The following is a transcript of remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 23 September 2010
(September 29, New York City, Sri Lanka Guardian) Mr. President,Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful to the Almighty God who granted me the opportunity to appear before this world assembly once again. I wish to begin by commemorating those who lost their lives in the horrible flood in Pakistan and express my heartfelt sympathy with the families who lost their loved ones as well as with the people and the government of Pakistan. I urge everyone to assist their fellow men and women as a humane duty.
Let me thank H.E. Mr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, the President of the sixty-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly, for all his efforts during his tenure. I also would like to congratulate H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss, the President of the sixty-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly and wish him all success. In the past years, I spoke to you about some of the hopes and concerns, including family crises, security, human dignity, world economy, climate change as well as the aspiration for justice and lasting peace.
After about one hundred years of domination, the system of capitalism and the existing world order has proved to be unable to provide appropriate solutions to the problems of societies and thus is coming to an end. I shall try to examine the two main causes of this failure and picture some features of the ideal future order.
a) Attitudes and Beliefs
As you are well aware, the divine prophets had the mission to call everyone to monotheism, love, and justice and show mankind the path to prosperity. They invite men to contemplation and knowledge in order to better appreciate the truth and to avoid atheism and egoism. The very nature of the message of all prophets is one and the same. Every messenger endorsed the messenger before him and gave glad tidings about the prophet to come, and presented a more complete version of the religion in accordance with the capacity of the man at the time. This continued up to the last messenger of God who presented the perfect and all-inclusive religion. In opposition to that, the egotist and the greedy stood up against this clear call, revolting against the message. Nimrod countered Hazrat Abraham, Pharaoh countered Hazrat Moses and the greedy countered Hazrat Jesus Christ and Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be upon them all). In the recent centuries, the human ethics and values have been rejected as a cause for backwardness. They were even portrayed as opposing wisdom and science because of the earlier infliction on man by the proclaimers of religion in the dark ages of the West. Man’s disconnection from Heaven detached him from his true self.
Man with his potential for understanding the secrets of the universe, his instinct for seeking truth, his aspirations for justice and perfection, his quest for beauty and purity and his capacity to represent God on earth was reduced to a creature limited to the materialistic world with a mission to maximize individualistic pleasures. Human instinct, then, replaced true human nature. Human beings and nations were considered rivals and the happiness of an individual or a nation was defined in collision with, and elimination or suppression of others. Constructive evolutionary cooperation was replaced with a destructive struggle for survival. The lust for capital and domination replaced monotheism which is the gate to love and unity.
This widespread clash of the egoist with the divine values gave way to slavery and colonialism. A large portion of the world came under the domination of a few western States. Tens of millions of people were taken to slavery and tens of millions of families were shattered as a result. All the resources, the rights and the cultures of the colonized nations were plundered. Lands were occupied and the indigenous people were humiliated and mass-murdered.
Yet, nations rose up, colonialism was alienated and the independence of the nations was recognized. Thus, the hope for respect, prosperity and security was revived amongst nations. In the beginning of the past century nice talks about freedom, human rights and democracy created hopes for healing the deep wounds of the past. Today, however, not only are those dreams not realized, but memories, even at times worse than before, have been recorded.
As a result of the two World Wars, the occupation of Palestine, the Korean and the Vietnam Wars, the Iraqi war against Iran, the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as many wars in Africa, hundreds of millions of people were killed, wounded or displaced. Terrorism, illicit drugs, poverty and the social gaps increased. The dictatorial and coup d’etat governments in Latin America committed unprecedented crimes with the support of the West.
Instead of disarmament, the proliferation and stockpiling of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons expanded, putting the world under a bigger threat. As a result, the very same old goals of colonialists and the slave masters were, this time round, pursued with a new facade.
b) The Global Management and Ruling Structures
The League of Nations and, then, the United Nations were established with the promise to bring about peace, security and the realization of human rights, which in fact meant a global management.
