Ahmadinejad's 2005 address to the United Nations
In the Name of the God of Mercy, Compassion, Peace, Freedom and Justice
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we have gathered here to exchange views about the world, its future and our common responsibilities towards it. It is evident that the future of the world is intertwined with its current state and the prevailing trends, which exhibit signs of hope and despair.
On the one hand certain hopes and opportunities exist, and this august Assembly is convened on such hopes. Today human thought reflects outstanding commonalities which provide appropriate grounds to build upon. With the passing of the era of agnostic philosophies, today humanity is once again joined in celebrating monotheism and belief in the Creator as the originator of existence.
This is the common thread which binds us all. Faith will prove to be the solution to many of today's problems. The Truth will shine the light of faith and ethics on the life of human beings and prevent them from aggression, coercion and injustice and will guide them towards care and compassion for fellow beings.
Another hope is the common global appreciation of the sources of knowledge. Although reason, experience and science are among valuable sources of knowledge, the darkness of the Middle Ages deprived major portions of the Western world from appreciating. This reactionary tendency deprived many from access to various scientific findings and knowledge and led to the exclusion of other sources of knowledge namely God and knowledge based on revelation from the life of human beings in the West; Divine knowledge that was carried and disseminated by such prophets as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad (peace be upon them). Today, agnostic thinking is on the decline and presently humanity is equally enamored with religion, science, knowledge and spirituality.
This is an auspicious beginning.
Divine prophets teach us about proper regard for the exalted state of human beings on earth. The human being is blessed with dignity, most importantly manifested in being the viceroy of the Almighty on earth. The Almighty placed humans on earth to develop it, institutionalize justice, overcome their egoistic tendencies and praise no lord but the Almighty. Faith and good deeds can bring deliverance and the good life even in this world. Attaining this depend on human will, that is the will of each and every one of us. We must heed the call of our common primordial nature and achieve the realization of this good life.
On the other hand, the prevalence of military domination, increasing poverty, the growing gap between rich and poor countries, violence as a means to solve crises, spread of terrorism, specially state terrorism, existence and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the pervasive lack of honesty in interstate relations, and disregard for the equal rights of peoples and nations in international relations, constitute some of the challenges and threats. Although these challenges are very real, we believe we are not predestined to experience them. Our common will not only can change this course but in fact can lead us to a life filled with hope and prosperity. Divine revelation teaches us that "The Almighty changes the fate of no people unless they themselves show a will for change" (Holy Qur'an, 13:11).
How can we influence the future of the world?
When and how will peace, tranquility and well-being for all come about?
These are the fundamental questions before us.
We believe that a sustainable order – nurturing and flourishing peace and tranquility – can only be realized on the two pillars of justice and pirituality. The more human society departs from justice and spirituality, the greater insecurity it will face, so much so that a relatively small crisis – such as a natural disaster – leads to various abnormalities and inhuman behavior.
Unfortunately, the world is rife with discrimination and poverty.
Discrimination produces hatred, war and terrorism. They all share the common root of lack of spirituality coupled with injustice.
Justice is about equal rights, the correct distribution of resources in the territories of different states, the equality of all before the law and respect for international agreements. Justice recognizes the right of every one to tranquility, peace and a dignified life. Justice rejects intimidation and double standards. As the eminent daughter of the Prophet of Islam has said, "justice brings tranquility and harmony to our hearts."
Today, the world is longing for the establishment of such justice. If humanity heeds the call of its primordial nature with firm resolve, justice will emerge. This is what the Almighty has promised and all people of good will from all religions are waiting for. If the prevailing discourse of global relations becomes one of justice and spirituality, then durable peace will be guaranteed.
Conversely, if international relations is defined without justice and spirituality and void of moral considerations, then the mechanisms for promoting confidence and peace will remain insufficient and ineffective.
If some, relying on their superior military and economic might, attempt to expand their rights and privileges, they will be performing a great disservice to the cause of peace and in fact will fuel the arms race and spread insecurity, fear and deception. If global trends continue to serve the interests of small influential groups, even the interests of the citizens of powerful countries will be jeopardized — as was seen in the recent crises and the even natural disaster such as the recent tragic hurricane.
