TEHRAN – Imposing sanctions as a political leverage is against humanitarian principles and reduces the ability of governments to deal with natural disasters, Zahra Ershadi, Iran’s ambassador and deputy representative to the United Nations said at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
To tackle environmental challenges in West Asia, Iran — with agencies related to the United Nations — will convene an International Conference on Combating Sand and Dust Storms in 2023, she said.
Iran considers unilateral sanctions as one of the main obstacles to international efforts to provide humanitarian aid, and at the same time, these sanctions are one of the main causes of humanitarian crises around the world. We strongly condemn the imposition of unilateral sanctions by some countries and their use as political leverage, she stated.
She voiced concern over the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and Yemen, including the massive influx of displaced Afghans to neighboring countries.
She stressed that humanitarian crises must not lead to foreign intervention, including under the pretext of the responsibility to protect. While West Asia is prone to a variety of disasters, such as earthquakes, droughts, and floods, Iran has suffered tremendously from the additional weight of unlawful and illegal unilateral sanctions.
On the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, she stressed that, as winter approaches and the situation of the Afghan people — especially women, girls, and children — continues to deteriorate, the timely provision of humanitarian assistance and release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets should in no way be politicized.
Throughout history, mankind has always struggled with natural disasters, which are exacerbating over time.
The Iranian plateau, with its location between two vast expanses of water as well as the intersection of the Eurasian plateau and Saudi Arabia, has always been exposed to numerous natural hazards and disasters.
Earthquake, as one of the main natural challenges, occasionally becomes the uninvited guest of Iranian homes. On the other hand, the existence of important rivers and water reservoirs in the country has also increased flood risk. About 2 percent of the earthquakes in the world occur in Iran but more than 6% of the victims of the world earthquakes during the 20th century, are reported from Iranian earthquakes.
According to UN surveys this year, the main natural disasters listed for Iran are drought, floods, and earthquakes. Subsidence is also a phenomenon that has emerged as one of the consequences of drought along with the aforementioned three challenges.
The country has been repeatedly exposed to sand and dust storms due to its presence in the arid and semi-arid part of the world, so in 2006-2007, the dust storms originating in Iraq and Syria affected Iran, haunting a wide area of the country so that it reached the central areas and southern slopes of Alborz and also included Tehran.
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