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Islamic Republic of Iran

  • State
  • Acknowledged harm
  • Committed to action

Iran has acknowledged the harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA) and has participated in the process toward a political declaration on EWIPA use.


As a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Iran aligned with World Humanitarian Summit Core Commitments to ‘Uphold the Norms that Safeguard Humanity’ in May 2016, including the commitment “to promote and enhance the protection of civilians and civilian objects, especially in the conduct of hostilities, for instance by working to prevent civilian harm resulting from the use of wide-area explosive weapons in populated areas, and by sparing civilian infrastructure from military use in the conduct of military operations.”[1]

In October 2018, Iran was one of 50 states to endorse the joint statement on the use of EWIPA at the UN General Assembly First Committee, calling attention to the devastating and long-lasting humanitarian impacts of the use of EWIPA and urging states to reverse the trend of high levels of civilian harm.[2]

Political declaration

During the consultations toward a political declaration on the use of EWIPA in 2019, Iran called for the declaration to consider the use of EWIPA by non-state actors.[3]

In the 2020 consultations, Iran emphasised that the declaration should be in line with the UN Charter. Iran also focused heavily on the preservation of international humanitarian law (IHL), emphasising that the political declaration must not weaken IHL by being selective in references or abbreviating or restating it. Iran said that the use of EWIPA in cities undermines IHL. It also noted that since not all states are parties to the protocols of the Geneva Conventions, they should not be included in the political declaration. Iran argued that the political declaration should replace references to the UN Security Council with the UN General Assembly. Iran also called for the political declaration to reflect the increase by some states in the use of private military and security companies (PMSCs), noting that this is of grave concern.[4]


[1] Agenda for Humanity. ‘Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’.

[2] Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations (2018). ‘UNGA73 First Committee Joint Statement on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA)’.

[3] Reaching Critical Will (2019). ‘Towards a Political Declaration on the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas: States Need to Ensure that Expressed Commitments Translate into Real Impacts on the Ground’.

[4] Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will (2020). ‘Impacts, not Intentionality: The Imperative of Focusing on the Effects of Explosive Weapons in a Political Declaration’.


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