Tuesday 31 October 2023 - 07:21

Iran Urges ICC to Prioritize Investigation into Gaza Tragedy

Story Code : 1092357
Iran Urges ICC to Prioritize Investigation into Gaza Tragedy
The Israeli regime’s criminal actions constitute the most serious international crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,Director-General for International Legal Affairs of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Ali Mousavi said in an address to the 78th session of the UN General Assembly on “Report of the International Criminal Court”, held in New York on Monday.

What follows is the text of his speech:

Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to thank the International Criminal Court (ICC) for preparing and submitting the report documented in A/78/322 which covers the relevant period.

I would also like to take the opportunity to commend the Judges, the Prosecutor, and the staff members of the Court for their dedicated efforts to put an end to impunity in the face of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.

The Court as an independent permanent judicial institution has an important role in pursuit of accountability for the most serious crimes of international concern.

The Rome Statute was indeed concluded based on the long-standing aspirations of the humankind for upholding justice and rule of law at the international level. The aforesaid aspiration was based on the premise that the establishment of a permanent Court would ensure that the perpetrators of the most serious crimes would not go unpunished and that impunity should be replaced by accountability.

Mr. President,

The Islamic Republic of Iran has constantly considered the efforts of the international community to punish the most serious international crimes in order to administer justice. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the gains and losses of the Court has been examining by the international community.

It is expected that the Court would insist on its primary mandate, observe the principles of independence and non-politicization, and make sure its judicial activities comply with the fundamental principles of international law.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has always declared that the Court should refuse the political manipulation, avoid selective and one-sided justice and double standard so as to prepare the solid ground for global trust and promotion of judicial justice in the world.

We strongly oppose any measures that attempt to influence the judicial and prosecutorial independence of the Court through political pressure. Such attempts constitute a clear violation of the rule of law. The Court's activities and judicial function must be conducted based on full respect to the core principles and values enshrined in the Statute, especially the principle of complementarity.

Mr. President

Nowadays, we are witnessing humanitarian crisis in the occupied territories of Palestine. The situation in Palestine with grave violations of international humanitarian law, including unlawful killings, forced displacement and transfer of civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure, intentional attacks against civilians, particularly children and women, disproportionate use of force, the bombardment of populated areas, hospitals and schools, and the use of starvation as a means of warfare, makes a global concern, which has been stipulated in the General Assembly resolution adopted on 27 October 2023.

Undoubtedly, these criminal actions constitute the most serious international crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court. It is highly expected that the Court would expedite its activities on situation in the Palestine which investigations have commenced on crimes under the Rome Statute committed since 13 June 2014 in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

My delegation strongly requests that the Prosecutor of the Court would provide any facilitation on the investigation in the situation of Palestine. It is demanded that the Court prioritizes investigation in this situation taking into account the recent catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza strip where hundreds of innocent children and women are being killed and slaughtered every day.

Mr. President,

With respect to judicial proceedings and investigations in the situation of Afghanistan concerning crimes committed, we deem appropriate that the Office of the Prosecutor take into consideration its previous findings in the situation of Afghanistan comprehensively; and that the Appeals Chamber judgment on 4 April 2023 amended the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber II in relation to crimes committed on the territory of Afghanistan since 1 May 2003, as well as the Court’s decision to investigate and prosecute crimes that have a nexus to the armed conflict in Afghanistan and are sufficiently linked to the situation and were committed in the period since 1 July 2002.

It is highly expected that those military forces who committed war crimes in Afghanistan, should be held accountable and face punishment.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, the Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates that the lack of genuine will to investigate crimes and prosecute those responsible in certain situations and cases weakens the credibility of the Court and the international criminal justice system. Given the significance that Iran attaches to the international criminal justice, the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran has had considerable activities in monitoring the developments and measures in international criminal law, particularly the issues related to the ICC.

The Islamic Republic of Iran as a signatory to the Rome Statute closely follows the activities of the ICC and in particular the situations of Afghanistan and Palestine.

I thank you, Mr. President.