9th October 2007 | Draft
Just Who's Afraid of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
Commentary on speech by the President of Iran to the UN General Assembly
- / -
On 25th September 2007, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, addressed
the 62nd UN General Assembly in New York at a time when there was every expectation
that Iran would be subject to an imminent tactical nuclear strike. Live
coverage of his whole speech was provided on CNN. It followed a controversial,
and widely publicized, question and answer session at Columbia University (Ahmadinejad
speaks; outrage and controversy follow, CNN, 24 September
2007; Jesse Walker, Who's
Afraid of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? After all the trembling, the Iranian president
got a bruising instead of a boost, Reason Magazine, 25
[NB The fact that the main title of the latter
commentary was identical with that of earlier drafts of this commentary (on
a different meeting) is purely coincidental, although it is obviously the
similarity of the situations that evoked the choice, but with quite different
intents. The title of this commentary was then distinguished by prefixing
it with "Just", as a consequence of the manner in which a major search
engine appeared suddenly to manipulate its relative rankings of the two commentaries
-- possibly as a consequence of pressure regarding the contents of what follows.
It is necessarily unclear to what pressures search engines are responsive
-- especially on political issues which may affect their revenue stream]
Despite the content of his UN address, and speculation regarding such an
attack, there was almost no media coverage immediately thereafter -- creating
an impression of deliberate cover-up. Various websites subsequently carried
versions of the full text (Global
Post). At the time of writing there appears to be little commentary
on the serious issues he raised -- other than to question his integrity and
sanity (Iranian madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad walks
among us, Daily
24 September 2007)
Given the current dramatic state of an increasingly faith-based
world, it is appropriate to compare the born again George Bush -- who would
order the strike -- with the equally religious Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose
defence is argued below (Amil Imani, Who
is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? American Thinker,
3 October 2007). Both attest to a privileged communication with the divine.
It is indeed that which concerns some American observers (Iran
leader's U.N. finale reveals apocalyptic view; Iran
prepares people for 'messiah miracles': Government broadcasts series on imminent
appearance of apocalyptic Islamic 'Mahdi'; Iran
leader's messianic end-times mission), just as others
are concerned by undeclared faith-based agendas on the part of the country
in possession of most nuclear weaponry. As noted, from an earlier interview
with an Iranian editorialist, cited in the
Christian Science Monitor:
said: 'God said to me, attack Afghanistan and attack Iraq.' The mentality
of Mr. Bush and Mr. Ahmadinejad is the same here -- both think God tells
them what to do," says
Mr. Mohebian, noting that end-of-time beliefs have similar roots in Christian
and Muslim theology. (Scott Peterson, Waiting
for Rapture in Iran, 21 December
In what follows the official
Iranian version of Ahmadinejad's speech is reproduced
with a series of comments interspersed in italics (note also the official
UN version, not initially available).
The format of the text has been slightly modified to improve readability (notably
by occasional use of bullet points; spelling and grammar are as in the original).
The purpose of the exercise, in supplying the commentary, is to highlight issues
raised by the leader of a country that may be shortly, and uniquely, subject
to nuclear attack -- irrespective of how such an attack may be finally justified.
As the commentary shows, this does not imply agreement with the points made
in the address.
following pointers to the well-structured contents of the address have been added
Address and commentary
In the Name of God, the Almighty
"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"
Mr. Chairman, Honorable Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased and grateful to the Almighty to have the opportunity once again
to attend this important universal forum.
Comment: Whilst any such preface might be cause for
reservations in the primarily secular mode of discourse within the international
community, it is striking to compare it with the fairly similar appeals
made by the faith-based leadership of the Coalition of the Willing and
most notably by American politicians. Indeed, just as in Islamic cultures,
those in America consider it increasingly appropriate to make such references
when interacting with their supporters. However it is relevant to
note that the language used to that end in Islamic cultures has far more
poetic resonances than the simple binary form that is common in the West. It
is also characteristic that the American version is primarily of the form
"God Bless America" in contrast with the more generic Islamic phrasing.
What is striking under the circumstances, with the immediate threat
of a nuclear strike, is the formal recognition in a UN arena of a universal
transcendental context -- presumably in some measure common to faith-based
cultures, whether potential attacker or probable victim thereof.
Given that the clashing
hold so profoundly to their respective understandings of this transcendental
reality, how is it that immeasurably greater resources are devoted by each
to the design and use of weaponry in defence of their particular understanding
-- in comparison with the paucity of resources devoted to clarifying the
mystery of why the mysterious nature of that reality should be so variously
understood, notably by others?
How different is the nature and origin of the misunderstanding that
has violently separated over centuries: Sunni from Shiite, Catholic from
Protestant, Orthodox from non-Orthodox Jews -- as compared to that separating
Islam from Christianity, and either from Judaism, also over centuries?
References to an omniscient Almighty must surely hold these violence-engendering
differences, in the Name of God, to arise from limitations of human misunderstanding,
especially amongst the Abrahamic religions -- the "People
of the Book" -- living as they
do in expectation of an integrative fulfillment of divine prophecy.
It is appropriate to compare the unique invocation of the prophesied
Imam Al-Mahdi, in a formal
international arena, with analogous expectations associated with prophecies
in the other
Abrahamic religions, the Messiah
of Judaism and the Messiah
It would be a grave mistake to fail to recognize the determining influence
of such expectations on governmental policies, notably on the leadership
of the Coalition of the Willing in invading Iraq. It is however curious
that believers in such prophecies should find no other basis for dialogue
than the use of weapons, and especially nuclear weapons.
In the present tumultuous world and predominance of loud outcries, threats and
tensions, and in the time:
- when the big powers are unable to solve the present
problems, (an unquestionable fact)
- when mistrust in regional and international arenas is on the rise, (an
- when psychological security of societies is being targeted by an onslaught
of political and propaganda designs, (an assertion which many would
consider reasonable, however "propaganda" is to be understood)
- and disappointment prevails over efficacy
of policies and actions of the international organizations in establishing
of durable peace and security, (an unquestionable fact, despite efforts
to focus the media on "positive" achievements and vigorously to
deny the accumulation over many years of evidence to the contrary)
- and the protection of human rights is being
weakened, (an unquestionable fact)
I plan to touch upon and explain the roots and ways out of these
predicaments and some of the principal challenges facing our world.
Comment: Such a preamble surely sets
a context which justifies attention to what follows, if only in that
respect is due to a culture that may well be deliberately destroyed beyond
recovery by nuclear attack -- recently described in the case of a neighbouring
country as a threat of being "bombed back to the Stone Age".
Can the significant absence of representatives of the USA and Israel
during the speech, as highlighted by the media, be considered other than
evidence that the case had been prejudged? Do advocates for the prosecution
-- demanding immediate execution -- leave the courtroom when those for
the defence make their final case? Or is it that directly publicizing the
plea worldwide to "we the peoples", through media such as CNN,
makes physical presence at the UN "court" unnecessary? What behaviour
in such a final court of appeal is to be considered a mark of uncivilization
and backsliding to barbarism? Does this reflect the very same logic whereby
a civilized democracy indulges in secret tribunals uncluttered by substantiated
appeals from the defendants?
also speak to you about:
- the need for amending the present situation,
for brighter and more hopeful future,
- and about the reappearance of the sublime
and beauty, kindness and dignity, justice and blossoming of all divine human
talents and dominance of love of God and realization of the promise of God
as stated by of all divine prophets and righteous men.
Comment: Again this points to the
possibility of the kind of future to which most would aspire.
I will then put to
your judgment the nuclear issue of Iran as a reality and testing ground for
measurement of honesty, efficacy, steadfastness and victories. In the closing
part of my address, I will offer my proposals.
Comment: This issue, with the immediate
threat of nuclear attack,
provides a degree of immediate urgency greater than
most other issues currently the subject of debate and procrastination
within the international community. The unforeseen
consequences and possible multiplier effects of such an attack are
dimensions of which historians are well aware -- World War I, as triggered
by a simple targeted assassination
of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, is
a classic example. More technically these have been recognized
under various names (from the "butterfly
effect" to the "Black
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As you are all aware we are presently facing important, numerous and diverse
challenges that I will refer to some of them.
