Iran: 30th anniversary of Protocols additional to Geneva Conventions
On 30 October, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) together with the Strategic Research Centre and the International Legal Committee of the Expediency Council of Iran organized a round-table in Teheran to mark the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the two Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions. Prominent Islamic scholars and academics, members of parliament, representatives of the Iranian armed forces, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran took part.
Since the two Additional Protocols are currently being considered by the Iranian parliament, this meeting provided an opportunity to exchange views and to stress the importance of the 1977 Protocols in strengthening protection for civilians and limiting the harmful effects of armed conflict.
"The Additional Protocols have been accepted by a large number of States, but not all," said Peter Stocker, head of the ICRC delegation in Teheran. "It is essential that they attain universal adherence in order to ensure compliance by all warring parties with the obligations they lay down."
Additional Protocol I limits the means and methods of warfare in international armed conflicts, while Additional Protocol II applies to internal armed conflicts. It was stressed at the round-table that many of the Protocols' provisions are now customary rules and therefore binding on all States regardless of their treaty commitments. In his remarks, the deputy head of the Strategic Research Centre of the Expediency Council, Mr Ali Younesi, concluded that the two Protocols are in accordance with Islam and that there are no religious or legal obstacles in Islamic jurisprudence to compliance with these international instruments.
The ICRC expressed its willingness to do everything it could to facilitate the process of accession by Iran to the two Protocols.