Iran's Foreign Minister stated that the Islamic Republic is proud to have stood by the oppressed people of Bosnia and Herzegovina since its independence.

Iran PressIran news: In a message to a ceremony commemorating the 26th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre,  Mohammad Javad Zarif said: "On the 26th anniversary of the genocide of thousands of innocent people from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the horrific crime of Srebrenica, I salute the high spirit of those martyrs and express my sympathy and solidarity with the government and people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially their bereaved families."

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is proud to have stood by the oppressed people of Bosnia and Herzegovina since the beginning of its independence, and has spared no assistance in this regard, as well as to support the independence, territorial integrity, and is still committed to the peaceful coexistence of all ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina," he said.

Iran's top diplomat went on to say, "The events of July 1995 are one of the darkest chapters in the contemporary history of mankind. Although this incident should not be the source of hatred between nations, it should never be forgotten."

"The commemoration of this genocide reminds the international community of the need for a commitment to justice, non-violence, and a sense of responsibility in defending the oppressed, and calls on the international community, especially the human rights and democracy advocates, to adhere genuinely to genuine human values," he stated.

Elsewhere in the message, Zarif said: "Although the rulings of the Former Yugoslavia War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY) and the International Criminal Court (IRMCT) are important steps towards justice, Srebrenica remains a wound on the conscience of humanity that many of the victims' survivors, Srebrenica mothers, and refugees, suffer from"

"We share in the grief of the families of the victims of Srebrenica, who have worked tirelessly for twenty-six years to seek justice, and we are committed to preserving the memory of the victims of this tragic event to prevent it from being forgotten and denied."

Expressing sympathy with the victims, the message concluded, "I once again pay tribute to the high spirit of the oppressed martyrs of Srebrenica and wish them and their late leader, the late Ali Ezzat Begovic, mercy, and for the government and people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, security, progress, and pride, and I emphasize that the will The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to developing relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina in all areas."

Nineteen newly identified victims were honored and buried Sunday in Bosnia as thousands gathered to commemorate the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, Europe's only acknowledged genocide since World War II.

The slaughter of more than 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks, most of the men and boys, by Bosnian Serb forces was commemorated in speeches, prayers, and song, followed by the reburial of victims whose remains were found in mass graves and recently identified through DNA analysis.

The Srebrenica killings were the bloody crescendo of the 1992-95 war in Bosnia, which came after the break-up of Yugoslavia unleashed nationalistic passions and territorial ambitions that set Bosnian Serbs against the country's two other main ethnic factions — Croats and Bosniaks.

The massacre has been declared a genocide by international and national courts, but Serb leaders in Bosnia and neighboring Serbia continue to downplay or even deny it despite the irrefutable evidence of what happened.