One can analyze the current governance of the world by examining three events:
First, the event of the 11th September 2001 which has affected the whole world for almost a decade. All of a sudden, the news of the attack on the twin towers was broadcast using numerous footages of the incident. Almost all governments and known figures strongly condemned this incident. But then a propaganda machine came into full force; it was implied that the whole world was exposed to a huge danger, namely terrorism, and that the only way to save the world would be to deploy forces into Afghanistan. Eventually Afghanistan, and, shortly thereafter, Iraq were occupied.
Please take note: it was said that some three thousands people were killed on September 11th, for which we are all very saddened. Yet, up until now, in Afghanistan and Iraq hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, millions wounded and displaced and the conflict is still going on and expanding.
In identifying those responsible for the attack, there were three viewpoints.
1- That a very powerful and complex terrorist group, able to successfully cross all layers of the American intelligence and security, carried out the attack. This is the main viewpoint advocated by American statesmen.
2- That some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime. The majority of the American people as well as other nations and politicians agree with this view.
3- It was carried out by a terrorist group but the American government supported and took advantage of the situation. Apparently, this viewpoint has fewer proponents. The main evidence linking the incident was a few passports found in the huge volume of rubble and a video of an individual whose place of domicile was unknown but it was announced that he had been involved in oil deals with some American officials. It was also covered up and said that due to the explosion and fire no trace of the suicide attackers was found.
There remain, however, a few questions to be answered:
1- Would it not have been sensible that first a thorough investigation should have been conducted by independent groups to conclusively identify the elements involved in the attack and then map out a rational plan to take measures against them?
2- Assuming the viewpoint of the American government, is it rational to launch a classic war through widespread deployment of troops that led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people to counter a terrorist group?
3- Was it not possible to act the way Iran countered the Riggi terrorist group who killed and wounded 400 innocent people in Iran. In the Iranian operation no innocent person was hurt.
It is proposed that the United Nations set up an independent fact-finding group for the event of September 11th so that in the future, expressing views about it is not forbidden.
I wish to announce here that next year the Islamic Republic of Iran will host a conference to study terrorism and the means to confront it. I invite officials, scholars, thinkers, researchers and research institutes of all countries to attend this conference.
Second is the occupation of the Palestinian territories. The oppressed people of Palestine have lived under the rule of an occupying regime for 60 years, been deprived of freedom, security and the right to self-determination, while the occupiers are given recognition. On a daily basis, the houses are being destroyed over the heads of innocent women and children. People are deprived of water, food and medicine in their own homeland. The Zionists have imposed five all-out wars on the neighboring countries and on the Palestinian people. The Zionists committed the most horrible crimes against the defenseless people in the wars against Lebanon and Gaza. The Zionist regime attacked a humanitarian flotilla in a blatant defiance of all international norms and kills the civilians.
This regime which enjoys the absolute support of some western countries regularly threatens the countries in the region and continues publicly announced assassinations of Palestinian figures and others, while Palestinian defenders and those opposing this regime are pressured, labeled as terrorists and anti-semites. All values, even the freedom of expression, in Europe and in the United States are being sacrificed at the altar of Zionism.
Solutions are doomed to fail because the right of the Palestinian people is not taken into account. Would we have witnessed such horrendous crimes if instead of recognizing the occupation, the sovereign right of the Palestinian people had been recognized? Our unambiguous proposition is the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homeland and the reference to the vote of the people of Palestine to exercise their sovereignty and decide on the type of governance.
Third is the nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is clean and cheap and a heavenly gift which is amongst the most suitable alternatives to cut the pollution emanating from fossil fuels. The Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allows all member States to use nuclear energy without limits and the International Atomic Energy Agency is mandated to provide member States with technical and legal support.
The nuclear bomb is the worst inhumane weapon and which must totally be eliminated. The NPT prohibits its development and stockpiling and calls for nuclear disarmament.
