Iran declares Antarctica its property in direct challenge to Biden, global treaty

JERUSALEM — Iran’s Navy commander announced in a televised broadcast last fall that the regime owns Antarctica and will build a military operation in the South Pole.

‘We have property rights in the South Pole. We have plan to raise our flag there and carry out military and scientific work,’ Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said in late September, according to a translation by the Washington D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Iran’s naval saber-rattling is drawing new attention in response to the Iranian-backed militias that murdered three U.S. soldiers in Jordan last month.

Fox News Digital asked a U.S. State Department spokesperson if the recent American unfreezing of $6 billion in Iranian funds held in Qatar could be used by Iran to set up a base 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.’

Despite the clerical regime’s growing bellicosity in the Middle East and across the world, according to veteran Iran observers, the Biden administration released $6 billion in sanctions relief to Tehran’s rulers ahead of the Iran-backed Hamas massacre of 1,200 people Oct. 7 in southern Israel. Hamas slaughtered over 30 Americans during its invasion of Israel.

Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, who was sanctioned by former President Trump for his role in the two massacres of Iranian dissidents and protesters, disputed the Biden administration’s restrictions on the use of the $6 billion. Raisi taunted Biden’s White House, declaring his regime will use the massive cash infusion ‘wherever we need it.’

‘Iran’s future plans to try to expand its military presence and influence into the Antarctic would not only violate multilateral conventions on the issue, but continues the regime’s trend of aggression across the globe,’ said Yonah Jeremy Bob, author of ‘Target Tehran’ and a senior Jerusalem Post military and intelligence analyst.

‘Whether through terrorism on basically every continent or its rampant piracy in the maritime arena, the Islamic Republic continues to show why it is a danger to world stability and why Israel and the Mossad’s role in holding it back from nuclear weapons remains critical.’

‘Every time Tehran expands its tentacles into a new area to disrupt the rules-based order promoted by the West, the U.S. and its allies are given an additional opportunity to take the nuclear threat more seriously. Antarctica might seem a distant threat, but if the West acts as meekly as it did when Iran recently kicked out nuclear weapons inspectors, the Islamic Republic will only become further emboldened on other track,’ he added. 

Fox News Digital reported in February 2023 that the United States tracked warlike announcements by Iran’s navy chief that Tehran plans to establish a military presence at the Panama Canal. Iran deployed two military ships to Brazil at the time that were headed for the Panama Canal. 

In December, the Islamic Republic claimed it was building ‘smart’ cruise missiles for its navy arsenal.

‘It’s an arcane topic, but little lies between Iran’s coast outside the Persian Gulf and the eastern hemisphere side of Antarctica,’ Jennifer Dyer, a retired commander of U.S. Naval Intelligence, told Fox News Digital

‘In theory, Iran could claim an interest in Antarctica similar to India’s, Australia’s, New Zealand’s or Chile’s (or those of the U.K. and France, for that matter), with their island outposts in the southern hemisphere.

‘I can say that raising the flag at the South Pole doesn’t carry any implications in international law. The Antarctic Treaty (which became effective in 1961) has a specific provision that no action by any nation after 1961 can be the basis of a territorial claim on the continent.’

‘Iran isn’t a signatory to the treaty and might try to do frisky things in Antarctica,’ Dyer noted. ‘Those things wouldn’t be recognized by other nations, at least as matters stand now. The U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Japan, India, China and Russia are all signatories to the treaty, as are Brazil, and Argentina, Chile, Australia and New Zealand, the ‘jumping off’ nations closest to the continent.’

Potkin Azarmehr, an expert on Iran, told Fox News Digital, ‘Everything in Iran is reminiscent of the USSR in its last days before collapse. 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 talks’

Fox News Digital sent press queries to Iran’s Foreign Ministry and its U.N. mission in New York. 

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