On September 25, Iranian president Mahmood Ahmadinejad addressed the General Assembly of the UN. Here we reprint a slightly abridged translation of text of his address.
In the Name of God, the Almighty...
Mr Chairman, honourable delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased and grateful to the Almighty to have the opportunity once again to attend this important universal forum.
In the present tumultuous world and predominance of loud outcries, threats and tensions, and in a time when the big powers are unable to solve present problems, when mistrust in regional and international arenas is on the rise, when psychological security of societies is being targeted by an onslaught of political and propaganda designs, and disappointment prevails over efficacy of policies and actions of international organizations to establish durable peace and security, and the protection of human rights is being weakened, I plan to explain the ways out of these predicaments and some of the main challenges facing our world. I will also speak to you about the need to amend the present situation, prospects for a brighter and more hopeful future, and about the reappearance of the sublime and beauty, kindness and dignity, justice and blossoming of all divine human talents and dominance of love of God and realization of the promise of God as stated by of all divine prophets and righteous men. I will then put to your judgment the nuclear issue of Iran as a reality and testing ground for measurement of honesty, efficacy, steadfastness and victories. In the closing part of my address, I will offer my proposals.
Dear friends and colleagues, as you are all aware, we are presently facing numerous important and diverse challenges, to some of which I will refer.
1. Organised attempts to destroy the institution of family and to reduce the status of women:
The family is the most sacred and valuable human institution; it serves as the centre of the purest mutual love and affection of mothers, fathers and children, a safe environment for raising and cultivating human generations, and a fertile ground for blossoming of sentiments and emotions. This institution has always been respected by all countries, religions and cultures.
Yet today we are witnessing an organized invasion by the enemies of humanity and its plunderers to tear down this institution. They target this noble institution by promoting lewdness and violence, and by breaking the boundaries of chastity and decency.
The precious existence of women as the expression of divine beauty and peak of kindness, affection and purity has been the target of heavy exploitation in recent decades by the holders of power and owners of media and wealth. In some societies this beloved being has been reduced to a mere instrument of publicity, and all boundaries and protective shields of chastity, purity and beauty have been trampled. This is a colossal betrayal of human society, of succeeding generations, and a severe blow to the social fabric.
2. Terrorism, occupation and violations of human rights
Human rights are being extensively violated by certain powers, especially those who pretend to be their exclusive advocates. The setting up of clandestine prisons, abductions, trials and secret punishments without any regard to due process, listening to telephone conversations, opening private letters and issuing frequent summons to police and security centres have become commonplace. Scientists and historians are prosecuted for stating their opinions on important global issues. Various pretexts are used to distract attention and cause chaos and divisions; then the resulting situation is used as an excuse to continue an occupation.
For more than sixty years Palestine has been under occupation of the illegal Zionist regime, as compensation for the losses the Jews incurred in the war in Europe. The Palestinians have been displaced, or are under heavy military pressure and economic siege, or are incarcerated in abhorrent conditions. The occupiers are protected and praised, while people of Palestine are subjected to political, military and propaganda onslaughts. Palestinians are deprived of water, electricity and medicine for the sin of demanding their freedom, and their government that has been established by the votes of the people is targeted. Terrorists are being organized to attack the lives and property of people, under the auspices of politicians and military officials of the big powers. The Zionists perpetrate targeted assassinations of Palestinians in their homes and cities, and terrorists receive medals of peace and support from the big powers. A number of deprived Jewish people have been gathered from various parts of the world with false propaganda under the pretext of providing them with welfare, jobs and food, and settled in the occupied territories under harsh restrictions, psychological pressures and constant threats. These people are prevented from returning to their own lands, and by use of force and false propaganda are made to show hatred towards the indigenous Palestinians.
Iraq was occupied under the pretext of overthrowing a dictator who had weapons of mass destruction. The dictator, who had been supported by the same occupiers, was disposed of, and no WMDs were discovered, but the occupation continues with varying excuses. No day passes without people being killed, wounded or displaced, and occupiers not only refuse to be accountable and ashamed, but speak in a report of a new market for their armaments as the result of their military venture. They even oppose the constitution, national assembly and government arising from the votes of the people, while they do not even have the courage to accept their defeat and withdraw.
Unfortunately we are witnessing this bitter truth that some powers do not really value any other country or human beings; the only things that matter to them are themselves, their parties and groups. In their view, human rights are tantamount to profits for their companies and friends. The rights and the good name of the American people are also being sacrificed for the selfish desires of those holding power.
3. Aggressions against indigenous cultures and values
Culture is an expression of identity, the key to survival of peoples, and the foundation of their interaction with others. In an organized movement, indigenous cultures that are messengers of monotheism, love and fraternity are being subjected to broad and destructive aggressions. People’s customs and values are denigrated and the self-esteem and good character of nations are ridiculed and defamed. The purpose is to promote blind emulation, consumerism, scepticism toward God and values, and plunde of others’ wealth by the big powers.