1. Organized attempts to tear down the institution of family and to reduce the status of women
Family is the most sacred and valuable human institution that serves as the center
of the purest mutual love and affection of mothers, fathers and children, and
a safe environment for the upbringing and cultivating human generations, and
a fertile ground for blossoming of sentiments and emotions. This institution
has always been respected by all nationalities, religions of cultures.
Comment: This view, as implied, is just
as strongly held by Christian fundamentalists who
might well choose the same phrases to articulate their focus on family values.
Indeed it is a view held by fundamentalists of other religious persuasion.
Curiously however it would be the fundamentalists of two of the Abrahamic
religions who would most strongly support any nuclear strike by the Coalition
of the Willing on Iran -- with the predictable impact on thousands, if
not millions, of family relationships. One might ask whether this
reference was cynically given this importance as a skillful ploy -- and
yet it remains a fact that all Abrahamic religions indeed hold family values
to be of fundamental importance, whether or not there is any hypocrisy
in that assertion by politicians.
Today we are witnessing an organized invasion by the enemies of humanity and
plunderers to tear down this genuine institution. They target this noble institution
by promoting lewdness, violence and breaking the boundaries of chastity and decency.
Again this is a view that it is held by many in all cultures. The debate is
a vigorous one with both sides counting among their strongest advocates those
with other undeclared agendas that might be considered far more suspect and
values" may indeed also be used as a form of "human shield" by
those advancing far more dubious and destructive causes.
The argument also (deliberately)
obscures the problematic current attitude of Islam to homosexuals, notably
in Iran. How easy it is to fail to recall the degree to which this attitude
is shared by fundamentalists of the other Abrahamic religions -- and most
vociferously (and even violently) in the USA? And how much more easy is
it to fail to recognize how widely this attitude has been held in "developed
countries" until very recently?
Why is it expected that the development
of every culture should be in lock step timing with the recent human rights
"discoveries" of those who claim moral superiority -- following
their complicity in the unique level of human slaughter in the first half
of the 20th century? What allowance is made for the stage of socio-economic
development of such cultures and for the processes and forces which have
inhibited their development to a more enlightened level? Do countries and
cultures have every right to indulge in the human rights practices appropriate
to the degree of development at which they have been sustained, or to which
they have been reduced? What practices could be reasonably expected of a
country that had been "bombed
back to the Stone Age"?
The intolerance of homosexuality by Islam is especially highlighted
by the execution in Iran of those who offend against faith-based edicts.
Curiously, in the media, it has been possible to dissociate such condemnation
of homosexuals from the capital punishment to which they are then subjected
-- a form of punishment widely practiced and defended in the USA, although
abhorred in many civilized countries to a far higher degree than homosexuality.
The precious existence of women as the expression of divine beauty and peak of
kindness, affection and purity has been the target of heavy exploitation over
the past recent decades by the holders of powers and owners of media and wealth.
In some societies, this beloved creature has been reduced to mere instruments
of publicity and all boundaries and protective shields of chastity, purity and
beauty have been trampled. This is a colossal betrayal of human society, of succeeding
generations, and an irreparable blow on the social coherence.
Comment: As such, and allowing for cultural differences,
this statement would be one which might easily be shared by feminist campaigners
in the most advanced "developed" countries. It can of course
be readily argued that it (deliberately) disguises the many issues relating
to the particular institutionalized treatment of women within Islamic cultures,
and in this case Iran. But
before assuming an unwarranted degree of self-righteousness, it is important
for critics to recognize the extent to which -- despite legislative measures
-- equality between men and women is far from having been completely achieved
in most "developed" societies, if only in terms of remuneration.
All the Abrahamic religions continue to justify practices that restrict
or constrain the role of women; this is notably the case in certain Christian
and Jewish sects.
ironic to note, for example, the role of male-only clubs and secret societies
(such as the freemasons) with respect to the leadership of countries that
claim to be models of democracy. It is also appropriate to recognize the
extent of harassment of women by men in such model societies. Whether the
most appropriate technology or not, the use of the veil inhibits such harassment
and reduces the need for women to arm themselves against violent attacks
-- as in some of the most developed countries.
There are curious dynamics and contradictions in deliberately associating
"freedom" in a democratic society with the right to physical self-exposure
in public, however it is curtailed by ordinances regarding "public
or "appropriate clothing" -- as for participants in the UN General
Assembly, for example. This "right" has now been extended into
an obligation to expose the face
at all times to ensure appropriate visibility to omnipresent security cameras
-- as a means of protecting "freedom". And yet in the missionary
activity of all Abrahamic faiths, covering the body is a requirement --
until recently epitomized by efforts to ensure that traditionally uncovered
indigenous women were obliged to wear brassieres (subsequently considered
symbolic of a constraint on "freedom").
Are there not strange symmetries
that merit exploration before focusing narrowly on a particular case in
a particular historical period -- before seeking to bomb women out of their
burkhas and into bikinis, supposedly in their best interests? Again associating
universal human rights with current fashions obscures issues regarding
norms of supposedly "civilized" societies
in decades past -- and the rights of societies to manage such controversial
issues independently of the whims of the fashion industry of particular
cultures that aggressively claim universality.
2. Widespread violations of human rights, terrorism and occupation
Unfortunately human rights are being extensively violated by certain powers,
especially by those who pretend to be their exclusive advocates:
- setting up
clandestine prisons, abductions, trials and secret punishments without any
regard to due process,
- listening on telephone conversations,
- opening private
- frequent summons to police and security centers
have become commonplace
Comment: These phenomena are all well-documented
by international human rights organizations as well as those of developed
- They prosecute scientists and historians for stating their opinions
on important global issues.
- Comment: This assertion
surely merits the most careful consideration by the international community.
Given the problematic hyperdefensive attitude to whistleblowers, and
the degree of cover-up regarding issues endangering communities on
a smaller scale and humanity on a larger scale, is it the case that
human society is operating at a much higher level of risk than is widely
recognized? To what extent is the huge quantity of classified information
an indication of the probable dimensions of this misunderstanding?
This point (deliberately) disguises
the controversial questions raised regarding Iran's call for "further
research" on the Holocaust. Curiously those objecting to any further
research have not the slightest difficulty in accepting continuing research
on the historical evidence for the origins of their own faith. At what
point does "re-search" become a threat and why? If there is
nothing new to be discovered why object to allocation of resources to
the matter? Or is it the case that some matters are beyond question and
must necessarily be accepted as an article of faith for all time? This
would be curious given the quantity of research undertaken on the Holocaust
by documentalists to present its horrors in a new light -- in the movies
promoted by the so-called Holocaust
- They are using different alibis to occupy sovereign
nations and cause chaos and divisions, and then use the prevailing situation
as an excuse to continue their occupation.
- Comment: Again is it
not appropriate that more attention be given to the degree of subterfuge
and game-playing associated with the dynamics of the international
community? Given the credibility cultivated by frequent movie portrayals
of rogue government agency initiatives, and the documented and anecdotal
evidence of "false
flag" operations, should such assertions not be considered
with greater objectivity?
Striking examples are the emergence
of evidence regarding systems of illegal rendition, secret prisons, state-sanctioned
torture and covert electronic surveillance -- all with the complicity
of permanent members of the UN Security Council -- and as debated by
the European Parliament (but not by the United Nations). Who has the
authority to challenge evidence presented by supposedly trustworthy
authorities -- as was the case with presentations to the UN Security
Council, by a permanent member, "confirming"
the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
- For more than sixty years, Palestine,
as compensation of the loss they incurred in the war in Europe, has been
under occupation of the illegal Zionist regime.
- Their people have been displaced
or are under heavy military pressure, economic siege or are incarcerated
under abhorrent conditions. (an unquestionable fact?)
- The occupiers are protected and praised, while
innocent people of Palestine are subjected to political, military and
propaganda onslaughts. (an unquestionable fact?)