Today, my nation calls on other nations and governments to "move forward to a durable tranquility and peace based on justice and spirituality."
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Islamic Republic of Iran is born out of a movement, based on the pure primordial nature of a people who rose up to regain their dignity, esteem and human rights. The Islamic Revolution toppled a regime which had been put in place through a coup, and supported by those who claim to be advocates of democracy and human rights thwarted the aspirations of the nation for development and progress for 25 years through intimidation and torture of the populace and.submission and subservience to outsiders.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the manifestation of true democracy in the region. The discourse of the Iranian nation is focused on respect for the rights of human beings and a quest for tranquility, peace, justice and development for all through monotheism.
For 8 years, Saddam's regime imposed a massive war of aggression and occupation on my people. It employed the most heinous weapons of mass destruction — including chemical weapons — against Iranians and Iraqis alike. Who, in fact, armed Saddam with these weapons? What was the reaction of those who now claim to fight against WMDs regarding the use of chemical weapons back then? The world is witness to the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran, because of its humanitarian principles, even during the most testing of times and when it was sustaining the highest number of casualties, never allowed itself to use such weapons.
Thousands of nuclear warheads that are stockpiled in various locations coupled with programs to further develop these inhuman weapons have created a new atmosphere of repression and the rule of the machines of war, threatening the international community and even the citizens of the countries that possess them.
Ironically, those who have actually used nuclear weapons, continue to produce, stockpile and extensively test such weapons, have used depleted uranium bombs and bullets against tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, Kuwaitis, and even their own soldiers and those of their allies, afflicting them with incurable diseases, blatantly violate their obligations under the NPT, have refrained from signing the CTBT and have armed the Zionist occupation regime with WMDs, are not only refusing to remedy their past deeds, but in clear breech of the NPT, are trying to prevent other countries from acquiring the technology to produce peaceful nuclear energy.
All these problems emanate from the fact that justice and spirituality are missing in the way powerful governments conduct their affairs with other nations.
After September 11, a particular radical group was accused of terrorist activities — although it was never explained how such huge intelligence gathering and security organizations failed to prevent such an extensive and well planned operation.
Why powers that, not so long ago, were supporting the activities of such groups in Afghanistan — and thus portraying themselves as supporters of human rights and the Afghan people — have over night turned into their most fierce critic?
Are we to believe that their benefactors, i.e. the very same hegemonic powers, have lost control?
If the answer is yes, would it not be better for those powers to adopt an honest and transparent approach to the international community, provide precise information about the main elements and their arms and financial support system, and accept responsibility for their inhuman actions against nations and countries, and thereby assist peoples and nations to correctly, wisely and sincerely fight the roots of terrorism.
We must endeavor to achieve stainable tranquility and peace based on justice and spirituality.
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Terrorism and WMDs are two major threats before the international community. The Islamic Republic of Iran, as one of the main victims of terrorism and chemical weapons, fully appreciates the difficulties that lie ahead in the road to combat these menaces. Today, the most serious challenge is that the culprits are arrogating to themselves the role of the prosecutor. Even more dangerous is that certain parties relying on their power and wealth try to impose a climate of intimidation and injustice over the world make bullying, while — through their huge media resources — portray themselves as defenders of freedom, democracy and human rights.
People around the world are fully aware of what is happening in the occupied Palestine. Women and children are being murdered and adolescents taken prisoner. Houses are being demolished and farms burnt down. Yet, when the people of Palestine resist these conditions, they are accused of terrorism. At the same time, the occupier, which does not abide by any principles and terror is part of its pronounced and routine policy enjoys the support of the previously mentioned governments. Let me be blunter. State terrorism is being supported by those who claim to fight terrorism.
How can one talk about human rights and at the same time blatantly deny many the inalienable right to have access to science and technology with applications in medicine, industry and energy and through force and intimidation hinder their progress and development?
