Statement by Sweden at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Middle East Reference No.: Statement by Sweden at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Middle East
National statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Meeting on the situation in the Middle East [Iran], 5 January 2018, New York.
Let me start by congratulating you, Mr President, for assuming the Presidency of the Council. I also welcome the new members of the Council and thank Assistant Secretary-General Tayé-Brook Zerihoun for his briefing.
We have closely followed recent developments in Iran. We condemn the excessive use of violence and the deplorable loss of lives. The Security Council has an essential preventive function and we should constantly consider means to follow up on early warnings in the most suitable and constructive manner, no matter what country is affected or which situation is involved. We do, however, have our reservations on the format and timing of this meeting.
For Sweden and the European Union, human rights have always been a core issue in our relations with Iran. Sweden unequivocally supports respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law everywhere around the world. The human right to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression must be respected. This must be the case in Iran as in any other country. The grievances aired in the protests should be listened to and the issues raised ought to be resolved through dialogue, as part of a democratic process.
We have noted President Rouhani's reaffirmation of the people's right to protest peacefully. We expect the Iranian authorities to respond to protests in full compliance with Iran's obligations under international human rights law.
In this regard, continued and close dialogue with Iran is of outmost importance. Sweden has been in contact with the Iranian authorities on recent developments. In the spirit of frankness and respect, we have made clear that we expect all concerned to refrain from the excessive and disproportionate use of force and to ensure and respect freedom of expression, including on the internet.
Human rights violations in Iran must be separated from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Sweden and the European Union are very clear on our full support for the agreement. Its continued implementation is of crucial importance. The agreement is ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme, which contributes to stability in the region and beyond. It significantly contributes to strengthening the global non-proliferation architecture.
Thank you Mr President.