Nonetheless, note what some of the permanent members of the Security Council and nuclear bomb holders have done: they have equated nuclear energy with the nuclear bomb, and have distanced this energy from the reach of most of nations by establishing monopolies and pressuring the IAEA. While at the same time, they have continued to maintain, expand and upgrade their own nuclear arsenals.
This has entailed the following: not only the nuclear disarmament has not been realized but also nuclear bombs have been proliferated in some regions, including by the occupying and intimidating Zionist regime.
I would like here to propose that the year 2011 be proclaimed the year of nuclear disarmament and “Nuclear Energy for all, Nuclear Weapons for None”.
In all these cases the United Nations has been unable to take any effective course of action. Unfortunately, in the decade proclaimed as the “International Decade for the Culture of Peace” hundreds of thousands were killed and injured as a result of war, aggression and occupation, and hostilities and antagonism increased.
Ladies and Gentlemen, very recently the world witnessed the ugly and inhumane act of burning the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran is the Divine Book and the eternal miracle of the Prophet of lslam. It calls for worshipping the One God, justice, compassion toward people, development and progress, reflection and thinking, defending the oppressed and resisting against the oppressors; and it names with respect the previous Messengers of God, like Noah, Abraham, Isaaq, Joseph, Moses and Jesus Christ (Peace be Upon them all) and endorses them. They burned Quran to bum all these truths and good judgments. However, the truth could not be burned. Quran is eternal because God and truth are everlasting. This act and any other act which widens the gap and distances between nations is evil. We should wisely avoid playing into the hands of Satan. On behalf of the Iranian nation I pay respect to all Divine Books and their followers. This is the Quran and this is the Bible. I pay respect to both of them.
Esteemed Friends, for years the inefficiency of capitalism and the existing world management and structures has been exposed and the majority of States and nations have been on a quest for fundamental changes and for the prevalence of justice in global relations. The cause of the United Nation’s ineptitude is in its unjust structure. Major power is monopolized in the Security Council due to the veto privilege, and the main pillar of the organization, namely the General Assembly, is marginalized. In the past several decades, at least one of the permanent members of the Security Council has always been a party to the disputes. The veto advantage grants impunity to aggression and occupation; how could, therefore, one expect competence while both the judge and the prosecutor are a party to the dispute? Had Iran enjoyed veto privilege, would the Security Council and the IAEA Director General have taken the same position in the nuclear issue?
Dear Friends, the United Nations is the key center for coordinating the common global management. Its structure needs to be reformed in a manner so that all independent States and nations will be able to participate in the global governance actively and constructively.
The veto privilege should be revoked and the General Assembly should be the highest body and the Secretary-General should be the most independent official and all his positions and activities should be taken with the approval of the General Assembly and should be directed towards promoting justice and eliminating discrimination.
The Secretary-General should not come under pressure from powers and/or the country hosting the organization for his stating the truth and administration of justice. It is suggested that the General Assembly should, within one year and in the framework of an extraordinary session, finalize the reformation of the Organization’s structure.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has clear suggestions in this regard and stands ready to participate actively and constructively in the process.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I announce clearly that the occupation of other countries under the pretext of freedom and democracy is an unforgivable crime.
The world needs the logic of compassion and justice and inclusive participation instead of the logic of force, domination, unilateralism, war and intimidation. The world needs to be governed by virtuous people like the Divine Prophets. The two vast geographical spheres, namely Africa and Latin America, have gone through historic developments during the past decades. The new approaches in these two continents, which are based on increasing levels of integration and unity as well as on localizing growth and development models, have borne considerable fruits to the peoples of those regions. The awareness and wisdom of the leaders of these two continents has overcome the regional problems and crises without the domineering interference of non-regional powers. The Islamic Republic of Iran has expanded its relations with Latin America and Africa in all aspects in recent years.
