MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, President of Iran, recalled that, in previous years, he had addressed the Assembly about the current challenges, solutions and prospects of the future world. Today, he said, he wished to discuss issues from a different perspective. He asked Member States to imagine, for a moment, if in human and recent history there had been no egoism, distrust, malicious behaviours and no one violating the rights of others; if humanitarian values had been viewed as the criterion for social dignity in place of affluence and consumerism; if the Crusades, slavery and colonialism had not happened; and if the wars of Palestine that followed had not taken place; if Saddam Hussein had not invaded Iran and the world’s large powers not sided with him; if the tragic incident of September 11 and the military actions against Afghanistan and Iraq not occurred.
He further asked them to imagine if the world’s “arms [had] been turned into pens”, and if the right to criticize the hegemonic policies and actions of the world Zionist regime had been recognized; if the Security Council had not been under the domination of a limited number of Governments, thus disabling the United Nations from carrying out its responsibilities in a just and equitable basis; “imagine how beautiful and pleasant our lives and how lovely the history of mankind would have been”.
Drawing attention to the current global economic situation, he said that poverty was on the rise and the gap was widening between the rich and poor. The total foreign debt of 18 industrialized countries now exceeded $60 trillion, and economies dependent on consumerism and the exploitation of people only served the interests of a limited number of countries. Concepts such as moral principles, purity, honesty, integrity, compassion and self-sacrifice were rejected as defunct and outdated notions, and “pure” and indigenous cultures were under constant attack, and susceptible to extinction. A lifestyle devoid of individual or social identity was being imposed by nations, he said; moreover, the “human soul has become frustrated, and the essence of humankind humiliated and suppressed”.
Unilateralism, the application of double standards and the imposition of wars, instability and occupations were now “the order of the day”, he continued. An arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction by the hegemonic powers had become prevalent. Testing new generations of ultra-modern weaponry, and the pledge to disclose those armaments in due time, were now being used as a new language of threat against nations, to coerce them into accepting a new era of hegemony. The continued threat by the “uncivilized” Zionists to resort to military action against Iran was a “clear example of this bitter reality”. No one felt safe. Further, the earth’s environment had been seriously damaged or devastated by capitalists around the world. In that context, he asked, “does anybody believe that continuation of the current order is capable of bringing happiness for human society?”
Some tried to justify that “everything is normal” and a reflection of divine will, putting the blame on nations as responsible for all prevalent vices and ills, he said. However, those were arguments aimed at justifying the attitudes and destructive behaviours of the ruling minority. “Poverty is imposed on nations, and Powers’ ambitions and goals are pursued either through deceits or resort to force”. Masses of people never wanted to expand their territories, nor did they seek to obtain legendary wealth. Peoples — including Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others — had no disputes among themselves, in principle. Instead, the current “abysmal situation of the world” and the bitter incidents of history were due mainly to the poor management of the world and the self-proclaimed centres of power who had entrusted themselves to the Devil. The world today was founded on materialism, and had been shaped according to selfishness, deception, hatred and animosity. It believed in the classification of human beings and in the humiliation of others nations, and aimed to monopolize power, wealth, science and technology.
Asking, in that context, what should be done, he answered that “there is no doubt that the world is in need of a new order and a fresh way of thinking”. An order was needed in which man was recognized as God’s Supreme Creature, enjoying material and spiritual qualities and possessing a pure and divine nature filled with a desire to seek justice and truth. Together, the world needed to place its trust in God and stand against the “acquisitive minority” with all its might.
“It is necessary to note that the United Nations belongs to all nations,” he said, stressing the current structures of the United Nations must be reformed, and that the present existence of discrimination and monopoly in the Organization was in no way acceptable. Participation in global management was the basis of lasting peace. The more than 120 nations of the Non-Aligned Movement, holding their sixteenth session recently in Tehran under the motto “Joint Global Management”, had underscored the necessity of a more serious and effective participation of all nations in the global management.
“The Non-Aligned Movement is proud to once again emphasize the rightfulness of its historic decision to reject the poles of power and the unbridled hegemony ruling the world”, he said. The need to remove the structural barriers and encourage universal partnership in global management had never been greater. If the United Nations was not restructured, international interactions and the spirit of collective cooperation would be tarnished, and the standing of the Organization damaged. It had been created to expand justice but in practice had been engulfed in discussion and domination by a few countries. Finally, he emphasized, the arrival of the Ultimate Saviour would mark a new beginning, a rebirth and a resurrection; it would be the beginning of peace, lasting security and a genuine life. He would bless humanity with a saying that would put an end to “our winter of ignorance, poverty and war” with the tidings of a season of blooming. “Long live this spring, long live this spring and long live this spring,” he concluded.
Right of Reply
The representative of Iran, in exercise of the right of reply, said that this morning, the Kuwaiti Prime Minister had referred in his statement to the three Iranian islands located in the Persian Gulf. The Iranian Government reiterated its full sovereignty over the Iranian islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb in the Persian Gulf and rejected categorically any claim to the contrary. The measures undertaken in those islands by the Iranian officials had been always conducted based on the principles of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iran.
Iran, he continued, had always pursued a policy of friendship and good-neighbourliness with all its neighbours. In that context, Iran stood ready to discuss the matter bilaterally with relevant officials in the United Arab Emirates, with a view to strengthen the relations in various fields and accordingly resolve any possible misunderstanding by the other party. The territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Iran over the islands was not negotiable.
Moreover, he said, in relation to the reference made in the statements of a few delegations, Iran wished to stress that the only correct historically and universally recognized name for the sea between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula was “the Persian Gulf”. Therefore, any use of fabricated or incomplete names for that body of water was totally groundless, absolutely unacceptable and of no legal, geographical or political value.
Right of Reply
The representative of Iran, also speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that a Western delegation speaking today had been among several speakers making negative statements about his country’s nuclear programme throughout the debate. Like other NPT States parties, Iran had an inalienable right to research and produce useful energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination, he emphasized, adding that his country’s commitment to non-proliferation remained intact. Indeed, Iran cooperated with IAEA, and all its nuclear plants, were under 24-hour surveillance by that Agency, he said, pointing out that its latest report made clear that Iran’s activities were in line with its Safeguards Agreements.