Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation

The South African Government wishes to convey its condolences to the families of the victims as well as the Government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran following the attack on the consular section building of its Embassy in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Republic.

The South African Government views any attack on a diplomatic or consular establishment as a flagrant violation of international law that offers protection to diplomatic as well as consular representatives in a host state.

The principle of protection of diplomatic and consular premises and staff constitutes a basic principle of International Law, which is required for the orderly conduct of relations between states.

An attack of this nature, therefore, should be a matter of concern for the whole international community.

South Africa calls on the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council, to hold to account those who are responsible under the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter as well as the 1961 Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the 1963 Convention on Consular Relations and Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons of 1973.

Further, the attack was a violation of Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity which must be respected and upheld.

South Africa urges all parties to exercise restraint and not to exacerbate regional tensions.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.