- The people of Palestine are deprived of water, electricity and
medicine for the sin of asking for freedom, and their government that
has come from the votes of the people is targeted. (an unquestionable
- Terrorists are being organized
to attack the lives and property of people, under auspices of politicians
and military officials of the big powers. (a questionable fact?)
- The brutal Zionists carry out targeted
assassinations of Palestinians in their homes and cities, and terrorists
receive medals of peace and support from the big powers. (a questionable
- On the other hand
they gather a number of deprived Jewish people with false propagation
under pretext of providing them with welfare, job and food from different
parts of the world and settle them in the occupied territories and exposed
them to harshest restrictions, psychological pressures and constant threat. (an
prevent these deprived people to return to their main lands and by use
of force and false propagation make them show their hatred towards indigenous
Palestinian people. (a questionable fact?)
Comment: Sadly the international community
has discovered no means of debating such matters (preferably in the light
of "further research") other than through a continuing pattern
of simplistic binary assertion and denial -- appropriately matched by unending
cycles of violence through which bullets continue to be pumped into human
whereas technological innovation with respect to destructive weaponry proceeds
at great pace in support of such cycles, the capacity for innovative imaginative
thinking with respect to dialogue and strategic options to break out of such
cycles is virtually stagnant -- despite dubious claims to the contrary in
which the UN has long been complicit.
The above statement of course (deliberately) avoids reference to Iran's position
on the right of existence of the State of Israel. However it might be argued
that it is the total lack of investment in imaginative thinking regarding resolution
of this issue which should be the larger concern on the debating tables of
the international community. Why is the focus so narrow at a time when, for
example, arguments are urgently made for imaginative reflection on technical
solutions to the challenges of climate change? Where is the catalogue of possibilities,
speculative or otherwise, for creative exploration of the matter? How have
most options been designed off the negotiating tables? In whose interest?
Is this another case where "further research" is framed
as threatening to the status quo -- however many continue to suffer from
it for the benefit of others?
Iraq was occupied under the pretext of overthrow of a dictator and existence
of weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi dictator who had been supported by
the same occupiers was disposed of, and no weapons were discovered, but occupation
continues under different excuses. No day passes without people being killed,
wounded or displaced, and occupiers not only refuse to be accountable and ashamed,
but speak in a report of a new market for their armaments as the result of their
military venture. They even oppose the constitution, national assembly and the
government arising from the votes of the people, while do not even have the courage
to declare their defeat and exit Iraq.
Comment: Such points were emphatically
denied immediately after 9/11, and were even considered to be treasonous
on the part of those advancing them, although they are now a common feature
of political debate -- even within the USA.
How was the critical capacity of supposedly intelligent,
civilized peoples so successfully numbed in this way? Can the process be
Unfortunately we are witnessing this bitter truth that some powers do not put
value on any nation or human beings, and the only things that matters to them
are themselves, their parties and groups. In their view, human rights are tantamount
to profits for their companies and friends. The rights and the good name of American
people are also being sacrificed for the selfish desires of those holding power.
Comment: These challenging points
merit careful discussion. It is of course to be expected that such points
would be made by the representative of a country under immediate threat
of a nuclear attack and disruption to its whole society. How might it be
appropriate to debate such issues to determine the degree or circumstances
of their validity, if any? It is of course appropriate to note that such
arguments have long been advanced as part of political discourse within
western societies. They have also been advanced within the United Nations
by developing countries, notably in support of those not yet independent
or subsequently exploited.
How have such dissenting views been so successfully repressed and in whose
interests? Why has the United Nations been complicit in this process?
3. Aggressions against indigenous cultures and national values
Culture is the expression of identity and the key to survival of nations and
the foundation for their interaction with others. In an organized movement, indigenous
cultures that are messengers of monotheism, love and fraternity are being subjected
to broad and destructive aggressions. National customs and values are humiliated
and self-esteem and character of nations are ridiculed and defamed.
Comment: These assertions are a dimension of the continuing
tragedy of global society. Again how might it
be appropriate to debate such issues to determine the degree or circumstances
of their validity? What actions might be possible or appropriate
to counter such tendencies? How might those actions be negatively framed
by their opponents -- under the guise of enlightened promotion of democracy
The statement introduces the primacy of monotheism without clarifying
its scope -- but with the implication that it is uniquely, if not solely,
characterized by the Abrahamic religions that have been so fundamental
to bloody conflict down the centuries -- all in the name of love, fraternity
and the fulfillment of divine will.
The statement unfortunately fails to address the extent to which the
customs and values of cultures imbued by non-Abrahamic faiths have been
humiliated, ridiculed and defamed by the agents of Abrahamic cultures.
It is however extremely interesting as an implied proposal to unite the
Abrahamic faiths in opposition to others framed as unbelievers in a particular
monotheistic worldview. It is also unfortunate that it does not envisage
that the integrative coherence of many such other faiths may be an understanding,
through a different "way of knowing", of what the statement assumes
is uniquely characteristic of monotheism. Why not envisage
the need for
"further research" to understand the coherence of any such other
view in response to the complexity of human experience and the mystery
The purpose is to promote blind emulations, consumerism, skeptism toward God
and human values, and plundering of their wealth by big powers.
Comment: Again these assertions are not unusual, but
it is to be appreciated that they have been advanced for discussion in
the arena of the United Nations General Assembly by a nation that is already
under threat of attack and therefore is past the point of needing, like
its peers, to be more circumspect in order to curry favour with those big
powers. The degree of "straight-talking" in
the address is unusual for an intergovernmental arena. Why?
What kind of debate might be possible if such pressures
to conform to a dominant worldview were not so omnipresent?
4. Poverty, illiteracy, health deprivation and gap between the poor and the rich
While a major part of the natural environment in Asia, Africa and Latin America
is being plundered by political and economic domination of certain powers.
Comment: These assertions have long been made with
supporting documentation by respected political constituencies -- even
in countries considered to be models of democracy.
situation of poverty and deprivation is very alarming. These are some of numbers
by the United Nations:
- Every day close to 800 million people go to bed hungry and about 980 million
suffer from absolute poverty, with less than one dollar a day in purchasing
- People of 31 countries, equivalent to 9 percent of the world's
population, have an average life expectancy equaling to 46 years, which is
32 years less than the average of some countries.
- Ratio between the rich and the poor in some parts of the world is 40
- In some countries, majority of people are deprived of access to education
- In many developing countries the maternal mortality rate during pregnancy
is 450 per 100,000. This ratio is 7 in the richer nations and the ratio of
mortality of new births is 59 for developing countries and 6 for the richer
- One-third of mortality in the world, or 50,000 daily, results from poverty.
I believe these numbers clearly demonstrate the tragic situation prevailing over
the global economy.
Comment: Why does the international
community not focus more effectively on such concrete issues -- rather
than on supporting questionably justified military intervention generating
widespread social disruption, suffering and death?
To what extent would
have the level of resources allocated to military intervention by the Coalition
of the Willing achieved significant amelioration of the conditions described
given its token efforts to do so over decades, why does the international
community not assess the reasons for its failure to achieve significant
remedies in a situation which continues to deteriorate -- despite the dangerous
optimism of "hope-mongers"?
Typically the statement fails to recognize the extent to which these
problems, and the associated suffering and death, are primarily engendered
by the doctrines of the Abrahamic faiths -- in support of ever increasing
population. The possibility that fewer people would mean fewer
problems has been deliberately designed out of any debate by processes
in which the Abrahamic religions have been totally complicit.
5. Ignoring noble values and promotion of deception and lies.
Some powers sacrifice all human values including honesty, purity and trust for
the advancement of their goals. They propagate skepticism and deception in the
relations between states and peoples. They lie openly, level baseless charges
against others, act contrary to legal norms and damage the climate of trust and
friendship. They openly abandon morality and noble values in their relations
with others, and substitute selfishness, supremacy, enmity and imposition for
justice, respect for others, love, affection and honesty.
Comment: Again these challenging points
merit careful discussion. By what arguments are these accusations to be defended
and in what arena? Again it is of course to be expected that such points
would be made by the representative of a country under immediate threat of
a nuclear attack and disruption to its whole society. How might it be appropriate
to debate such issues to determine the degree or circumstances of their validity?
