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Remarks by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the 65th UN General Assembly

| New York (USA)
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I am grateful to the Almighty God who has 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 expressing my heartfelt sympathy with the familieswho 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 Mr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, who presided over the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session, for all his efforts during his tenure. I also congratulate Mr. Joseph Deiss on being elected to preside over the current session, and wish him every success.

In past years, I have spoken to the Assembly about some hopes and concerns; some concerns involve family crises, the security challenge, disrespect for human dignity, the deterioration of the world economy, climate change and disregard for human aspirations to achieve justice and lasting peace.

After about a hundred years of domination, the capitalist system and the existing world order have proved to be unable to provide appropriate solutions to the problems of societies; thus their demise has come about. I shall try to examine several causes of this failure and picture features of an ideal order.

The first cause of failure relates to our attitudes and beliefs. As the Assembly is well aware, the divine prophets had the mission to call everyone to monotheism, love and justice and to show mankind the path to prosperity. They invite men to contemplation and to seek knowledge in order to better appreciate the truth and to refrain from atheism and egoism.

The essence 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, who presented a more complete version of the religion in accordance with man’s capacity at the time. This trend continued until the last messenger of God, who presented the perfection of an all-inclusive religion.

In opposition to the call by the prophets, the egoist and the greedy stood up against their clear call, revolting against their messages. Nimrod countered Hazrat Abraham, Pharaoh countered Hazrat Moses, and the greedy countered Hazrat Jesus Christ and Hazrat Muhammad — may peace be upon all our prophets.

In recent centuries, human ethics and values have been rejected as a cause of backwardness. They were even portrayed as opposing wisdom and science, because the proclaimers of religion in the dark ages of the West inflicted man with backwardness. Therefore, man’s disconnection from heaven has detached him from his true self.

Man — with his potential to understand the secrets of the universe, his instinct to seek truth, his aspirations for justice and perfection, his quest for beauty and purity, and his capacity to represent God on Earth — has been reduced to a creature restricted by the materialistic world with a mission to maximize individualistic pleasures. Human instinct, then, replaced true human nature.

Human beings and nations are considered rivals, and the happiness of an individual or a nation is upheld at the cost of others, to the point of even eliminating or suppressing others; rather than developing a constructive and evolutionary method of cooperation, it was replaced by a destructive struggle for survival. The lust for capital and domination replaced monotheism, which is the gateway to love and unity.

This widespread clash of the egoist with the divine values gave way to slavery and colonialism. A large part of the world came under the domination of a few Western States. Tens of millions of people were taken into 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 nations was recognized. Thus, the hope for respect, prosperity and security was revived among nations. In the beginning of the past century beautiful motives of 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 more bitter than before, have been recorded in our history.

As a result of the two World Wars, the occupation of Palestine, the Korean and Viet Nam wars, the Iraq 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 drug production, poverty and social gaps have increased. The dictatorial and coups d’état 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 pursued, but this time around with a new façade.

The second cause of the failure of the existing world order and capitalism has to do with the current global management and its ruling structures. The League of Nations and then the United Nations were established with the promise of bringing about peace, security and the realization of human rights, which in fact meant a global management.

One can analyse the current system for governance of world affairs by examining three events.

The first event is that of 11 September 2001, which has affected the whole world for almost a decade. We recall that at the time suddenly the news of an attack on the Twin Towers was broadcast using numerous footages of the incident. Almost all Governments and important figures strongly condemned this incident. But then a propaganda machine came into full force; it was implied that the whole world was now exposed to a huge danger — terrorism — and that the only way to save the world was to deploy forces into Afghanistan. Eventually Afghanistan and shortly thereafter Iraq were occupied.

I ask the Assembly please to take note: It was said that some 3,000 people were killed on 11 September, for which we are all very saddened. Yet so far in Afghanistan and Iraq hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, while millions have been wounded and displaced, and the conflict is still going on and expanding.

In identifying those responsible for the 11 September attack, there were three viewpoints. The first was that a very powerful and complex terrorist group, able to successfully cross all layers of American intelligence and security, carried out the attack. That is the prevalent viewpoint advocated by American statesmen.

