Zahra Ershadi, Iranian deputy permanent representative to the United Nations Photo IRNA

NEW YORK—Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi said illegal and inhumane, unilateral, coercive U.S. measures have targeted innocent Iranian citizens by freezing Iran’s assets in foreign banks.

“Even in times of the deadly coronavirus, the United States’ illegal and inhumane unilateral coercive measures have targeted innocent Iranian citizens by freezing our assets in foreign banks—the assets which we desperately wanted to use for … humanitarian needs,” said Ambassador Ershadi.

In a statement on “Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations,” she continued, “The nature and extent of humanitarian situations have changed dramatically, as new dimensions have emerged over the course of decades. As a result, the international community has faced evolving challenges as it works towards addressing these emergencies in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.

With an increasing number of people suffering from the impacts of natural disasters, the extent and frequency of such occurrences have in addition to hindering the development of disaster-stricken countries—eroded the capacity to address events of such nature. Humanitarian emergencies also occur as a result of ever-increasing armed conflicts and targeting of innocent civilians. Hence, we concur with the Secretary-General that ‘humanitarian needs soared in 2020, propelled by conflict, climate change and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.’”


But she added, “In the same vein, any humanitarian crises or emergencies, especially those that have been advertently created under a specific and hidden political agenda, must not lead to any foreign intervention under the pretext of responsibility to protect.”  

“We strongly condemn situations wherein the humanitarian needs of populations in dire needs are taken hostage as a political mean or military tool, including by imposing blockades to starve to death civilians,” said the Iranian official.

“There are many humanitarian crises around the world that require our swift attention. Regarding the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, as winter approaches and the situation of the Afghan people continues to deteriorate, the timely provision of humanitarian assistance and the release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets, which are essential for reviving its economy and saving lives, should in no way be politicized or conditional. Therefore, every effort should be made to ensure that the countries hosting Afghan refugees, especially its neighbors, have unhindered access to humanitarian goods,” said the Iranian ambassador.

“With regards to Palestine, in particular the besieged Gaza strip, we note with great concern the obstacles and impediments created by the occupier regime in Palestinian territories on the movements, humanitarian access and operational space as contained in the Secretary-General’s report. Since 2000, nearly 2,200 Palestinian children have been killed. During the same period of time, 18,500 Palestinian children have also been arrested,” she observed.

Source: IRNA