Iranian ambassador: US actions 'illegal, unjustified'

UN Security Council convenes amidst mounting regional tensions

The United Nations Security Council convened to address escalating tensions across the Middle East, with officials urging for immediate de-escalation to prevent further conflict.

Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo highlighted the dire situation, stating, “the tensions that have engulfed multiple countries in the Middle East continue to rise,” emphasizing the risk of miscalculation amid “near daily incidents” in the region.

DiCarlo detailed recent escalations, including “some 165 attacks on United States facilities in Syria and Iraq,” which led to U.S. military responses. The drone attack in Jordan on Jan. 28 that killed three US service members and injured 40 others at a US base in northeast Jordan, followed by 85 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against reported Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Forces and affiliated groups by the U.S. on February 2.

Iran’s Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani condemned the U.S. actions, stating, “The US military action is illegal, unjustified and blatantly violates the basic norms and principles of international law, and the UN Charter.” Iravani accused the U.S. of destabilizing the region and urged for the respect of Iraq’s sovereignty.

Iraq’s Deputy Permanent Representative Abbas Kadhom Obaid Al-Fatlawi stressed the importance of de-escalation and the Security Council’s role in protecting state sovereignty, stating, “This Security Council must protect the territorial integrity of all States.” He criticized American attacks as violations of Iraq’s sovereignty.

Syria’s UN ambassador, Koussay Aldahhak, echoed concerns over U.S. policies, claiming they are based on “the same flimsy pretexts and misleading claims,” which only serve to perpetuate conflict and instability in the Middle East.

In defense, Robert Wood, U.S. ambassador and deputy permanent representative to the UN, justified the February 2 airstrikes as “necessary and proportional,” asserting they were in self-defense and aimed to prevent future attacks.

Barbara Woodward, UK ambassador to the UN, expressed support for the U.S. right to self-defense and highlighted the persistent threat of ISIS in the region, underscoring the UK’s commitment to counter-terrorism efforts in Iraq and Syria.

China’s Ambassador Zhang Jun criticized reliance on military solutions and urged for adherence to international law and diplomacy.

Russia’s ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia – whose country has been locked in a full-scale occupational war on Ukraine for the last two years – condemned the U.S. actions as “unlawful and irresponsible,” calling for international condemnation of these strikes.