And about the glorious Iran, the Tehran Declaration was a hugely constructive step in confidence building efforts which was made possible through the admirable good will by the governments of Brazil and Turkey along with the sincere cooperation of the Iranian government. Although the Declaration received inappropriate reaction by some and was followed by an unlawful resolution, it is still valid.
We have observed the regulations of the IAEA more than our commitments, yet, we have never submitted to illegally imposed pressures nor will we ever do so. It has been said that they want to pressure Iran into a dialogue. Well, firstly, Iran has always been ready for a dialogue based on respect and justice. Secondly, methods based on disrespecting nations have long become ineffective. Those who have used intimidation and sanctions in response to the clear logic of the Iranian nation are in real terms destroying the remaining credibility of the Security Council and the trust of nations for this body, proving once and again how unjust is the function of the Council.
When they threaten a great nation such as Iran which is known throughout history for its scientists, poets, artists and philosophers and whose culture and civilization is synonymous to purity, submission to God and seeking justice, how can they ever expect that other nations to have confidence in them? It goes without saying that domineering methods in managing the world has failed. Not only has the era of slavery and colonialism and dominating the world passed, the path to the reviving old empires are blocked, too.
We have announced that we stand ready for a serious and free debate with the American statesmen to express our transparent views on issues of importance to the world in this very venue. It is proposed here that in order to have a constructive dialogue, an annual free debate be organized within the General Assembly.
In conclusion, friends and colleagues, the Iranian nation and the majority of the world’s nations and governments are against the current discriminatory management of the world. The inhumane nature of this management has put it at a dead-end and requires a major overhaul. Reforming the world’s affairs and bringing about tranquility and prosperity requires the participation of all, pure thoughts and the divine and humane management.
We are all of the idea that justice is the basic element for peace, durable security and the spread of love among peoples and nations. It is in justice that mankind seeks the realization of his aspirations, rights and dignity, since he is wary of oppression, humiliation and ill treatment. The true nature of mankind is manifested in the love for other fellow humans and love for all the good in the world. Love is the best foundation for establishing relation amongst people and amongst nations.
As Vahshi Bafqi, the great Iranian poet, says:
“From the fountain of youth, drink thousand sips
You’ll still die if you don’t have love’s grip”
In making a world full of purity, safety and prosperity people are not rivals but companions. Those who see their happiness only in the sorrow of others and their welfare and safety only in others’ insecurity, those who see themselves superior to others, are out of the path of humanity and are in evil’s course. Economy and materialistic means are only some tools to serve others, to create friendship and strengthen human connections for spiritual perfection. They are not tools for show off or a means of dominating others.
Men and women complement each other and the family unit with pure, loving and long-lasting relations of the spouses. In its center is the guarantee for the continuity and the bringing up of generations, for true pleasures, for spreading love and for reforming of the societies. Woman is a reflection of God’s beauty and is the source of love and caring. She is the guardian of purity and exquisiteness of the society. The tendency to toughen the souls and behaviors of women deprives them of their very basic right of being a loving mother and a caring wife. It would result in a more violent society with irreversible defects.
Freedom is a divine right that should serve peace and human perfection. Pure thoughts and the will of the righteous are keys to the gates of a pure life full of hope, liveliness and beauty. This is the promise of God that the earth will be inherited by the pure and the righteous. And the people free from selfishness will take up the management of the world. Then, there will be no trace of sorrow, discrimination, poverty, insecurity and aggression. The time for true happiness and for the blossoming of the true nature of humankind, the way God has intended, will arrive.
All those seeking justice and all the free spirits have been waiting for this moment and have promised such a glorious time. The complete human, the true servant of God and the true friend of mankind whose father was from the generation of the beloved Prophet of Islam and whose mother was from the true believers of Jesus Christ shall wait along with Jesus the son of Mary and the other righteous to appear in those brilliant times and assist humanity. In welcoming them we should join ranks and seek justice.
Praise to Love and worship, praise to justice and freedom, praise to the true humanity, the complete human, the true companion of humankind and peace be upon you and all the righteous and the pure.