ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iran’s permanent representative to the UN on Tuesday denied the allegations that the country has been involved in the recent series of strikes on US troops in Iraq and Syria, and accused the US of invoking the self-defense article in the UN charter to justify its “illegal” presence in Syria.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US representative to the UN, in late October addressed a letter to the Security Council, reporting that US forces had carried out strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria in response to the ongoing attacks on American personnel in Iraq and Syria.
The US representative blamed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its affiliated militias for the recent spate of attacks on American troops, adding that the US strikes in eastern Syria were an exercise of their right to self-defense, as outlined by Article 51 of the UN charter.
Amir Saeid Iravani, Iran’s permanent representative to the UN, addressed a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, “categorically” rejecting the accusations.
“The allegations presented in the letter above are unfounded and are categorically rejected. The Islamic Republic of Iran has never been involved in any actions or attacks directed at the United States military forces in Syria and Iraq,” read the letter from Iravani.
Iravani stated that the US attacks in Syria violate international law and the UN charter, stressing that Washington needs to stop its “illegal occupation” in Syria, as its presence has been repeatedly rejected by Damascus. The representative also claimed that Iran was in Syria upon the official request of the Syrian government.
“The United States’ attempt to invoke and rely on the right to self-defense as per Article 51 of the UN Charter to legitimize its unlawful military actions targeting civilians and critical infrastructure in Syria lacks legal basis and validity. It is an arbitrary and incorrect interpretation of Article 51 of the Charter,” he added.
US troops in Iraq, the Kurdistan Region, and Syria, have been the target of a series of rocket and drone attacks by pro-Iran militias since mid-October, in response to Washington supporting Israel in its war against Palestinian Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The Pentagon has confirmed at least 38 attacks since October 17.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a network of shadow Iraqi militia groups purportedly backed by Iran and affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria.