This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on New York Daily News.
Yesterday the UN handed the world's leading would-be nuclear proliferator - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - a platform to open a UN conference about preventing nuclear proliferation.
A year ago, fully aware of Ahmadinejad's genocidal ambitions, the UN handed the same man a stage to open an "anti-racism" conference.
The reaction in both cases was similar. The UN majority gave Ahmadinejad a round of applause. And a few Western governments made a show of walking out and then came right back in a short while later.
Yesterday, international relations were all about theater.
No lessons will be drawn in Washington about the UN's actual potential to help defeat violence and intolerance. On the contrary. While Ahmadinejad uses the UN to spew contempt for America and run out the clock on an Iranian bomb, the American President uses the UN as the centrifuge for his foreign policy.
Yesterday's embarrassment, therefore, lies more at the feet of the President of the United States than those of the president of Iran.
It is President Obama who decided last September to be the first American President to preside over a session of the Security Council and then deleted "nuclear nonproliferation - Iran" from the draft agenda. Obama himself chose the subject matter of that summit. He added nuclear disarmament to nuclear nonproliferation and turned nonproliferation into a game of "you first."
It is Obama who decided to host an April Security Summit touted as "the largest gathering of countries hosted by an American President . . . since the conference in San Francisco around the United Nations." He selected the subject matter and then refused to add Iran.
It is Obama who, for the first time, has linked the issue of Israeli concessions to the prospect of getting serious about an Iranian bomb - a policy that has all the hallmarks of looking for a Jewish scapegoat when an Iranian bomb becomes a reality.
And it is Obama who has now told European leaders that he will insist on an international conference to create a Palestinian state regardless of whether Palestinians move an inch to throw out their elected leaders, who continue to reject coexistence with Israel. Again, Obama's move places the UN in center court, since the conference is to be organized by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's brainchild, the Quartet. The Quartet is composed of the UN, Russia, the European Union and the United States. Rather than being an independent actor, "the UN" plays the role of errand boy for the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
So it is hardly surprising that Ahmadinejad leaped for the UN microphone.
Unfortunately, however, his speech is not just a rant about Jewish self-determination, America or liberty. It is a declaration of war against every decent living thing.
The only question that remains is not which New York playhouse will host President Obama's next big production. The question is whether there is anybody left who will refuse to slink back inside the General Assembly and insist that international peace and security is not a game of charades.
Below is the full text of Ahmadinejad's speech:
Islamic Republic of Iran
Permanent Mission to the United Nations
In the Name of God
The Compassionate, the Merciful
All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, and peace and blessing be upon our Master and Prophet, Mohammad, and his pure Household, and his noble Companions
Oh, God, hasten the arrival of Imam Al-Mahdi and grant him good health and
victory and make us his followers and those who attest to his rightfulness
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the Almighty God for granting an opportunity to have a dialogue about one of the key global issues of common concern. Undoubtedly, this Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is one of the most important international meetings.
I also would like to congratulate you Mr. President for your election to preside over this important meeting.
The Pursuit of sustainable security is an inherent and instinctive part of human being and a historical quest. No country can afford to ignore its security. The Divine prophets and the righteous also sought to offer guidelines, in the light of their faith in God and Divine teachings, to assure a safe and serene life in both worlds. To them, the ideal society is a society of global scale based on the monotheism and justice and replete with security, affection and brotherliness, and which is led by the noblest servant of God along with the Jesus Christ (P.B.U.H) and other righteous people.
In the absence of sustainable security, it would be impossible to take comprehensive plan for development and welfare.
Today, although a major part of the nations' resources are being allocated to providing national security, there is hardly any sign of an improvement in the circumstances as far as the perceived threats are concerned.
Regrettably, due to distancing of some States from the teachings of the Divine Prophets, the shadow of the threat of nuclear bombs is cast over the whole world, and no one feels secured. Some States define in their strategies the nuclear bomb as an element of stability and security, and this is one of their big mistakes.
The production and possession of a nuclear bomb, under whatever pretext be done, is a very dangerous act which first and foremost makes the country of production and stockpiling exposed. You may recall that how perilous was the unintentional transfer of a nuclear-tipped missile with a bomber from a military base to another one in the United States and which became a matter of concern for the American people. Secondly, the sole function of the nuclear weapons is to annihilate all living beings and destroy the environment, and its radiations would affect the coming generations and its negative impacts would continue for centuries.
The nuclear bomb is a fire against humanity rather than a weapon for defense.
The possession of nuclear bombs is not a source of pride; it is rather disgusting and shameful. And even more shameful is the threat to use or to use such weapons, which is not even comparable to any crime committed throughout the history.
Those who committed the first atomic bombardment are considered to be among the most hated in history.