4. Poverty, illiteracy, health deprivation and the gap between the poor and the rich
While a large part of the natural resources of Asia, Africa and Latin America is being plundered by certain powers, the situation of poverty and deprivation is very alarming. Here are some figures from the UN:
$Every day almost 800 million people go to bed hungry, and about 980 million suffer from absolute poverty, with less than one dollar a day in purchasing power.
$ People of 31 countries, equivalent to 9 percent of the world’s population, have an average life expectancy of 46 years, which is 32 years less than the average of some countries.
$ The ratio between the rich and the poor in some parts of the world is 40:1.
$ In some countries the majority of the people are deprived of access to education and schooling.
$ In many developing countries the maternal mortality rate during pregnancy is 450 per 100,000. This ratio is 7 times that of richer nations; the ratio of mortality of babies is 59 per 100,000 for developing countries and 6 for the richer nations.
$ One-third of mortality in the world, or 50,000 deaths daily, result from poverty.
I believe that these figures clearly demonstrate the tragic situation prevailing in the global economy.
5. Ignoring moral values and promotion of deception and lies.
Some powers sacrifice all human values, including honesty, purity and trust, for the advancement of their goals. They propagate scepticism and deception between states and peoples. They lie openly, level baseless charges against others, act contrary to legal norms, and damage the climate of trust and friendship. They openly abandon morality and ethics in their dealings with others, and substitute selfishness, power-abuse, enmity and imposition for justice, respect and courtesy, love, affection and honesty. They sacrifice all these good and sublime things for their own greed.
6. Violations of rules of international law and disrespect of commitments
Some who were themselves the drafters of international law openly violate it and apply discriminatory policies and double standards. They drafted disarmament regulations, but every day test and stockpile new generations of lethal weapons. They framed the Charter of the UN, but show disrespect to the right of self-determination and independence of sovereign nations. They conveniently abrogate their formal treaties, and do not obey laws concerning protection of the environment. Most of the violations of international obligations are committed by a few global powers.
7. Escalation of threats and arms race
Some powers, whenever their logic fails, simply use the language of threat. The heavy-arms race casts the shadow of threat over the globe. The peoples of Europe were the victims of two world wars and a number of other devastating conflicts, and then were subjected to the Cold War for many decades. Today Europeans are living under the shadow of threat, and their interests, security and lands are endangered by the arms race imposed by certain big powers.
A bullying power arrogates to itself the right to set up a missile system, makes the life of the peoples of a continent bitter, and lays the ground for an arms race.
Some rulers who appear to be powerful act like a child who has acquired a water-gun and feels powerful, so it starts shooting at anything, any time, threatens others and casts the shadow of insecurity over nations and regions.
8. Inefficacy of international mechanisms to prevail over these challenges and to bring durable peace and security.
International organizations and mechanisms clearly lack the ability to overcome these problems and challenges, and to put in place fair and just relations grounded in peace, fraternity and security. There is hardly any government or nation that has any hope in existing mechanisms to secure its rights or defend its independence, territorial integrity and national interests.
Dear friends and colleagues, the challenges are many more than the ones I have enumerated, and I know that you could present many more if you wanted to; but I chose to confine myself to the ones I have stated. Now, the important and decisive question is about the roots and causes of these challenges. A scientific and careful analysis shows that the root of the present situation lies in two fundamental factors. Without doubt the first factor is the situation arising from the consequences of the second world war. The victors of that war drew the roadmap for global domination and formulated their policies not on the basis of justice but to ensure their own interests in preference to those of the vanquished. Therefore mechanisms arising from this approach and related policies have not been able to find just solutions for global problems in the subsequent 60 years.
Some big powers still behave as if they were the victors of a world war, and regard other states and peoples (even those that had nothing to do with the war) as the vanquished, humiliating them and demanding tribute as if the latter were serfs and peasants in the feudal medieval age. They regard themselves as superior to others and are not accountable to any government or international body.
Among the ineffective organizations, the UN Security Council ranks first. It has created circumstances in which some powers, with exclusive and special rights to veto in the Security Council, act as prosecutor, judge and executioner, even when they are defendant or respondent. It is natural that countries that have been subjected to their infringements have no hope of getting anything they ask for from the Council.
Colleagues, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen: Among the ineffective organizations, the UN Security Council ranks first. It has created circumstances in which some powers, with exclusive and special rights to veto in the Security Council, act as prosecutor, judge and executioner, even when they are defendant or respondent. It is natural that countries that have been subjected to their infringements have no hope of getting anything they ask for from the Council.