The second viewpoint was that some segments within the United States Government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grip 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 around the world agree with this view.

The third viewpoint was that the attack was carried out by a terrorist group, but that the American Government supported and took advantage of the situation. Apparently, this viewpoint has fewer proponents.

The main evidence for that viewpoint links the incident to 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 suicide attackers was found.

Regardless of each of those three viewpoints, there remain a few questions to be answered.

First, 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?

Secondly, 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?

Thirdly, was it not possible to act in the way in which Iran conducted the operations fighting the Riggi terrorist group, who killed and wounded 400 innocent people? In the Iranian operation no innocent person was harmed.

It is proposed that the United Nations set up an independent fact-finding group in regard to the event of 11 September to ensure that the different views about it are not banned from future discussions.

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 the conference.

The second cause of the demise of the existing world order is the occupation of the Palestinian territories. The oppressed people of Palestine have lived under the rule of an occupying regime for 60 years, and have been deprived of freedom, security and the right to self-determination, while the occupiers are given recognition. On a daily basis, 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 neighbouring countries and on the Palestinian people. The Zionists committed the most horrible crimes against defenceless people in the wars against Lebanon and Gaza. The Zionist regime attacked a humanitarian flotilla in a blatant defiance of all international norms and killed civilians. This regime, which enjoys the absolute support of some Western countries, regularly threatens the countries in the region and continues publicly to announce the assassination of Palestinian figures, while Palestinian defenders and those opposing the regime are pressured, labelled as terrorists and called anti-Semites. All values, even the freedom of expression, which seem to matter so much in Europe and in the United States, and to be so important, have been 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 the occupation being recognized, the sovereign right of the Palestinian people had been recognized?

Our unambiguous proposition favours the return of the Palestinian refugees to their home land and a vote by the people of Palestine, all Palestinians, to exercise their sovereignty and decide on their type of governance.

The third cause of the demise of the existing order has to do with the outlook on nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is clean and cheap and a heavenly gift which is among the most suitable alternatives to cut pollution emanating from fossil fuels. The Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allows all States parties to use nuclear energy without limits, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is mandated to provide such States with technical and legal support.

The nuclear bomb is the worst inhumane weapon, and must be totally eliminated. The NPT prohibits its development and stockpiling, and calls for nuclear disarmament. Nonetheless, some permanent members of the Security Council and other nuclear Powers — those that possess the nuclear bomb — have resorted to the following measure. They have equated nuclear energy with the nuclear bomb, and have removed such energy from the reach of most nations by establishing monopolies and pressuring IAEA. At the same time, they have continued to maintain, expand and upgrade their own nuclear arsenals. The Assembly may have heard that in the current year the United States Administration has asked for $80 billion to maintain its nuclear bombs.

The situation that I have described has entailed the following: Not only has nuclear disarmament not been realized, but also nuclear bombs have proliferated in some regions, including by the occupying and intimidating Zionist regime. Here I would like to propose that 2011 be proclaimed the year of nuclear disarmament and nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for none.

In all the cases to which I have referred, I admit, the United Nations has been unable to take any effective, viable course of action. Unfortunately, in the decade proclaimed as the “International Decade for the Culture of Peace” hundreds of thousands have been killed and injured as a result of war, aggression and occupation, and hostilities and antagonism have increased.

Very recently the world witnessed an abhorrent and inhumane act of burning the Holy Koran. The Holy Koran is the Divine Book and the eternal miracle of the Prophet of Islam. It calls for worshipping the One God, justice, compassion towards people, development and progress, reflection and thought, defence of the oppressed and resistance against oppressors; and it names with respect the previous Messengers of God, such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses and Jesus Christ — may peace be upon all the prophets — and endorses them. The Koran was burned to burn all those truths and good judgements.

However, the truth cannot be burned. The Koran is eternal, because God and truth are everlasting. This act and any other act that 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. In one hand I hold up the Koran and in the other the Bible. We pay respect to both books, as both are dear to us.