It is of course appropriate to note that such arguments have been advanced
as part of political discourse within western societies.
With respect to lying, how is it that those at the very highest level,
who have been proven to be liars on matters which have cost the lives of
many thousands, continue to be valued by faith-based communities that claim
to abhor lying and slaughter? How is that those rejected from leadership
of their countries for this reason are then appointed to positions of confidence
to mediate in complex situations which have suffered endlessly from lying
on all sides?
But there would also be those who would reframe the address by a leader
of Iran as an example of lying in its own right, irrespective of the merit
of some of the points made. The "People
of the Book" have all been warned
about the silver-tongued skills of oratory of those who would lead them
astray. In whom should they have faith? By what acts should they be
Is repeated engagement in the slaughter of others one such
criteria -- whilst claiming to abhor the necessity of it? But then
have the Abrahamic religions not distinguished themselves by their enthusiasm
for such slaughter down the centuries?
It would have been helpful had the speaker also made reference
to the tendency of everyone to lie to themselves -- deceiving themselves
in some measure regarding issues they have every right to believe are
They sacrifice all the good things of life and the sublime for their own greed.
Comment: It is curious that, at the time of the address
to the General Assembly, a recently-retired chairman of the board of governors
of the US Federal Reserve should confirm that the intervention in Iraq
was indeed "only about oil" -- as many had long argued.
6. Violations of rules of international law and disrespect of commitments
Some who were themselves the drafters of international law openly and easily
violate them and apply discriminatory policies and double standards.
Comment: Is there not a case for
the UN to document the existence of discriminatory policies and double
standards, if such is the case? Why has it failed to do so?
disarmament regulations, but every day test and stockpile new generations of
Comment: This is undisputed. But
curiously the information seldom figures in international debate -- nor
the manner in which the hypocrisy is justified.
They framed the Charter of the United Nations, but show disrespect
to the right of self-determination and independence of sovereign nations. They
conveniently abrogate their formal treaties, and do not yield to laws concerning
protection of environment. Most of the violations of international obligations
are done by few global powers.
Subsequent to the
address, why were such assertions not the subject of immediate media coverage?
Is it that they are so ridiculous? Or is it that their degree of truth is such
that widespread cover-up was encouraged by those with capacity to influence
media coverage -- even amongst the quality newspapers? More surprising,
but perhaps predictable and indicative, was the extent to which the speaker
was framed by commentators as mentally deranged.
is the case that arguments in support of such points have been well-developed
by respected and well-informed authorities.
7. Escalation of threats and arms race
Some powers, whenever their logic fails, simply use the language of threat.
Comment: This assertion is surely
worthy of careful debate, whether or not it is true. However, if it is
true in the case of individuals and of smaller groups, why should it not
be true in the case of countries, cultures and civilizations? Whilst the
language of threat is evident, how does failure of logic manifest? As fear
of engaging in dialogue? Is this an early indicator of cultural
heavy arms race cast the shadow of threat over the globe. The nations of Europe
were the victims of two world wars and a number of other devastating conflicts
and were subjected to the consequences of the Cold War for many decades. Today
Europeans are living under the shadow of threat, and their interests, security
and lands are endangered under shadow of the arms race imposed by certain big
A bullying power allows itself the right to set up a missile system, makes the
life of the peoples of a continent bitter and lays the ground for arms race.
Comment: This is surely fair comment. It
has been made by countries within the region.
Some rulers who superficially appear to be powerful act as a child that has acquired
a plastic water gun and feels powerful power and starts shooting impatiently
at all things and at all times, threaten others and cast the shadow of insecurity
over nations and regions.
Comment: The larger issue raised by this
assertion is the real nature of power and why it is so readily associated
with more and more sophisticated weaponry -- when history is marked by a
long succession of collapsing cultures and civilizations distinguished by
such overriding power.
The issue is made especially curious when
such forms of power are championed by those in faith-based cultures who are
supposedly convinced of their belief in a higher power. There is a certain
irony to the implication that the strength of their belief in this higher
power is thereby demonstrated to be inversely proportional to their apparent
dependence on physical power -- in marked contrast to the beliefs of early
Christian martyrs. Or is this dependence to be considered their real measure
of the real weakness of the higher power that they so readily claim to be "almighty"?
8. Inefficacy of international mechanism to prevail over these challenges and to bring durable peace and security
International organizations and mechanisms clearly lack the capacity to overcome
problems and challenges, to put in place fair and just relations and peace, fraternity
and security. There is hardly any government or nation that places much hope
on these mechanisms to secure its rights or defend its independence, territorial
integrity and national interests.
Comment: Given the United
Nations figures cited above, and given the numerous regional conflicts and
large-scale massacres that have taken place since the creation of the United
Nations, such lack of capacity is difficult to question. Given the failure
of development capacity building over decades under the auspices of international
institutions -- and most notably in Iraq at the present time -- on what basis
do claims continue to be made regarding the efficacy of these bodies? Just
as individuals rightly question the capacity of society to protect them against
urban violence, what faith is it appropriate for a country to place in international
Why do citizens of the country that believes
itself to be the model of democracy in the world consider it necessary to
be able to arm themselves for a degree of personal protection that their
society cannot provide -- and to enshrine that right in a formal amendment
to their country's constitution? Is a measure of successfully
"spreading democracy", the extent to which citizens feel it appropriate
to bear arms, and to belong to militia, as provided by that constitutional
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The challenges are a lot more than the ones I enumerated and I know that you
would have presented many more if you wanted to dwell on them, but I chose to
confine myself to the ones I stated.
Now, the important and decisive question concerns the roots and causes of these
challenges. A scientific and careful analysis shows that the root of the present
situation lies in two fundamental factors.
Without doubt, the first factor lies in the relations arising from the consequences
of World War the Second.
The victors of the war drew the roadmap for global domination and formulated
their policies not on the basis of justice but for ensuring interests of victors
over the vanquished nations. Therefore mechanisms arising from this approach
and related policies have not been capable to find just solutions for global
problems since 60 years ago. Some big powers still carry the conduct of the victors
of a world war and regard other states and nations even those that had nothing
to do with the war, as the vanquished, and humiliate other nations and demand
extortion from the condescending position similar to feudal and peasants of
the medieval age. They regard themselves superior to others and are not accountable
to any government or international body.
Comment: Such points have been made by countries
(other than the victorious Allies) that have emerged from that period
and now recognize their right for a larger voice in the debates of the
international community. This is especially the case when, like India
for example, they are now expected to take a much larger responsibility
for issues such as climate change.
Most curious is the right that the victors arrogate to themselves
with respect to nuclear weapons and the assumptions they continue to
make regarding their moral superiority as responsible "world citizens"
protective of the interests of humanity as a whole -- and despite the
bloody conflicts in which they have since engaged (in defence of their
own interests) and the massacres they have tolerated (especially when
it was not in their interest to intervene). The argument for
their moral superiority is all the more questionable given the degree
of lying with which they have been shown to be associated -- even to
the extent of surreptitiously equipping other countries with nuclear
weaponry, who in turn deny the possession thereof.
Given the logic associated with ensuring that ordinary citizens should
be armed, in order to protect themselves in a model democratic society,
one might ask whether nations (as members of the international community)
should not have the right to equip themselves with advanced weaponry
(including nuclear weaponry) capable of withstanding the types of aggression
that have come to be characteristic of international bullying.
Why should it be considered a form of anathema for countries other
than permanent members of the Security Council to possess nuclear
weaponry -- and by what strange logic should nuclear weapons be used
to prevent them from doing so (with all the risks attendant upon irresponsible
and ill-considered use of such weaponry)?