Unfortunately humanity has witnessed that in all long wars, such as the Korean and Vietnam wars, the war of the Zionists against the Palestinians and Lebanon, the war of Saddam against the people of Iran and the ethnic wars of Europe and Africa, a member of the Security Council was one of the belligerents or supported one party, usually the aggressor, against another, or even caused the conflict where there had been none before. For instance, look at Iraq: they first occupied it and then received authorization from the Security Council, the Council in which the occupiers have the right of veto. So to whom should the people of Iraq complain, and where can they take their complaints with hope for help to secure their rights?
We saw in Lebanon that some powers delayed the decisions of the Security Council, hoping for the victory of the Zionist regime. However, when they became disappointed in that usurper regime’s victory, they approved a ceasefire. But the duty of the Security Council is to prevent the expansion of conflicts, to put in place ceasefires and promote peace and safety. Who should the people ofLebanon complain to; where should they take their grievances?
The presence of some monopolist powers has prevented the Security Council from doing its stated duties, which are safeguarding peace and security based on justice. The credibility of the council has been damaged and its efficacy in defending the rights of the UN’s members has been destroyed. Many countries have lost their confidence in the Council.
Other bodies, such as the monetary and banking institutions, are in the same undesirable situation and have been turned into tools for the imposition of the wishes of some powers on others. It is clear that these bodies are not capable of responding to our current needs, nor of meeting the challenges of establishing equitable and sustainable relations.
Again, there is no doubt that the second and more important factor is some powers’ disregard of ethics, morals and divine values, of the teachings of prophets and the directions specified by All-knowing God. How can the sinful who cannot even manage to control themselves rule humanity and arrange its affairs? Unfortunately they have put themselves in the position of God in human affairs. They are in servitude to their own whims and desire to have everything for themselves. For them human dignity and the lives, properties and lands of others are no longer important. Today, the problems that people around world face are mainly rooted in the disregard of divine values and human morality, and also in the dominance of the rebels against God.
The only sustainable way to the betterment of mankind is to return to the teachings of the prophets, to monotheism, to respect for the dignity of humans and the flow of love and affection in all relationships, ties and dealings. Then the structures must be reformed in accordance with these things. To fulfill this objective, I invite everybody to unite in a front of fraternity, amity and sustainable peace based on monotheism and justice under the name of “Coalition for Peace” to prevent incursions and arrogance, and to propagate the culture of affection and justice. I hereby announce that, with the help of all independent, justice-seeking and peace-loving peoples, the Islamic Republic of Iran will be treading on this path.
Monotheism, justice and love for humans should dominate all the pillars of the UN, and this organization has to be a reference for justice; every member of it has to enjoy equal spiritual and legal support. The General Assembly as the representative of the international community should be considered the most important pillar of the UN in order, free from any pressure and threats of big powers, to implement the required measures to reform the UN, and especially to change the present status of the Security Council. We must define new structures based on justice and democracy with the purpose of becoming responsive to the present requirements and able to settle existing challenges. This will eventually lead to the establishment of sustainable stability and security.
The nuclear issue of Iran is a clear example of the working of these bodies and of their motivations. As you all know, Iran is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has always observed its rules and regulations, and has had the most extensive cooperation with this Agency in all aspects. All our nuclear work has been completely peaceful and transparent. According to the Statute of the IAEA, any member has a number of rights and commitments. Actually, any member has to move on the peaceful path and, under the supervision of the Agency, assist other members; every member is entitled to be supported by the Agency and to have access to the fuel-cycle with the help the Agency and its other members.
So far Iran has fulfilled all its obligations; yet it has been deprived of other members’ technical assistance and, even during some periods of time, of the Agency’s support. For about five years some of the aforementioned powers have tried to deprive Iran of its rights by exerting pressures on IAEA. They derailed Iran’s nuclear issue from its legal path and politicized the atmosphere to impose their wishes, taking advantage of all their power.
Iran has spared no effort to reassure others. However, nothing can satisfy the arrogant controlling powers except the complete halt of all nuclear activities, even those related to academic research. Their only object is to deprive Iran of all its legitimate rights. So even those centres not involved in the fuel-cycle, or not in need of the supervision of the Agency, have been closed. After three years of negotiation and trying to build confidence, Iran has come to the conclusion that the main concern of these powers is not the possible deviation of Iran from the rules and regulations of the Agency, but its scientific progress. If this trend continues, there will be no chance for Iran to enjoy its rights, not even in the next twenty years. Therefore, it has decided to follow up the issue on its right legal path that goes through the Agency away from illegitimate and political impositions by the arrogant powers. Of course,Iran has always been ready for constructive talks.