Can nations be deprived of scientific and technological progress through the threat of use of force and based on mere allegations of possibility of military diversion? We believe that all countries and nations are entitled to technological and scientific advancement in all fields, particularly the peaceful technology to produce nuclear fuel. Such access can not be restricted to a few, depriving most nations and by establishing economic monopolies, use them as an instrument to expand their domination.
We have gathered here to defend human rights in accordance with Charter of UN and prevent certain powers from claiming that "some countries have more rights" or that "some countries do not have the right to enjoy their legitimate rights."
We must not, at the beginning of the 21st century, revert to the logic of the dark ages and once again try to deny societies access to scientific and technological advances.
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The UN must be the symbol of democracy and the equal rights of nations. If we talk about the equal rights of nations in political forums, we must talk of the same concept in this forum as well. Similarly, if we talk about the right of sovereignty, then all nations must be allowed to exercise their rights on an equal footing and in a democratic process.
The UN can be the standard bearer of democracy in the world, when it, itself, is a manifestation of democratic process. I reiterate that durable tranquility and peace can only be built on justice and spirituality.
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a symbol of true democracy. All officials including the Leader, President, members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, city and village councils are elected through the vote of the citizens. The Islamic Republic of Iran has held 27 national elections in 27 years. This showcases a vibrant and dynamic society in which people widely participate in the political life.
Because of its key importance and influence in the important and strategic Middle East region, the Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to contribute actively to the promotion of peace and stability in the region. Saddam Taliban regimes were both the products of foreign powers. The people of Afghanistan and Iraq know very well who supported these two regimes.
Today, to establish peace and security in the region, foreign occupation forces must leave and completely hand over the political and economic sovereignty of these two countries to their peoples.
The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to provide full and comprehensive support to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and their elected governments, and will actively help them in the establishment of order and security. My country will continue and expand its sincere cooperation and interaction with them.
In Palestine, a durable peace will be possible through justice, an end to discrimination and the occupation of Palestinian land, the return of all Palestinian refugees, and the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
Mr. President; Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, more than ever, nations need constructive, positive and honest cooperation and interaction in order to enjoy a dignified, tranquil and peaceful life based on justice and spirituality. Let us enter into a collective covenant to realize this legitimate aspiration of our nations.
Here, I would like to briefly talk about the approach and initiative of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the nuclear issue.
Nuclear weapons and their proliferation, and attempts to impose an apartheid regime on access to peaceful nuclear energy, are two major threats, challenging international tranquility and peace.
Keeping in mind that in past years no serious efforts – complimented by practical mechanisms — have been made to move towards full disarmament and more specifically implement the decisions and outcomes of the NPT Review Conferences of 1995 and 2000, I suggest that the General Assembly, as the most inclusive UN organ, mandate an ad-hoc committee to compile and submit a comprehensive report on possible practical mechanisms and strategies for complete disarmament.
This Committee should also be asked to investigate as to how – contrary to the NPT — material, technology and equipment for nuclear weapons were transferred to the Zionist regime, and to propose practical measures for the establishment -of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
Some powerful states practice a discriminatory approach against access of NPT members to material, equipment, and peaceful nuclear technology, and by doing so, intend to impose a nuclear apartheid. We are concerned that once certain powerful states completely control nuclear energy resources and technology, they will deny access to other states and thus deepen the divide between powerful countries and the rest of the international community. When that happens, we will be divided into light and dark countries. Regrettably, in the past 30 years, no effective measure has been implemented to facilitate the exercise of the legally recognized right of NPT stateparties to have access to and use peaceful nuclear energy in accordance with article IV. Therefore, the General Assembly should ask the IAEA – in accordance with article 2 of its Statute– to report on violations by specific countries that have hindered the implementation of the above article and also produce practical strategies for its renewed implementation.
What needs our particular attention is the fact that peaceful use of nuclear energy without possession of nuclear fuel cycle is an empty proposition. Nuclear power plants can indeed lead to total dependence of countries and peoples if they need to rely for their fuel on coercive powers, who do not refrain from any measure in furtherance of their interests. No popularly elected and responsible government can consider such a situation in the interest of its people. The history of dependence on oil in oil rich countries under domination is an experiment that no independent country is willing to repeat.