For years the inefficiency of capitalism and the existing world management structures have been exposed enough for us to understand what they mean. The majority of States and peoples have begun a quest for fundamental changes and to allow justice in global relations to prevail.

The cause of the United Nations ineptitude is its unjust structure. Major Powers have monopolized the Security Council, due to their veto privilege, and sidelined the General Assembly, which is the main pillar of the Organization.

In the past several decades, at least one permanent member of the Security Council has always been a party to a conflict. When both the judge and the prosecutor are on the same side of a conflict, how can one expect justice? They feel immune in aggression owing to the structure of the United Nations. For example, if Iran enjoyed the veto privilege, would the Security Council and the IAEA Director General have taken the same position on the nuclear issue?

The United Nations is the key centre for coordinating common global management. Its structure needs to be reformed in such a manner that all independent States and nations may participate actively and constructively in global governance.

The veto privilege should be revoked. 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 in the world order.

The Secretary-General should not come under pressure from Powers and/or the country hosting the Organization for stating the truth and administering justice. It is proposed that the General Assembly should, within a 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.

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 humiliation. The world needs to be governed by virtuous people like the Divine Prophets.

The two vast geographical spheres of Africa and Latin America have experienced historic developments during past decades, developments that have changed their face. The new approaches in these two continents, based on an increasing level of integration and unity, as well as on localizing the growth and development models, have borne considerable fruits for the peoples of those regions. The awareness and wisdom of the leaders of the two continents have overcome the regional problems and crises, free of 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 now I speak about the glorious Iran. The Tehran Declaration was a hugely constructive step in confidence-building efforts, a step made possible through the admirable good will of the Governments of Brazil and Turkey, along with the close, sincere and honest cooperation of the Iranian Government. Although there was an inappropriate reaction to the Declaration by some Western Powers, and it was followed by an unlawful resolution, it is still valid.

We have observed the IAEA regulations beyond the requirements of our commitments, yet we have never submitted to illegally imposed pressures, nor will we ever do so.

It has been said that there is a desire to pressure Iran into a dialogue. Well, first, Iran has always been ready for a dialogue based on respect and justice. Secondly, methods based on disrespecting nations have long been 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 in it, proving once again how unjust is the Council’s function.

When those concerned threaten a great nation, a great people, such as Iran, which has been known throughout history for its scientists, poets, artists and philosophers, and whose culture and civilization are synonymous with purity, submission to God and seeking justice, how can they ever expect other nations to have confidence in them?

It goes without saying that domineering methods — and mainly capitalism — in managing the world have failed. Not only has the era of slavery and colonialism and dominating the world passed, the path to reviving old Empires is blocked, too.

We have announced that we stand ready for a serious and free debate with the American statesmen in this very venue to express our transparent views on issues of importance to the world. It is proposed here that in order to have a constructive dialogue, an annual free debate be organized within the General Assembly.

In conclusion, the Iranian nation and the majority of the world’s nations and Governments are opposed to the current discriminatory management of the world. The inhumane nature of that management has led it to a dead end, and it requires a major overhaul.

Reforming the world’s affairs and bringing about tranquillity and prosperity requires the participation of all, pure thoughts and the divine and humane management that we have been given. We are all of the view 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 love for fellow humans and love for all the good in the world. Love is the best foundation for establishing relations among people and among nations. As Vahshi Bafgi, the great Iranian poet, says, “From the fountain of youth, drink a 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 as 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 showing off or means of dominating others.

Men and women complement each other, and the family unit, with pure, loving and long-lasting relations of the spouses, becomes the centre and the guarantee of the continuity and bringing up of generations, for true pleasures, for spreading true love and for reforming society.

Woman is a reflection of God’s beauty and the source of love and care. She is the guardian of purity and exquisiteness of society. The tendency to toughen the souls and behaviours of women deprives them of their very basic right of being a loving mother and a caring wife. It will 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 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 been 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 on those brilliant days and assist humanity. In welcoming them, we should join ranks and seek justice, as would be befitting of man.

Praise to love and worship, praise to justice and freedom, praise to true humanity, the complete human, the true companion of humankind. I say to all those listening: “Peace be upon you and all the righteous and the pure.”

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