Iran Claims Property Rights in Antarctica, Boasts Military Plans » Explorersweb

In a televised broadcast last fall, Iran’s naval commander claimed Antarctica for the Islamic Republic.

“We have property rights there, and they belong to the [Iranian] public,” said Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani. “Our plan is to raise the flag there,” he said, adding that the regime is preparing to begin scientific and military projects on the continent.

The act would violate the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, which 12 original nations signed to protect freedom of scientific research on the continent, and protect its “peaceful use.” Demilitarization and maintenance of the status quo were other considerations.

Iran is not a member nation, and the Treaty does not address claims of sovereignty.

Iran’s ongoing military aggression on the world stage backdrops the claim. Late last month, Iran-backed militias attacked and killed three U.S. soldiers in Jordan. The strike drew prompt retaliation from American forces, which reported attacks on 85 targets throughout Iran and Syria, per PBS.

Funds not for Antarctica

In a contradictory gesture following Iran’s comments, the U.S. agreed to unfreeze $6 billion of Iranian funds in Qatari banks in exchange for the release of several prisoners. A Fox News correspondent asked a U.S. State Department spokesperson if Iran could use the released funds to build facilities in Antarctica.

“No. Iran’s funds held in Qatar may not be used for any activities in Antarctica,” the spokesperson said. “Those funds can only be used to purchase humanitarian goods, meaning food, medicine, medical devices, and agricultural products.”

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, however, reportedly said his nation would use the money “wherever we need it.”

Iran has also promised to increase its naval presence worldwide. Meanwhile, simultaneously, the U.S. has stacked naval assets near the country’s Persian Gulf coast.

Potkin Azarmehr, an expatriated Iranian activist attached to the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, expressed concern over the developments but doubted the regime’s ability to follow through.

“Everything in Iran is reminiscent of the USSR in its last days before collapse,” Azarmehr told Firstpost. “Ambitious but pointless plans by a state with completely wrong priorities. Unable to provide basic services to its people, bankrupt institutions but full of grandiose talk.”

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