Especially curious, in the light of the arguments made in the speech
for a "monotheistic" alliance as a basis for faith-based world
governance, is the current distribution of such weaponry between representatives
of faiths amongst the permanent members of the Security Council. Of the
five, three are considered primarily Christian societies
with an additional one having recently "reactivated" its traditional
Christian associations. The fifth is characteristically an "unbeliever" by
monotheistic criteria. Of course more curious is that several of those
associated with the Christian majority were involved in surreptitiously
equipping a country representative of a second Abrahamic religion. Through
its claims to moral superiority, it is this configuration that is proposing
to undertake a nuclear strike on a country representative of the third
Abrahamic faith -- that has not yet acquired such weaponry. Is
this a prime example of "logical failure"?
Colleagues, Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Among all the ineffective organizations, unfortunately, the UN Security Council
They have created circumstances in which some powers with exclusive and special
right to veto in the Security Council act as prosecutor, judge and executioner,
regardless of being a defendant or respondent. It is natural that countries that
have been subjected to their infringements have no hope to get what they deserve
from the Council.
Comment: Given the peace-keeping purpose for which
it was specifically established, any objective evaluation of the performance
of the Security Council in the light of the range of regional conflicts
subsequent to its creation would surely question its effectiveness? But
by what authority might it be replaced?
Would "further research" on this matter not be justified, or is the modus
operandi of the Security Council also beyond question?
Given the every increasing destructive power of the weapons developed
by the permanent members of the Security Council, and indiscriminately
sold by them for profit and national advantage, how is this to be judged
as increasing the level of risk to humanity?
Unfortunately the humanity has witnessed that in all long wars, like the Korean
and Vietnam wars, the war of the Zionists against Palestinians and Lebanon, war
of Saddam against the people of Iran and ethnic wars of Europe and Africa, one
of members the Security Council was one of the belligerents or supported one
party against the other, usually the aggressor, or the conflict itself.
Look at Iraq, they first occupied them and then received authorization from the
Security Council, the same Council in which the same occupiers have the right
Who should the people of Iraq complain about and to where should they take their
complaints with hopes of securing their rights?
We saw in Lebanon that some powers delayed the decisions of the Security Council
hoping for the victory of the Zionist regime. However, when they became disappointed
in that usurper regime's victory, they approved of a ceasefire to take effect.
But the duty of the Security Council is to prevent the expansion of conflicts,
to put in place the ceasefire and promote peace and safety. Who should the people
of Lebanon complain about and where should they take their complaints to?
Comment: Whatever the merits of the other side of
any simplistic binary argument, these points certainly merit debate in
considering the complicity of the Security Council in sustaining conflict.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The presence of some monopolist powers has prevented the Security Council from
doing its main duties which are safeguarding peace and security based on justice.
The credibility of the council has been tarnished and its efficacy in defending
the rights of its members has been destroyed. Many nations have lost their confidence
in the Council.
Some other mechanisms like the monetary and banking mechanisms are in the same
undesirable situation and have been turned into tools for the imposition of the
wishes of some powers on other nations.
It is evident that these mechanisms are not capable of responding to the current
needs and solving the challenges and establishing fair and sustainable relations.
Comment: This appropriately introduces
the "monopolistic" nature of certain powers -- as noted by others over
decades. However it is introduced in a manner which highlights an unfortunate
symmetry with the "monotheistic" faiths that are favourably positioned
above and in what follows -- as part of the solution rather than as part
of the problem. It might be argued that points critical of the "monotheistic"
faiths could be made by analogy with those of the "monopolistic" powers,
especially if they were to be united in a faith-based "World Security
Of course, just as the dynamics between the "monopolistic" powers
have arguably been less than fruitful in past decades, those between
faiths have been less than fruitful over centuries. The question is what
new thinking might be brought to any proposal of this nature. Or is the
current problematic situation to be compounded by a security system based
on monopolistic powers in combination with monotheistic faiths?
not be forgotten that many of the present challenges to the international
community derive precisely from the initiatives of the most powerful monopolistic
power whose policies are empowered by an electorate uniquely persuaded of
its monotheistic legitimacy in terms of one Abrahamic religion. And,
curiously, many of the challenges in the Middle East are perceived as resulting
from the actions of another power whose electorate is also uniquely persuaded
of its monotheistic legitimacy -- in terms of another Abrahamic religion.
A further curious implication of this proposed shift -- from the outmoded
"monopolistic" powers to the "monotheistic" powers (suggested
as being appropriate to the future) -- is the functional analogue to dependence
of the monopolistic powers in the Security Council on their possession of
nuclear weaponry and their self-righteous concern regarding "non-proliferation".
There is an interesting implication that the "monotheistic" powers
would then see their legitimacy as based on a form of "weaponry" whose powerful "nuclearity"
was indeed essentially spiritual. There is every possibility that they
would be as reluctant as the "monopolistic" powers to see any "proliferation"
of it -- for fear that it might fall into irresponsible hands capable of
endangering the spiritual future of humanity.
Of course the probability of the emergence of any
such alliance of monotheistic powers is somewhat diminished by the manner
in which the representatives of two of the Abrahamic powers were unwilling
to listen in the UN General Assembly to the arguments of the speaker --
as a representative of the third Abrahamic power. Monotheistic powers are
above all characterized -- perhaps following from that definition -- by
their extremely limited ability to appreciate any point of view other than
their own. It is unfortunate that, as the other representatives of monotheistic
religions, they chose (by absenting themselves) not to respond in the light
of their own perspectives, and their relevance to prophecies to which they
Given the fundamental importance attached to family values by these
religions "of the same family", it might be naively argued that
they are in desperate need of "family therapy" -- if only because
of the disruption to wider society associated with their "domestic violence".
It is ironic that this should be one role that is expected of the entity
that is the fulfillment of their seemingly common prophecy.
Again, there is no doubt that the second and more important
factor is some big
powers' disregard of morals, divine values, the teachings of prophets and directions
specified by the all-knowing God as well as the rule of the sinful. How can the
sinful that can not even manage and control themselves, rule the humanity and
arrange his affairs?
Comment: There is no question that the sacred writings
of religions, monotheistic or otherwise, offer many wise injunctions on
which more appropriate action could be based. The difficulty is
that even amongst those adhering to the same faith, the interpretations
of these injunctions varies sufficiently significantly to be a cause of
unending violence down the centuries, as noted above. This situation is
worse between faiths, even those of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions. Their
highest representatives have proven to be notably constrained in articulating
together imaginative solutions that respect the spiritual traditions by
which they are respectively inspired. Does this not imply urgent need
for "further research"?
Unfortunately the statement also fails to acknowledge that it tends
to be just as much those who subscribe to a monotheistic faith that engage
in inappropriate activity -- notably against members of that same faith
-- as those who have other beliefs. There is unfortunately little evidence
that those who purport to subscribe to respected values and teachings are
any freer from inadequacies than those who do not.
Unfortunately they have put themselves in the position of God! They are in servitude
of their own whims and desire to have everything for themselves. For them, the
human dignity and the lives, properties lands of others are no longer important.
Comment: This points to a basic challenge of leaders
of countries primarily associated with particular religions -- monotheistic
or otherwise. The
country may easily be represented in some way as
"God-given", or "Promised", with a manifest destiny before God.
The privileged relationship of that country with God may be asserted and
cultivated. Its denial may even be considered blasphemous. Actions by the
leaders of such countries may be purportedly undertaken "in the Name
of God" and
therefore in no way subject to challenge or criticism (especially by unbelievers)
-- even when they are in direct disobedience of a number of the "Ten
-- "Thou shalt not murder" raising issues about
targeted assassinations, suicide bombing and military action under faith-based
-- "Thou shalt not steal" raising issues regarding the kleptocratic
behaviour of regimes sustained by faith-based leadership committed to the
seizure of the cultural assets and natural resources of other countries.
-- "Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbour" raising
issues about misleading statements made by faith-based leaders regarding weapons
of mass destruction.
-- "Thou shalt not
covet anything that belongs to your neighbour" raising issues regarding
the coveting of Iraqi and Iranian oil reserves by the faith-based leadership
of the Coalition of the Willing.
Humanity has had the deep wound caused by impious powers on his battered body.
Today, the problems that people around world face are mainly rooted in the disregard
of human values and morals and also in the management by the impious.
