Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Iran claims Antarctica; US State Department responds to safety challenge against global treaty

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Iran‘s Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Shahram Irani’s claims of ownership over Antarctica announced in a September broadcast (MEMRI TV) endanger the South Pole continent’s exclusivity and world security. “We have plans to raise our flag there and carry out military and scientific work”, declared the Iranian commander. The recent announcement extends equal depths of danger for the international communityAs expected, this unprecedented claim of Iran’s ownership of Antarctica is a pronounced threat to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, signed by twelve original consultative nations.The treaty recognises that Antarctica shall be exclusively used for peaceful and scientific purposes. However, Iran’s threats sought to shatter the landmark decision that once brought about international unity and cooperation. Following an Iranian-backed militia attack that led to the murders of three US soldiers in Jordan last month, the US State Department has responded to the prospect of an Iranian military base in Antarctica.

US State Department responds to Iran’s ownership of Antarctica

Fox News went as far as to question the State Department about the recent unloading of $6 billion of Iranian assets in Qatar and how it could possibly be used to set up a military base at the South Pole. A spokesperson came out with the firm response: “No”. Referring to Iran’s funds in Qatar, they ensured that “those funds can only be used to purchase humanitarian goods, meaning food, medicine, medical devices and agricultural products.”

Joe Biden‘s release of these Iranian funds was met with hostile disapproval as critics believed the move allowed access to resources leading up to the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, has previously claimed that Hamas is funded by Iran.

Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s President, spoke up against Biden’s administration’s constraints, declaring that the assets will be used “wherever we need it”.

Iran’s supposed property rights in the South Pole have been scrutinised by critics. Not only does the potential military base imagery breach the firmly held Antarctic Treaty, but it also raises international security concerns.

While Iran’s claims of its Antarctic ambitions pose a challenge to Biden’s administration, they severely seek to alter the geography of the icy world secured as a natural reserve so far, in turn extending a perilous threat promoting their well-established “trend of aggression across the globe”, as Target Tehran’s author Yonah Jeremy Bob puts it.Iran claims Antarctica; US State Department responds to safety challenge against global treaty

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