he was encouraged by his discussions with the Syrian Government’s officials and by subsequent developments on the ground, including the first humanitarian cross-line operation into Syria’s North West since 2017.
"We value all efforts to make this happen, including the preparations by the Syrian Government and the cooperation of the humanitarian community," Ershadi said. "More importantly, we salute the dedication of a Syrian soldier who lost his life while demining to clear the road for humanitarian convoy."
The Iranian ambassador also said that the transfer of humanitarian aid to Daraa, with the cooperation of the Syrian Government, is also an important development.
She further pointed out that as the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator has been notified by the humanitarian community, the humanitarian and socioeconomic situation continues to deteriorate and there is an “urgent need for recovery assistance and improved basic services”.
"This underlines the importance of the full and effective implementation of resolution 2585, through which the Security Council has called upon all Member States to respond with practical steps to address the urgent needs of the Syrian people," Ershadi said.
She went on to assert that through that resolution, the Council has also stressed that such efforts must include supporting “essential services through water, sanitation, health, education, and shelter early recovery projects”.
"In this context, we welcome the statement of the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator that “we must dramatically increase our early recovery assistance," Ershadi said.
The Iranian envoy reiterated that however, it is disappointing that, according to him, “needs in Syria keep growing while funding keeps shrinking”.
She said that this means financial contributions for humanitarian activities in Syria must increase, but this alone is not enough.
Ershadi further said that therefore, efforts for early recovery projects and reconstruction must be redoubled and expedited; unilateral sanctions, which have a devastating role in aggravating the humanitarian situation, must be removed fully and immediately; the looting of Syrian oil and wealth must stop; water must not be weaponized; and the return of refugees and displaced persons must be facilitated.
"Further efforts must also be made to ensure that Syrians no longer need to rely on humanitarian aid," she added.
Ershadi underlined that the ultimate solution is, of course, ending the conflict, full withdrawal of all uninvited foreign forces, defeating terrorists, and ensuring Syria’s territorial integrity, unity and political independence.
"We hope that the recent positive developments as a result of the coordination and cooperation of the Syrian Government and the humanitarian community will yield further results and replace confrontational approaches with cooperation," she added.
The Iranian envoy concluded by saying that the touching story told by USG Griffiths of a four-year-old Syrian boy with leukemia, under treatment at a clinic in rural Aleppo, which “has no electricity, running water, or access to medication”, is only one example of the hardships faced daily by many Syrians.
The Syrian oil minister said in March that the US and its allied Takfiri terrorist groups are plundering oil resources in the war-stricken Arab country, revealing that Washington controls 90 percent of crude reserves in oil-rich Northeastern Syria.
“Americans and their allies are targeting the Syrian oil wealth and its tankers just like pirates,” Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Bassam Tomeh, told state-run and Arabic-language al-Ikhbariyah Syria television.