Comment: The challenge that this worthy statement fails
to address is the well-established capacity for leaders and their peoples
to cultivate a pretence of respect for human values and the forms of piety
as a subterfuge --
using values and their associated behaviours as a "human shield" to disguise
less respectable agendas that they can readily deny. The degree
of pretence may be unrecognized by those who, perhaps quite innocently,
behave in this way -- failing to comprehend the value qualities associated
with true piety as promoted by the wise.
Sustainable way to the betterment of mankind
Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The only sustainable way to the betterment of mankind, is the return to the teachings
of divine prophets, monotheism, respect for the dignity of humans and the flow
of love and affections in all relationships, ties and regulations. Then the structures
should be reformed based on these.
This is an unfortunate statement precisely because the wisest in all religions,
monotheistic or otherwise, have been unable to demonstrate in practice how
to manage human affairs according to such worthy principles. History is replete
with examples of different groups aspiring to do so, claiming to do so, and
then engaging in unfruitful dynamics with others who have an alternative view.
And, as noted above, the monotheistic religions have exemplified the challenge
in the violent schisms they have each undergone -- "in the Name of God" --
and in their violent relations with each other.
The inadequacy of the statement lies therefore in the assumption that any
faith, or cluster of faiths, could achieve agreement on how to act "for
the betterment of mankind" and could implement such agreement in a sustainable
enduring manner. This is not to say that the possibility does not merit
"further research", rather it is to say that considerable resources need
to be allocated to such research and the evaluation in practice of the options
that emerge. Perhaps more interesting is why such research has not been undertaken
in anything but a simplistic manner unworthy of the complexity and subtleties
of belief systems -- and as such condemned in advance to failure.
The statement is also inadequate because it fails to address the challenges
of new ways of thinking about those who disagree and do not fully subscribe
to what some others consider to be the wisest and most appropriate interpretation
of the best insights made evident to humanity. It is inadequate to fall into
the binary trap of simply "excommunicating", "executing" or
With this trap is also associated the unmentioned challenge of the place
faiths and those who claim or seek no association with "spiritual" belief,
or who would articulate its profoundest insights through the experience of
the most advanced forms of "science" -- as with the search for
of Everything" and its comprehension.
The unfruitful dialogue between religion and scientific
("unbelievers") might then be better framed in terms of comprehension. "Divinity"
might then be understood, for science, to be a descriptor for that which
is as yet far from understood -- but nevertheless may be appropriately
assumed to ensure the integrity of the universe and life within it. However
the present recognition by some sciences of the complex elegance of the
integrating processes makes their frustration with superficial explanation
by religions understandable -- since the essential experiential dimension
of religion is meaningless to science. And yet "science" also has its
schisms, heresies and pseudosciences whose place in the scheme of things
remains to be understood.
As with schismatic
or heretical discourse, within and between faiths, that over "intelligent
design" may be saying more about the limitations (and their denial)
of human comprehension, articulation, and communication, than about the reality
of the matter. In that respect the current exemplar of "unbelief",
Richard Dawkins (The
2006) illustrates the total inadequacy of the scientific method in being
necessarily unable to offer any comprehensible description of what it does
not yet understand -- and which will continue to be only partially understood
in the distant future, if science itself it to continue to develop.
that sense, ironically, the value of science lies primarily in its evidential
focus on the past, on what has already happened, rather than on what might
come to be comprehended in the future. Despite its efforts at prediction,
it might even be said to have its back to the future -- in contrast with
religion. Of course both science and religion would happily argue that
the other was "past-oriented" in contrast with their own "future orientation".
This suggests a useful fundamental difference in the way time is sensed and
prioritized by each and perceived in the other.
To fulfill this objective, I invite everybody to line up a front of fraternity,
amity and sustainable peaces based on monotheism and justice under the name of "Coalition
for Peace" to prevent incursions and arrogance and propagate the culture of affection
and justice. I hereby announce that with the help of all independent, justice-seeking
and peace-loving nations, the Islamic republic of Iran will be treading on this
This proposal by Iran is especially interesting given the circumstances under
which it has been made. It may be seen as an imaginative complement to the
destructive focus of the Coalition of the Willing as characterized by its intervention
in Iraq. It should be noted however that a creative reframing and institutionalization
of the latter has been deliberately articulated under the name "Concert
of Democracies" (Forging
a World of Liberty Under Law, US National Security in the 21st Century,
2006). However the thinking on which it is based is arguably of
the same quality and origin as that which had previously failed to challenge
the inadequacies of the Coalition of the Willing. The envisaged role of
the USA as the "conductor" of such a "concert" is also problematic.
A unique feature of the proposed "Coalition for Peace" is
the faith-based dimension -- completely absent from the "Concert of
to which institutionalized efforts by religions to formulate a "Global
pointed. However, once again, many coalitions specifically focused on "peace" have
been proposed in the past century. The important question, for which "further
research" is indeed appropriate, is why they have failed and how might
inadequacies be corrected in a new endeavour.
It is possible that one factor undermining their viability is the "linear"
metaphor associated with the speaker's proposal to "line up". This
is consistent with a typical requirement of political initiatives where "alignment",
as in the military, is an indicator of appropriate organization. In any research
there is a need to explore other metaphors potentially more fruitful as
the basis for a viable coalition. These might include "configuration" or
"array", or possibly "ecosystem". Ironically the central
architecture of religious faiths -- of which mosques are a powerful example
-- suggests a variety of metaphors for configuring different spaces
harmoniously together. Why should sacred architecture not exemplify a viable
integrative configuration of distinct insights -- and one that is comprehensible
Unfortunately, once again, it is not enough to gather together those
who pay lip service to the highest human values -- under whatever pressure
from those capable of exerting it. The challenge is how such a coalition
could be enabled in practice -- beyond the limited achievements of initiatives
of the past distinguished primarily by the promotional pretences of their
supporters. Also problematic, and a possible implication of the
above statement, are the potentially restrictive interpretations of "fraternity", "amity", "peace",
and "monotheism" --
and the place of those who may thereby be excluded. Ironically these
might be caricatured as "UN-believers".
Monotheism, justice and love for humans should dominate all the pillars of the
UN and this organization has to be a reference for justice and every member of
it has to enjoy equal spiritual and legal support.
Comment: This central feature of the proposal calls
for careful exploration. Are their subtler and more comprehensive ways
of understanding "monotheism" in the light of advances in the
many sciences and the compatibility of their insights with deepest spiritual
understanding? Again there is a case for careful clarification of this
Are there limitations to the articulation of humanity's
deepest insights that thereby engender an array of mutually antagonistic
belief systems, of which "science" may simply be another form?
And yet are the complexities, to which science seeks to give comprehensible
form, not also an expression of a larger mystery? What are the insights that
can bridge across these differences to give profounder, richer and more
appropriate expression to what the speaker characterized as "monotheism"?
As a topic of "further research" it might then be asked whether the
schismatic tendency within religions was due to the pressures of emergent
recognition of the insufficiency of a particular interpretation to
encompass the more comprehensive understanding implied by "divinity". This
would not be to deny the necessity of any particular interpretation for
some -- possibly due to cultural background or epistemological preferences
(preferred "ways of knowing"). Similarly the apparent differences between
religions regarding the number of "divinities", however represented, might
be fruitfully understood in terms of the capacity of human comprehension
to relate separately (with greater significance) to more particular, explicit
representations. These may be together understood, with a degree of humility,
as implying an essentially incomprehensible, underlying, "monotheistic"
In the case of Christianity, its "polytheism" is then evident in the
Trinity, various arrays and levels of angelic powers, and the embodiments
of aspects of "divinity" in distinct prophets and saints to
which people variously relate -- as in Hindusim. In the case of Judaism, the
distinct sephiroth, interrelated in kabbalistic mysticism,
provide a contrasting example. It is to be expected that analogous distinctions
provide a requisite configuration of distinct foci in Islam.