For over sixty years, the United Nations, in particular the Security Council has been unable to establish sustainable security and create the sense of security in international relations, and the current international circumstances seem to be far more challenging than those of the past decades.
Wars, aggressions and above all the shadow of threat and stockpiling of nuclear armaments, and worse than all, the policies applied by few expansionist States, have obscured the prospect of international security for everyone. Nowadays, the communities' mindset is largely affected by a sense of intimidation and inequity. Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation have not come true, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not been successful in discharging its mandate. During the past four decades, some, including the Zionist regime, have been equipped with nuclear arms.
So, what really is the cause? To answer this question, one should look into the policies and practices of certain States as well as the inefficacy of and imbalance in the pillars of the NPT, some of which are as following:
From the perspective of the Divine Prophets and the righteous and according to all humane concepts, the supremacy, happiness and maturity of mankind is measured by his morality, piety, modesty and devotion to fellow human beings. Unfortunately, relying on the theory of struggle for survival, some States seek their superiority through the power of threatening and suppressing others, and sow the seeds of hatred, enmity and arms race in the international relations. Their biggest mistake is their assumption that "might" makes "right".
2-The policy producing and using nuclear weapons
The first atomic weapons were produced and used by the United States. This seemed, apparently, to provide the United States and its allies with the upper hand in the World War II. However, it became the main source of development and the spread of nuclear weapons by the others and brought about nuclear arms race. The production, stockpiling, and qualitative improvement of nuclear armaments in a given country have served as the best justification for the others to develop their own arsenals, a trend that has sustained over the past forty years in violation of the commitments set forth in the NPT.
3-Nuclear Weapon as a means for deterrence
This policy is the main cause of the escalation of the arms race, since deterrence requires having an edge in both quality and quantity of weapons, which itself fuels the nuclear race. There are reportedly more than 20,000 nuclear warheads worldwide half of which belongs to the United States. The other competing party also continues the development of nuclear weapon under the pretext of deterrence. Both of them constitute violation of obligations under the NPT.
4-Threat to use nuclear weapons
Regrettably, the government of the United States has not only used nuclear weapons, but also continues to threaten to use such weapons against other countries, including Iran. Another country from the Europe also made a similar nuclear threat under a false pretext a few years back. The Zionist regime, too, consistently threatens the Middle Eastern countries.
5-The instrumental exploitation of the Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency
Enjoying especial privileges in the highest global security decision-making bodies and in the IAEA, certain nuclear weapon States widely exploit these platforms against the non-nuclear weapon States, contrary to the spirit of the NPT. This unjust practice, repeated over and over, has turned into a pattern.
So far, none of the non-nuclear weapon States has ever been able to exercise their inalienable and legal rights for peaceful use of nuclear energy without facing pressures and threats. While despite clear provisions of article VI of the Treaty and the Statute of the IAEA, no single report has been issued by the IAEA inspectors on the nuclear weapons facilities of the United States and its allies, nor is there any plan for their disarmament, resolutions have been adopted against non-nuclear weapon States under the pressure of the same States and under false pretext and with the clear intention of denying them their recognized legal rights.
6-Using double standards
While the Zionist regime which has stockpiled hundreds of nuclear warheads, has waged many wars in the region and continues to threaten the people and nations of the region with terror and invasion, enjoys the unconditional support of the United States government and its allies and receives, as well, the necessary assistance to develop its nuclear weapon program. The same States impose various kinds of pressures on the members of the IAEA on the false pretext of probable diversions in their peaceful nuclear activities without providing even a single credible proof to substantiate their allegation.
7-Equating nuclear weapon with nuclear energy
Nuclear energy is among the cleanest and cheapest sources of energy. Severe climate change and environmental pollution caused by fossil fuel has intensified the need to expand the use of nuclear energy, Almost 7 million barrels of oil arc needed for the continual generation of 1000 megawatt of electricity in a year which by today's crude oil price costs over 500 million dollars, while the cost of generating the same capacity with nuclear energy is around 60 million dollars. Generally, the investment needed to construct and utilize a nuclear power plant is far less than half of the cost of a power plant operating with fossil fuels during its lifespan. The nuclear technology can be effectively and widely applied in the production of medical isotopes for diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases as well as in industry, agriculture and in other fields.
One of the gravest injustices committed by the nuclear weapon States is equating nuclear arms with nuclear energy. As a matter of fact, they want to monopolize both the nuclear weapons and the peaceful nuclear energy, and by doing so to impose their will on the international community. The aforementioned issues are all against the spirit of the NPT and in flagrant violation of its provisions.
