Iran calls for clear distinction between mercenaries, volunteer fighters

TEHRAN, Oct. 18 (MNA) – Iran’s delegate at the 139th IPU Assembly in Geneva said Wed. that the definition of mercenary should not include volunteer fighters who do not have the nationality of the aggressors' side and decide to fight for non-personal interests.

Ali Najafi Khoshroudi, Spokesman for the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, spoke on behalf of Iran at the Wed. session of the IPU Committee on Peace and International Security in Geneva.

Talking on the topic “rejection of the use of mercenaries as tools to undermine peace and violate human rights', he said Iran is of the opinion that all sides to any armed conflict, be it international or domestic, must respect human rights and humanitarian international law, and they must be held accountable for their crimes under a fair trial.

Although mercenaries are not protected by the 1949 Geneva Convention, they must still be committed to respect war rules and human rights under the Convention and other human rights treaties, he added.

The Iranian delegate stressed that the so-called ‘privatization’ of wars has made it all the more necessary to find a new legal definition for what constitutes as a ‘mercenary’.

He maintained that in the new definition, the fighters’ non-personal interests, i.e. religious beliefs or solidarity with the oppressed people in the war, must be considered as a criterion to bring them under the protection of the 1949 Geneva Convention, which comprises the standards of international law for humanitarian treatment in war.

MS/IRN83069767

News Code 138815

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