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Iran’s ambassador to the UN called for an end to the unilateral sanctions which he said have impeded Syria's reconstruction efforts and hampered humanitarian aid delivery in various ways, even delaying the return of refugees and displaced persons.

In comments at a UN Security Council meeting on “The situation in the Middle East: (Syria)”, held in New York on Friday, Majid Takht Ravanchi deplored the illegal sanctions against Syria for hampering the Syrian government's ability to achieve economic and social stability and improve the living conditions of Syrians.

What follows is the full text of his statement:

“In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Madame President,

I thank the briefers for their briefings.

Conflict, foreign intervention, terrorism, and occupation have wreaked havoc on the Syrian people for over a decade. Unilateral sanctions have also exacerbated economic and humanitarian crises in Syria in recent years.

Despite the fact that resolution 2585 supports early recovery and reconstruction projects, as well as the provision of basic services, unfortunately, continued unilateral sanctions have stymied the resolution's implementation, impeding Syria's reconstruction efforts and hampered humanitarian aid delivery in various ways, even delaying the return of refugees and displaced persons.

Furthermore, these illegal measures have also hampered the Syrian government's ability to achieve economic and social stability and improve the living conditions of Syrians.

It is irresponsible, immoral, and illegal under international law to use unilateral sanctions to starve Syrian civilians.

These illegal and disruptive measures must immediately end. Claiming to care about the difficult humanitarian situation in Syria while backing and imposing unilateral sanctions against the Syrian people is hypocritical.

We support the Syrian government's full cooperation with the United Nations and numerous humanitarian organizations involved in cross-line aid delivery as a safe and legal method to help the people in need. Under the current circumstances, the provision of humanitarian aid is critical, and political circumstances should not be allowed to stymie humanitarian aid. In this context, full respect for Syria's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national unity must be observed.

We also reiterate that the cross-border aid delivery mechanism is an exceptional temporary measure imposed by certain circumstances and that humanitarian aid to those in need must be delivered in cooperation and coordination with the Syrian government and from within the Syrian territory. This will help prevent aid from being diverted to terrorist groups.

We applaud Syria's government, UN agencies, and humanitarian partners for continuing to expand the scope and frequency of humanitarian relief operations. In this regard, we commend the Syrian government's efforts in facilitating the passage of a fourth UN convoy from Aleppo to northwest Syria earlier this week.

We also welcome the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs' three-day visit to Syria on 17 May, as well as her meeting with Syrian officials.

We reaffirm our commitment to Syria's sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence and its efforts to combat terrorism.

We strongly condemn Israel's continued occupation of the Syrian Golan as well as its repeated violations of Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity, particularly those targeting civilians and civilian objects. We demand that the Security Council hold this regime accountable for such acts of aggression and malice.

Moreover, the illegal presence of foreign forces in parts of Syria, which has created ideal conditions for terrorist activities, must end immediately.

And finally, we support the initiatives to facilitate the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons and are willing to provide assistance for the success of such endeavors. Any initiative on Syria must be supported by the Syrian government and the UN and respect Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

I thank you”

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