The challenge to comprehension has been traditionally illustrated
through the simple tale of the disagreement
amongst seven blind men about the nature of an elephant -- of which
each is touching a different part (trunk, tail, leg, etc). Curiously
the tale has
been variously attributed to the Jainists, Buddhists, and sometimes to
the Sufis or Hindus, and has been used by all those groups. In this light
it may be fruitfully asked which religions are not "monotheistic" --
if appropriately understood as the wisest of their particular believers
problem for those defining themselves as "monotheists" is their assumed
understanding of the "elephant" in its totality -- an understanding which
others might assume (with more humility?) is necessarily partial or premature.
General Assembly as the representative of the international community shall be
considered as the most important pillar of the UN in order, free from any pressure
and threats of big powers, to take required measures for reforming the UN structures
and especially change the present status of the Security Council and define new
structures based on justice and democracy with the purpose to become responsive
to the present requirements and be able to settle existing challenges leading
to the establishment of sustainable stability and security.
Comment: Unfortunately any question of "reforming
the United Nations" has
long been associated with decade long-processes through which very little
is achieved of practical value in response to the dynamics of the crises
to which humanity is increasingly exposed. As a consequence many
parallel structures have been created to avoid such difficulties. The
web is one such example -- in which the UN has been a reluctant and tardy
participant. It is possible that the envisaged coalition could benefit
to a much higher degree from the possibilities and future potentials of
the web -- rather than pursue the unfruitful path of formal treaties
The nuclear issue of Iran is a clear example of the performance of such mechanisms
and their prevailing thoughts.
As you all know, Iran is an official member of the International Atomic Energy
Agency and has always observed its rules and regulations and has had the most
extensive cooperation with this Agency in all aspects. All our nuclear work has
been completely peaceful and transparent.
According to the Statute of the IAEA, any member has a number of rights and commitments.
Actually, any member has to move on the peaceful path and, under the supervision
of the Agency, assist other members and is entitled to be supported by the Agency
and have access to the fuel cycle with the help the Agency and its members.
So far, Iran has fulfilled all its obligations but has been deprived of other
members' technical assistance and, even during some periods of time, of the Agency's
For about 5 years, some of the aforementioned powers tried to deny the Iranian
nation of its rights by exerting pressures on IAEA.
They derailed Iran's nuclear issue of its legal path and politicized the atmosphere
to impose their wishes taking advantage of all their potentials.
Iran spared no effort to build confidence. However, nothing satisfied them except
the complete halt of all nuclear activities even those related to research and
university fields. They were only after depriving Iran of all its inalienable
rights. Therefore, even those centers not involved in the fuel cycle or not in
need of the supervision of the Agency were closed. After three years of negotiation
and trying to build confidence, the Iranian nation came to the resolute conviction
that the main concern of these powers is not the possible deviation of Iran from
the rules and regulations of the Agency but its scientific progress. If this
trend continues there will be no chance for Iran to enjoy its rights, not even
in the next 20 years. Therefore, it has to be decided to follow up the issue
on its right legal path that goes through the Agency away from illegitimate and
political impositions by the arrogant powers. Of course, Iranian Nation has always
been ready and now is prepared for constructive talks.
By abusing the Security Council, the arrogant powers have repeatedly accused
Iran and even made military threats against it over the last two years. However,
thanks to the faith in God and the national unity, Iran has moved forward step
by step and now our country is recognized as a country with the capacity for
industrial scale fuel cycle production for peaceful uses.
Fortunately, the Agency has recently tried to regain its legal role as supporter
of the rights of its members and supervisor of nuclear activities. We see this
as a right approach adopted by the Agency. Previously, they illegally wished
to politicize Iranian Nation's nuclear case, but today, thanks to the resistance
of the Iranian nation, the issue is back at the Agency and I officially announce
that in our opinion the nuclear issue of Iran is now closed and has turned into
an ordinary matter. Today many questions have been raised on Iranian nuclear
activities within IAEA by certain powers which shall be examined properly. Of
course Iran has always been prepared to have constructive talks with all parties.
I would like to thank all the nations and countries that, during this hard juncture,
defended the legal rights of my nation and motherland and also appreciate the
members of the Non-Aligned Movement, our other friends in the Security Council,
IAEA's Board of Governors, the committed and law-abiding experts of the Agency
and its Director General for their insistence on the law. I would also like to
announce that unlike the monopolist powers, the Iranian nation is ready to offer
to other members its experiences in form of educational programs and based on
the obligations of the Agency's statute and under its supervision.
Comment: The issue here is that certain members of
the Security Council attach little credibility to the assertions of Iran
or the reports of the IAEA. As with Iraq, they "know" what is
the truth and have "photographs" obtained in secret to prove it -- as they
produced for the Security Council. This is a standard game of bluff. Unfortunately,
any decision to bomb Iran will be made irrespective of such assertions
-- as was the case with Iraq.
Now I would like to address those who beleaguered the Iranian nation for about
five years, offended and accused my people who have contributed to the history
and civilization of the world and advice them to learn from their recent actions.
They mistreated the Iranian nation but they have to be careful not to do the
same with other nations and not to sacrifice the integrity of international organizations
for the sake of their unlawful wishes. Today the nations of the world are wide-awake,
vigilant, and resistant. If you reform yourselves, the whole world will be reformed.
Comment: On the occasion of a CBS
interview with the Iranian President just preceding his visit to the UN, a high degree
of focus was given to the emotive accusation, in the name of the American
people, that Iran had "American
blood on its hands" -- in
the light of information recently presented as factual regarding the supply
of arms to militia in Iraq.
Framing dialogue between peoples in this way
does not help to move matters forward. It might also be argued that America
blood on its hands" as a result of an unfortunate number of "friendly
fire" incidents (for which any apologies have been grudging). It is not
however disputed that the USA supplied weapons to Saddam Hussein in Iraq's
war against Iran (1980-1988) -- the longest in the last century. In that
sense America indeed has "Iranian
blood on its hands" in
much larger quantity (estimated at one million casualties).
of the current Iraq war is normally careful never to mention from whom weaponry
was obtained or to raise issues of the chain of responsibility of suppliers
or manufacturers -- or the much disputed implications in the case of sale
of arms to citizens within the USA. Is it the case that many of the Americans
killed in Iraq are in fact killed by weapons made in America? Does America
have "American blood on its hands"? Or, as another major arms manufacturer,
is it Britain that has "American blood on its hands"? Or is it
the permanent members of the Security Council that all have each others'
"blood on their hands"?
Nations are inherently good and can co-exist peacefully. They'd better try to
serve their own people, and be sure that others do not need them.
Comment: As the previous comment noted, the extent
to which certain countries continue to indulge in arms manufacture for
profit requires that this statement be carefully qualified -- however true
it may be in principle. Historically the majority of the permanent members
of the Security Council derived their wealth from slavery. They and others
have indulged in genocidal practices in territories they have colonised
-- and which they may continue to exploit after independence.
at the time of the address to the UN, extensive media coverage was given
to the announcement that the USA would increase its sanctions against
the repressive regime of Myanmar, and that the EU was considering similar
measures. The significance of these steps lies in the fact
that the regime has been in place and repressive for decades -- presumably
with a degree of complicity on the part of those trading with it. What
support has continued to be given, and by whom, throughout that period
and with what justification -- in exchange for oil for example? How
meaninglessly cynical is the declaration that sanctions would now be "increased"?
Is it not high time for these powers to return from the path of arrogance and
obedience of Satan to the path of Godliness?
Comment: It is curious that
the Abrahamic faiths at the forefront of the "clash of civilizations"
should make such frequent solemn appeals to "God" and to so readily
recognize the influence of "Satan". As an arena neither the UN
General Assembly nor its Specialized Agencies is equipped to facilitate
discourse with either set of referents. The challenge is rendered even
more complex because the Abrahamic faiths readily perceive each other to
be not only misguided, but also guided by Satan. How then to clarify
such influences if there was to be any hope of a monotheistic alliance?
Reference to the "path of arrogance" is a pointer in a fruitful direction.
