Illicit small arms trade fuels crime and terrorism

Iran’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations said the illicit trade in small arms not only exacerbates violence in all its forms, but also fuels crime and terrorism around the world.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks in an address Monday at the General Assembly’s high-level meeting for the assessment of the United Nations Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons.

“We share the concerns about the humanitarian, socio-economic and security consequences of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and their diversion to unauthorized recipients,” the Iranian envoy told the UN, adding that the “Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” (PoA) is the only universal framework to address these multifaceted challenges.

“As a victim of foreign-backed terrorists and facing the threat of organized crime and drug trafficking linked to the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, the Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to the Program of ‘action and calls for ensuring its balanced, effective and comprehensive implementation, including by identifying and addressing the challenges of its implementation, ”Takht-Ravanchi said.

The Iranian envoy to the UN added that, according to the Platform for Action, “the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects sustains conflicts, exacerbates violence, contributes to the displacement of civilians, undermines the respect for international humanitarian law, hinders the delivery of humanitarian aid to victims of armed conflict and fuels crime and terrorism.

Takht-Ravanchi, however, warned that in all efforts to combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, the right of every country to manufacture, export, import and retain such weapons must be fully respected.

“In addition, the scope of these efforts by the [Security] The Council must limit itself to aspects linked to the serious harmful effects of the diversion and illicit trade in small arms and light weapons on the conflict concerned, ”he added.

The United States, United Kingdom and some other Western governments have been involved for years in the supply of weapons and weapons to conflict zones around the world, and particularly in West Asia.

Earlier this month, the US State Department approved the sale of $ 650 million in air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia to help Riyadh continue its protracted military aggression against Yemen.

The set would include 280 AIM-120C-7 / C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 596 LAU-128 Rail Missile Launchers (MRLs) as well as support equipment and spare parts.

In April 2019, the United States Congress voted for the first time to invoke the Powers of War resolution in an attempt to stop the United States from being involved in a foreign conflict. The congressional resolution ordered then-President Donald Trump to end his support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen. But Trump vetoed the measure, with Congress having no voice to override it. In July 2019, Trump vetoed three congressional resolutions banning billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched war on Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing back to power the government of former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement. The war has claimed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni lives and displaced millions more. It also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious disease. According to the UN, 80 percent of Yemen’s 30 million people need some form of assistance or protection. About 13.5 million Yemenis currently face acute food insecurity, according to UN data.

Ansarullah, backed by the Yemeni armed forces and allied popular groups, strengthened itself against the Saudi-led invaders and successfully defended Yemen against aggression, leaving Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the county.

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