Those hegemonic powers, who consider scientific and technological progress of independent and free nations as a challenge to their monopoly on these important instruments of power and who do not want to see such achievements in other countries, have misrepresented Iran's healthy and fully safeguarded technological endeavors in the nuclear field as pursuit of nuclear weapons. This is nothing but a propaganda ploy. The Islamic Republic of Iran is presenting in good faith its proposal for constructive interaction and a just dialogue. However, if some try to impose their will on the Iranian people through resort to a language of force and threat with Iran, we will reconsider our entire approach to the nuclear issue.
Allow me, as the elected President of the Iranian people, to outline the other main elements of my country's initiative regarding the nuclear issue:
- 1. The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates its previously and repeatedly declared position that in accordance with our religious principles, pursuit of nuclear weapons is prohibited.
- 2. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that it is necessary to revitalize the NPT and create the above-mentioned ad-hoc committee so that it can combat nuclear weapons and abolish the apartheid in peaceful nuclear technology.
- 3. Technically, the fuel cycle of the Islamic Republic of Iran is not different from that of other countries which have peaceful nuclear technology. Therefore, as a further confidence building measure and in order to provide the greatest degree of transparency, the Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to engage in serious partnership with private and public sectors of other countries in the implementation of uranium enrichment program in Iran. This represents the most far reaching step, outside all requirements of the NPT, being proposed by Iran as a further confidence building measure.
- 4. In keeping with Iran's inalienable right to have access to a nuclear fuel cycle, continued interaction and technical and legal cooperation with the IAEA will be the centerpiece of our nuclear policy. Initiation and continuation of negotiations with other countries will be carried out in the context of Iran's interaction with the Agency. With this in mind, I have directed the relevant Iranian officials to compile the legal and technical details, of Iran's nuclear approach, based on the following considerations:
- 4.1. International precedence tells us that nuclear fuel- delivery contracts are unreliable and no legally binding international document or instrument exists to guarantee the delivery of nuclear fuel. On many occasions such bilateral contracts have either been suspended or stopped altogether for political reasons. Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in its pursuit of peaceful nuclear technology, considers it within its legitimate rights to receive objective guarantees for uranium enrichment in the nuclear fuel cycle.
- 4.2. In its negotiations with the EU3, Iran has tried in earnest to prove the solid and rightful foundations of its nuclear activity in the context of the NPT, and to establish mutual trust. The selection of our negotiating partners and the continuation of negotiations with the EU3 will be commensurate with the requirements of our cooperation with the Agency regarding nondiversion of the process of uranium enrichment to non-peaceful purposes in the framework of the provisions of the NPT. In this context, several proposals have been presented which can be considered in the context of negotiations. The Islamic Republic of Iran appreciates the positive contribution of South Africa and H.E. President Mbeki personally in the resolution of the nuclear issue and cognizant of South Africa's active role in the IAEA Board of Governors would welcome its active participation in the negotiations.
- 4.3. The discriminatory approaches regarding the NPT that focuses on the obligations of state-parties and disregards their rights under the Treaty should be discontinued.
As the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I assure you that my country will use everything in its power to contribute to global tranquility and peace based on the two maxims of spirituality and justice as well as the equal rights of all peoples and nations. My country will interact and cooperate constructively with the international community to face the challenges before us.
Dear Friends and Colleagues, from the beginning of time, humanity has longed for the day when justice, peace, equality and compassion envelop the world. All of us can contribute to the establishment of such a world. When that day comes, the ultimate promise of all Divine religions will be fulfilled with the emergence of a perfect human being who is heir to all prophets and pious men. He will lead the world to justice and absolute peace.
O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the promised one, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace. O Lord, include us among his companions, followers and those who serve his cause.
This work is excerpted from an official document of the United Nations. The policy of this organisation is to keep most of its documents in the public domain in order to disseminate "as widely as possible the ideas (contained) in the United Nations Publications".