US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statements on Israeli settlements show the United States’ complicity in Israel’s crimes in Palestine, likening the mentality of impunity to one that is over two centuries old, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday.
"It is better for the US Secretary of State to rid himself of 18th-century ideas when people in power saw themselves as above the law and international order. I assure you that in the 21st century, neither is the US considered the only power nor does anyone accept powerful countries' violations of international law", the minister said, as quoted by Iranian Mehr news agency.
Mousavi added that the new US decision highlighted the country’s support for Israeli’s occupation of and crimes in Palestine.
The minister has called the reversal of the position on Israeli settlements, held by every US president since 1978, to be a violation of international law. Specifically, Mousavi cited Article 49 of the Geneva Convention which prohibits occupying powers from transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
The West Bank, under the administration of the Palestinian Authorities, maintains its territory as delineated following the Six-Day War in 1967. Israeli civilians have been gradually settling in the area and developing communities under the protection and blessing of the Israeli state. The settlements, considered illegal by most of the international community, have seen an intensified expansion under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the past decade or so.