8-Imbalance in the pillars of the NPT and the IAEA mandates
Although the NPT has as its key mandate the mission for prevention of nuclear arms race, nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation as well as inalienable right of the member States to use peaceful nuclear energy, however, the most difficult conditions have been put in the mechanisms and regulations for the countries seeking peaceful use of nuclear energy. On the contrary, no effective mechanism has been devised to address the actual threat of nuclear weapons, which must be in fact the most important mission of the IAEA. All efforts in this respect have been only limited to talks that lack any binding force guarantee and effectiveness. The IAEA has been putting the most possible pressures on non-nuclear weapon States under the pretext of proliferation risks, whilst those having nuclear bombs continue to enjoy full immunity and exclusive rights.
It is now clear that the production and stockpiling of nuclear weapons and policies practiced by some nuclear weapon States, along with the weakness of and the imbalance in the NPT provisions have been the main causes of insecurity and served as an incentive for the development of such weapons.
Today, nuclear disarmament, elimination of nuclear threat and non-proliferation are regarded as the greatest service to establishing sustainable peace and security and amity.
The question is, however, whether granting extraordinary authority in the IAEA to the nuclear weapon States and entrusting them with the critical issue of nuclear disarmament is appropriate? It would be naive and irrational to expect an effective voluntary initiative towards disarmament and non-proliferation, simply because they consider nuclear weapons an element of superiority.
As an Iranian saying reads: ''A knife never cuts its own handle"
Expecting the major arms dealers to work for the establishment of security is an illogical expectation.
The government of the United States which is the main suspect in the production, stockpiling and use and threat of the use of nuclear weapons, insists to assume the leadership role in reviewing the NPT. The U.S. administration, in its recently released Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), has announced that it will neither produce new nuclear weapons nor will it attack non-nuclear weapon States by nuclear weapons.
The United States has never respected any of its commitments. One may ask how much could nations possibly trust the US to implement its commitments? What are the guarantees for living up to such commitments? And what are the tools for its independent verification? It should be born in mind that in the past decades the United States has had most of its wars and conflicts with those who were once its friends. Furthermore, under the same NPR, some member States of the IAEA which are also committed members of the NPT have been threatened to be the target of a pre-emptive nuclear strike. The United States government has always tried to divert the public opinion's attention from its noncompliance and unlawful actions by bringing into focus some misleading issues. They have recently raised the issue of nuclear terrorism as part of their efforts to maintain and upgrade their nuclear arsenals on one hand, and divert world public opinion from the issue of disarmament and direct them toward phony matters, on the other, while arming the terrorists with nuclear weapons are only conceivable by those States which possess such weapons and have used them and also have a long record of supporting terrorists.
In its NPR, the U.S. has kept silent regarding nuclear strike against certain nuclear weapon States in order to concentrate the propaganda pressure on certain independent nations.
This is while certain major terrorist networks are supported by the U.S. intelligence agencies and the Zionist regime. Credible evidence is available in this connection that will be publicized, if needed, during the forthcoming conference on global fight against terrorism in Tehran.
In the NPR, it is noted that the U.S. will not develop new nuclear weapons, but they will continue to improve them qualitatively. The qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons is tantamount to increase in lethality and destructive power of such weapons, which itself signifies the vertical proliferation. In addition, these policies are not verifiable, because there is no supervision by any independent authoritative body on nuclear programs of the United States and its allies.
Comparing the Washington Nuclear Security Summit with the Tehran Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation Conference, the efforts of the host of the former were aimed at preserving the monopoly over the nuclear weapons and superiority on other countries, while in the latter Conference all participants were seeking a world free from nuclear weapons. The motto of the Tehran Conference was, "Nuclear Energy for all, Nuclear Weapons for no one".
To realize the humane aspiration for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as well as the peaceful use of nuclear energy, would like to offer the following proposals:
1-Review and accomplishment of the NPT:
The NPT should be evolved to Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Treaty (D.N.P.T) and the nuclear disarmament must be put at the core of its mandates through transparent, binding, and effective mechanisms buttressed with solid international guarantees.
2-Establishment of an independent international group with full authority from the Conference to prepare a set of guidelines to operationalize the provisions of article VI of the NPT, including planning and fully supervising nuclear disarmament and preventing proliferation.
The group should conduct its work with effective participation of all independent countries by setting a deadline for complete elimination of all nuclear weapons, within a specified timetable.
3-Introduction of legally-binding comprehensive security guarantees without discrimination on precondition until the achievement of a complete nuclear disarmament on the part of the nuclear weapon States.
4-Immediate termination of all types of research, development or improvement of nuclear weapons and their related facilities, as well as introduction of a verification mechanism by the above-mentioned group.
5-Adoption of a legally binding instrument on the full prohibition of production, stockpiling, improvement, proliferation, maintaining and use of nuclear weapons.
