SEYYED EBRAHIM RAISI, President of Iran, said that, for hundreds of years, his country has safeguarded its right to self-determination and freedom against hegemony, transforming into the most progressive election-based political system in West Asia. Pointing to the Islamic ideals of independence and religious democracy, he said he addresses the Assembly with a message of rationality, justice and freedom — principles shared by all Abrahamic religions, yet which will not be attained without spirituality. He defined freedom as meaning “the right to think, decide and act for all human beings”, with peace and security tied to the administration of justice and the divine prophets.
Describing two historic scenes from 2021, he pointed to the 6 January attack on the United States Congress and images of Afghans falling from United States planes in August. “From the Capitol to Kabul, one clear message was sent to the world: The United States hegemonic system has no credibility, whether inside or outside the country,” he said. The project of imposing Westernized identity has failed, its results laid bare in blood-spilling, and ultimately, defeat and escape. Yet, it is the oppressed people in Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan — as well as United States taxpayers — who pay for this lack of rationality.
He said the world does not care about “America First” or “America Is Back”. A nation’s perseverance is stronger than a super Power’s might. Over the last decade, the United States has made the mistake of modifying its “way of war” rather than its way of life, with sanctions imposed against Iran dating to 1951, when a military coup backed by the United States and the United Kingdom toppled an elected Government. He called sanctions against medicine during a pandemic a crime against humanity, condemning as illegal those measures imposed on humanitarian items and demanding that “this organized crime against humanity” be recorded as a symbol of so-called United States human rights. Under such conditions, Iran began to produce vaccines domestically, and in addition to peaceful nuclear and satellite technologies, is the medical hub of the region.
He went on to emphasize the importance of cooperation, calling violence, poverty, the collapse of family foundations, regional wars and environmental crises the result of inattention to rationality, justice and freedom. “Speaking about the rights of nations without speaking of the obligations of their Governments cannot bring about the fulfilment of their rights,” he stressed, adding that the Islamic Revolution supports the kind of freedom expressed as the independence of a nation. If not for its role, alongside that of Syria and Iraq and the martyrs of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and General Qassem Soleymani, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) would be Europe’s Mediterranean neighbour. The creation of “cold‑war-esque” divisions will not foster security, nor will an arbitrary attitude solve terrorism, which has roots in crises of identity and economy, with modern lives devoid of spirituality and the spread of oppression fuelling its rise.
Stressing that the resolution of conflict hinges on prioritizing the will of nations to chart their own destiny, he called for an end to the aggressions of outsiders and assured that “freedom does not fit in the backpacks of soldiers coming from outside the region”. In Yemen, he called for an unconditional halt to Yemeni aggression, the opening of aid channels and the facilitation of talks among Yemeni groups. In Gaza, where a blockade has turned the area into the world’s largest prison and “the deal of the century” has failed, the only solution is to hold a referendum among Palestinians of all regions and ethnicities. Violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, meanwhile, followed by a “maximum pressure” campaign and arbitrary withdrawal from a globally recognized agreement, have likewise failed. “We want nothing more than [what] is rightfully ours,” he said, demanding respect for international rules, with all parties staying true to the nuclear deal and related United Nations resolution. Fifteen reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have attested to Iran’s adherence to its commitments, while the United States has not fulfilled its pledge to lift its sanctions. “We do not trust the promises made by the United States Government,” he said. “Nukes have no place in our defence doctrine and deterrence policy.” Iran is keen to have large-scale political and economic convergence with the the world and is ready to bring about a future brimming with rationality, justice, freedom, morality and spirituality.
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