How is arrogance to be recognized however amongst faiths that are above all
characterized by self-righteousness -- having been directly mandated by
Unfortunately it is a characteristic of Satan that evidence
for his existence is remarkably more easy to detect in the activities of
others than amongst one's own group and in one's own behaviour.
of the speaker in New York was heralded by a front page newspaper headline
"The Evil has Landed" (Daily News, 24 September 2007). Few
asked the question raised in the UK by Anne Penketh (The
Big Question: Is America Right to Demonise President Ahmadinejad of Iran? Independent,
26 September 2007)
however the number of deaths for which Iran is purportedly directly responsible
in Iraq, as justification for that heading, is insignificant in comparison
with the number for which the USA has been responsible there. Is it appropriate,
or fruitful, to ask whether -- from some other perspective -- it was US "Evil
that Landed" in
Iraq in the first place?
It is so easy to detect Satan in others that calls for the assassination
of those, considered to be so possessed, are readily
made with increasing frequency, as with some demonstrators
against the speaker's presence in New York. Similarly a former American
presidential candidate and prominent televangelist, Pat Robertson, called
for the assassination of the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. Dissent
has now become a prime indicator of possession by Satan.
Do they not like to be cleansed of their impurities, submit to the will of God
and believe in him? Faith in God means believing in honesty, purity, justice
and loving others!
They can be sure that they will benefit from purity, honesty, justice, loving
and respecting the human dignity. They can be sure that such attributes are considered
to be more appropriate, valuable and beautiful by the nations of the world.
This is the invitation of all divine prophets from Adam to Noah, Abraham, Moses,
Jesus Christ and Mohammed, the Messenger of God (PBUH). If they answer to the
invitation, they will be saved and if they don't,
the same thing that befell the people of the past will befall them.
Comment: This statement of course specifically excludes
other faiths with which millions of people are associated. It fails
the reason for which others prefer such beliefs and the place that belief holds
in the larger scheme of things. It also fails to address the place of secularism
and the extent to which it is a rejection of the specific abuses that have been
so characteristic of so many religions.
But as has long been a characteristic
of the Abrahamic religions, does the statement imply that God could possibly
be vigorously assisted in his efforts by eliminating those who do not respond
to the invitation in the required form -- thereby demonstrating unequivocally
their possession by Satan?
According to holy Koran:
|"One who does not answer the divine call should not think that he has
weakened God on earth; he has no companion but God and he is clearly engulfed
They have nothing of their own and can not escape from the dominion of the rule
of God and his will.
Comment: Is it appropriate to preclude a richer comprehension
and intentionality, on the part of an omniscient deity in a larger scheme
of things, beyond the modesty of current human comprehension, in favour
of a possibly over-confident particular understanding of it in the light
of one's own limited experience? This would in no way deny
the above statement.
Given the schismatic tendencies of all religions, and their failure
to fully accept each other's insights, surely it is wise to avoid premature
assumptions regarding human comprehension of divine will? The
speaker notably failed to make any reference to the fact that his much-awaited
Imam Al-Mahdi is of the Shiite tradition, with all the challenges this
raises for the future relationship with those of Sunni-dominated Iraq
-- with whom Iran had a lengthy war.
In this important gathering, I have to remind them of the following words of
the Almighty which has been mentioned in the Holy Quran:
|"Do they not look at the powers and governments which came before them?
If the people of the past had actually possessed something, they would
have kept it and would not have let you the posses it now. God destroyed
them because of their sins and nobody could protect them against the will
They have to know that the ways and traditions based on oppression and injustice
will be destroyed. Do they not see the signs of vigilance and resistance based
on monotheism, philanthropy and the justice-seeking spirit of the nations of
the world? Do they not notice the imminent fall of empires?
I hope that this invitation will have a practical answer.
Nations and countries don't have to obey the injustice of certain powers.
These powers, because of the reasons already mentioned, have lost the competence
to lead the world because of their hideous acts.
Comment: This is a conclusion on
which many reflect. The question is by what will this misleadership be
replaced and how will it be brought about? The above statement offers
some pointers but avoids issues with which many have unsuccessfully struggled
in past decades.
I officially declare that the age of relations arising from the Second World
War as well as materialistic thoughts based on arrogance and domination is well
Humanity has passed a perilous precipice and the age of monotheism, purity, affinity,
respecting others, justice and true peace loving has commenced.
Comment: For this statement to be true there must be
some capacity to agree on its meaning and to recognize the role of a variety
of apparently incompatible interpretations that enable its larger truth
to be encompassed and effectively grounded in reality.
It is the divine promise that the truth will be victorious and earth will be
inherited by the righteous. You, who are free, believers and the people of the
world, put your trust in God. You, who crave for the high values, wherever you
are, try to prepare the grounds for the fulfillment of this great divine promise
by serving the people and seeking justice.
The age of darkness will end, the prisoners will come back home, the occupied
lands will be freed, Palestine and Iraq will be liberated from the domination
of the occupiers and the people of Europe will be free of the pressures exerted
by the Zionists. The tender-hearted and humanity-loving governments will replace
the aggressive and domineering ones. The human dignity will be regained. The
pleasing aroma of justice will permeate the world and people will live together
in a brotherly and affectionate manner.
Striving in this way to give the rule to the righteous and the Promised One is
actually the final cure for the wounds of humanity, the solution of all problems,
and the establishment of love, beauty, justice and happiness all over the world.
This belief and endeavor is the key to unity and the constructive interactions
among nations, countries, the people of the world and all the true justice seekers.
Without any doubt, the Promised One who is the final Savior and the last heavenly
message will come. In the company of all believers, justice-seekers and benefactors,
he will establish the bright future and fill the world with justice and beauty.
This is the promise of God, therefore it will be fulfilled.
Comment: All such prophecies may indeed have meaningful
resonances that inspire hope for the future -- a greater hope than is otherwise
offered by the secular world (of "UN-believers"!).
However the issue within
the monotheistic religions, and
between them, is why their unfruitful dynamics inhibit understanding
of the larger and deeper truths to which they claim to point as well as
exacerbating the violence between those who hold to partial truths,
condemning that of which they have only partial understanding.
Let's have a role in the fulfillment of all this glory and beauty.
I wish for the bright future for all human beings and the dawn of the liberation
and freedom for all humans and the rule of love and affections all around the
world as well as elimination of oppression, hatred and violence. The wish which
I think will be realized in the near future.
|A Common Word Between Us and You
The statement by the President of Iran followed achievement of a unique
historical consens within Islam leading to a letter addressed to Pope
Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders by 138 prominent Muslim scholars
from every sect of Islam "to come together with us on the common essentials
of our two religions". Entitled A Common Word
Between Us and You, it
argued in 29 pages that: "If Muslims and Christians are not at peace,
the world cannot be at peace...The very survival of the world is perhaps
at stake." The letter was addressed following the 14th General Conference
of Jordan's Royal
Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in September 2007 (see World's
future hinges on peace between faiths, Islamic scholars tell Pope, Guardian,
12 October 2007).
The communication followed a process described as follows:
This amounts to a historical, universal and unanimous religious and
political consensus (ijma') of the Ummah (nation) of
Islam in our day, and a consolidation of traditional, orthodox Islam.
The significance of this is: (1) that it is the first time in over a
thousand years that the Ummah has formally and specifically
come to such a pluralistic mutual inter-recognition; and (2) that such
a recognition is religiously legally binding on Muslims since the Prophet
(may peace and blessings be upon him) said: My Ummah will not agree
upon an error (Ibn Majah, Sunan, Kitab al-Fitan, Hadith no.
It notably includes the statement:
In the Holy Qur'an, God Most High enjoins Muslims
to issue the following call to Christians (and Jews -- the People
of the Scripture):
Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common
word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and
that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall
take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say:
Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal 'Imran 3:64)
|Comment: Although every respect is due to such an
initiative, and every hope could be placed in it by the optimistic, history
suggests that there is also a case for exploring in parallel the possibility
of more complex forms of viable rapprochement that are as respectful
of disagreement between faiths as they are of any agreement (see: Using
Disagreements for Superordinate Frame Configuration, 1992, prepared
in anticipation of the Parliament of the World's Religions).
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Are tigers only to be allowed in the new world
if they have had their pussy innoculation?