6-Suspension of membership in the Board of Governors of the IAEA for those States which use or threat to use nuclear weapons.
The presence and political influence of these States has so far prevented the IAEA from performing its mandates, particularly with regard to articles IV and VI of the Treaty, and has caused the Agency to deviate from conducting its authorized missions. In particular, how could the government of the United States be a member of the Board of Governors while it has not only used nuclear bomb against Japan but also used depleted uranium weaponries in Iraq war?
7-Cessation of all kinds of nuclear cooperation with non-member States of NPT and adoption of effective punitive measures against all those States which continue their cooperation with such non-member States.
8-Considering any threat to use nuclear weapons or attack against peaceful nuclear facilities as a breach of international peace and security, and swift reaction from the United Nations and termination of all cooperation of NPT member States with the threatening/aggressor State.
9-Immediate and unconditional implementation of the resolution adopted by 1995 Review Conference on the establishment of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East.
10-Dismantling of nuclear weapons stationed in the military bases of the United States and its allies in other countries, including Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Netherlands.
11-Collective effort to reform the structure of the Security Council.
The current structure of the Security Council is extremely unfair and inefficient and mainly serves the interests of the nuclear weapon States. Reforming the structure of the Council along with reviewing and, accomplishing the NPT are interrelated and essential for realization of the IAEA's objectives.
Representing a great, civilized and rich-in-culture nation of Iran, who has always been the herald of worshiping God, justice and peace in the world, I announce the readiness of the Islamic republic of Iran to partake in the materialization of those proposals and just plans on disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as peaceful use of clean nuclear energy.
I pronounce that a nation which has bread great personalities such as Ferdousi, Hafez, Sanaee, Vahsh Bafghee, Avicenna, Aboureihan, Shahriar, and other independent and freedom-seeker, intellectual and wise personalities like Imam Khomeini, and bestowed them to the humanity; a nation which has always called for love, compassionate, and peace for mankind; a nation the poem of whose great poet Saadi is glaring in the United Nations which: "Of one Essence is the human race, Thusly has Creation put the Base"; a nation which abolished slavery 2500 years ago, I mean the great nation of Iran, is not in need of nuclear bombs for its development and dose not regard it a source of honor and dignity.
The logic and will of the Iranian nation is a reflection of the logic and will of all nations.
All nations love peace, brotherhood, and monotheism and suffer from discrimination and injustice. Many of my colleagues, the heads of States, and many of sympathetic and justice-seeker dignitaries and commentators, in their talks with me, have shared this view that there is a dire need for global disarmament and expansion of peaceful use of clean nuclear energy and breaking the monopoly imposed in these fields, as contained in the foregoing proposals. 1bis is the heartfelt demand of all independent nations and States that: "Nuclear energy for everyone, Nuclear weapon for no one." Accordingly, my presence and the essence of my statement here in this very Conference is only a representation of their presence and demands.
Now, may I say a few words to those who still maintain that production and stockpiling of nuclear weapons are sources of their power and dignity. They must realize that the era of reliance on nuclear bomb has already passed. Production, stockpiling and the threat to use weapon, in particular nuclear weapon, is for people characterized by lack of Consistent logic and wise behavior. Using threat against the strong logic belongs to the past and is not viable anymore. Current era is the age of nations, thoughts and cultures. Relying on weapons in international relations is the legacy of unwise and anachronic States.
It is crystal clear that the hegemonic policy has failed and the dreams for establishing new empires are vain hopes and will never come true.
Rather than continuing with the failed policy of the predecessors, It would be better to join the wide and transparent ocean of nations, independent states and human wisdom and culture. This would be in their best interest. The future belongs to the nations. Security, peace and justice would be established by righteous people and perfect man throughout the world. The power of logic would prevail over the logic of power. There will be no room in the future for bullying and the arrogant. Common movement of the nations throughout the world for fundamental reforms based on monotheism and justice has already begun in international relations.
I invite Mr. Obama, the President of the United States to join this humane movement, if he is still committed to his motto of "change", since tomorrow would be too late for this. I would like to appreciate the efforts of the President of the Conference, distinguished audience and all those who strive for the establishment of peace and justice in the world.
Through cooperation and solidarity and harmony, our aspiration for establishing a world blessed with justice and peace is achievable, and the motto of "nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for none" is the basis for interaction among human beings as well as between human and nature.
Let's hope for a day on which through realization of justice. no one will be infuriated, and even if so happened, let's hope again no weapon would be found to satisfy it
Greeting to justice and liberty,
Greeting to Love and affection,
Greeting to followers of the school of compassionate. and human who loves human,
I wish you all, success and prosperity.