Abusing the Security Council, the arrogant powers have repeatedly accused Iran and even made military threats against it during the last two years. However, thanks to its people’s faith in God and their unity, Iran has moved forward step by step and now is recognized as a country with the capacity for industrial-scale fuel-cycle production for peaceful uses.
Fortunately, the Agency has recently tried to regain its legal role as supporter of the rights of its members and supervisor of nuclear activities. We see this as a correct approach. Previously, they illegally wished to politicize Iran’s nuclear case, but today, thanks to the resistance of Iran, the issue is back at the Agency and I officially announce that in our opinion the nuclear issue of Iran is now closed. Today many questions have been raised on Iran’s nuclear activities within the IAEA by certain powers, which shall be examined properly. Iran has always been prepared to have constructive talks with all parties.
I would like to thank all the countries that, during this hard time, defended the legal rights of my nation and motherland. I also thank the members of the Non-Aligned Movement, our other friends in the Security Council, IAEA’s Board of Governors, the committed and law-abiding experts of the Agency and its Director General, for their insistence on the law. I would also like to announce that, unlike the monopolist powers, Iran is ready to offer to other members its experiences in the form of educational programmes, based on the obligations of the Agency’s statute and under its supervision.
Now I would like to address those who besieged Iran for about five years, and suspected, accused and insulted my people, who have contributed to the history and civilization of the world: I advise them to learn from their recent actions. They mistreated the Iranian nation, and have to be careful not to do the same with others, and not sacrifice the integrity of international organizations for their own unlawful wishes. Today the nations of the world are wide awake, vigilant and resistant. If you reform yourselves, the whole world will be reformed. Countries and peoples are inherently good and can co-exist peacefully. They should try to serve their own people, and be sure that others do not need them. Is it not high time for these powers to return from the path of arrogance and obedience of Satan to the path of Godliness?
Faith in God means believing in honesty, purity, justice and love. They can be sure that they will benefit from their purity, honesty, justice, love and respect for human dignity. They can be sure that such attributes are considered to be more appropriate, valuable and beautiful by every people and in every country of the world.
This is the invitation of all the prophets from Adam to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ and Muhammad, the Messenger of God (saw). If they accept the invitation they will be saved, and if they don’t the same things that befell the people of the past will befall them. According to the Qur’an:
“One who does not answer the divine call should not think that he has weakened God on earth; he has no companion but God and he is clearly engulfed by darkness.”
They have nothing of their own and cannot escape from the dominion of God and His will.
In this important gathering, I have to remind these powers of these words of the Almighty which are in the Qur’an:
“Do they not look at the powers and governments which came before them? If the people of the past had actually possessed something, they would have kept it and would not have let you the possess it now. God destroyed them because of their sins and nobody could protect them against the will of God.”
They have to know that the ways and traditions based on oppression and injustice will eventually be destroyed. Do they not see the signs of vigilance and resistance based on monotheism, philanthropy and the justice-seeking spirit of the peoples of the world? Do they not notice the imminent fall of empires? I hope that this invitation will have a practical answer.
Peoples and countries do not have to accept the injustices of certain powers. These powers have lost the right to lead the world because of their hideous acts. I officially declare that the age of relations arising from the legacy of the second world war, as well as materialistic thoughts based on arrogance and domination, is now over.
Humanity is passing a precipice; the age of monotheism, purity, respect, justice and true peace and love is dawning.
It is God’s promise that the truth will be victorious and that the earth will be inherited by the righteous. You who are free, believers and the peoples of the world, put your trust in God. You who crave for high values wherever you are, try to prepare the ground for the fulfilment of this great divine promise by serving the people and promoting justice.
The age of darkness will end, prisoners will return home, occupied lands will be freed, Palestine and Iraq will be liberated from the domination of occupiers, and the people of Europe will be free of the pressures exerted by the Zionists. Tender-hearted and humanity-loving governments will replace aggressive and domineering ones. Human dignity will be regained. The pleasing aroma of justice will permeate the world and people will live together in a brotherly and affectionate manner.
Striving in this way to give power to the righteous and the Promised One is actually the real, final cure for the wounds of humanity, the solution of all problems, and the establishment of justice and happiness all over the world. This belief and endeavour are the key to the unity [of humanity] and constructive interactions among nations, countries, the people of the world and all true justice-seekers.
Without any doubt the Promised One who is the final Saviour and the last heavenly message will come. In the company of all believers, justice-seekers and benefactors, he will establish a bright future and fill the world with justice and beauty. This is the promise of God, therefore it will be fulfilled. Let us do our part in the fulfilment of this wonderful destiny.
I wish for a bright future for all human beings, and the dawn of liberation and freedom for all humans, and the rule of love and affection all around the world, as well as the elimination of oppression, hatred and violence; this wish, I think, will be realised in the future.