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This is a rush transcript of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s remarks at the United Nations Durban Review Conference on racism in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 20, 2009. Transcribed from the translation given in the U.N. webcast of the speech.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful… [Protestors in clown costumes escorted out by security] May he bestow upon his prophets… Praise be upon Allah, the Almighty, who is just, kind, and compassionate. May he bestow upon his prophets his blessings and his grace from Adam to Noah; Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, and His last prophet, Mohammed. Peace be upon them all who are the harbingers of monotheism, fraternity, love … [Applause] … human dignity and justice.
Mr. Chairman. I call upon all distinguished guests to forgive these ignorant people.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise be upon Allah, the Almighty, who is just, kind, and compassionate, and praise and salutations of the Almighty God to the great prophet. May he bestow upon [us] His blessings, His grace. We thank the Almighty God. Praise be upon him who is just and who is compassionate. And the salutations and regards of Allah to his prophets, from Noah to Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, and his last prophet Mohammed. Peace be upon them all who are the harbingers of monotheism, fraternity, love, human dignity, and justice.
Mr. Chairman. Honorable Secretary General of the United Nations. Madam High Commissioner. Ladies and Gentleman. We have gathered here in the follow up to the Durban conference against racism and racial discrimination to work out practical mechanisms for our holy and humanitarian campaigns. Over the last centuries, humanity has gone through tremendous suffering and pain. In the middle ages, thinkers and scientists were sentenced to death. It was then followed by a period of slavery and slave trade, when innocent people in millions were captivated and separated from their families and loved ones, to be taken to Europe and America under worse conditions; the dark period that also experienced occupations, lootings, and massacres of innocent people.
Many years passed by before nations rose up and fought for their liberty and freedom, and they paid a high price. They lost millions of lives to expel the occupiers and proclaim their independence. However, it did not take long that the coercive powers imposed two wars in Europe which also plagued a part of Asia and Africa. Those horrific wars claimed about 100 million lives and left behind massive devastation. Had lessons been learned from the occupations, horrors, and crimes of those wars, there would have been a ray of hope for the future. The victorious powers called themselves the conquerors of the world while ignoring or downtreading the rights of other nations by the imposition of oppressive laws and international arrangements.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us take a look at the U.N. Security Council, which is one of the legacies of World War II and World War I. What was the logic behind their granting themselves the veto rights? How can such a logic comply with humanitarian or spiritual values? Could it be in conformity with the recognized principles of justice, equality before law, love, and human dignity? [Applause] Or rather, with discrimination, injustice, violation of human rights, or humiliation of the majority of nations and countries?
That Council is the highest decision-making world body for safeguarding the international peace and security. How can we expect the realization of justice and peace when discrimination is legalized and the origin of law is dominated by coercion and force rather than by justice and the right?
Coercion and arrogance is the origin of oppression and wars. Although today many proponents of racism condemn racial discrimination in their words and in their slogans, a number of powerful countries have been authorized to decide for other nations based on their own interests and at their own discretions. And they can easily ridicule and violate all laws and humanitarian values, as they have done so.
Following World War II, they resorted to military aggression to make an entire nation homeless on the pretext of Jewish sufferings. And they sent migrants from Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in the occupied Palestine… [Delegates walk out in protest. Applause] And in fact in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe… Okay, please. Thank you. And in fact in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive, racist regime in Palestine. [Applause]
The Security Council helped stabilize this occupation regime and supported it in the past 60 years, giving them a free hand to continue their crimes. It is all the more regrettable that a number of Western governments and the United States have committed themselves to defend those racist perpetrators of genocide whilst the awakened conscience and free minded people of the world condemn aggression, brutalities and bombardments of civilians in Gaza. They have always been supportive or silent against their crimes. And before that, they have always been silent with regard to their crimes.
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, what are the root causes of U.S. attacks against Iraq or invasion of Afghanistan? [Shouts from audience] What are the root causes of U.S. attacks against Iraq invasion of Afghanistan? Was the motive behind the invasion of Iraq anything other than the arrogance of the then U.S. administration and the mounting pressures on the part of the owner of wealth and power to expand their sphere of influence, seeking the interests of giant arms manufacturing companies, affecting a noble culture with thousands of years of historical background, eliminating potential and practical traits of Muslim countries against the useful Zionist regime, or to control and plunder energy resources of the Iraqi people? Why, indeed almost a million people were killed and injured and a few more millions were displaced and became homeless. Why, indeed the Iraqi people have suffered enormous losses amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars. And why was hundreds of billions of dollars imposed on the American people and its allies as a result of these military actions? Wasn’t the military action against Iraq planned by the Zionists and their allies in the then U.S. administration in complicity with the arms manufacturing companies and the owner of the wealth?
The invasion of Afghanistan; restore peace, security, and economic well being in this country. The United States and its allies not only have failed to contain [?] in Afghanistan, but also the illicit cultivation of narcotics multiplied in the course of their presence. The basic question is: What was the responsibility of the job of the then U.S. administration and its allies? Did it represent the world? Have they been mandated by them? Have they been authorized on behalf of the people of the world to interfere in all parts of the globe? And of course mostly in our region aren’t these measures a clear example of egocentrism, racism, discrimination, or infringement upon the dignity and independence of nations?
Ladies and gentlemen, who are responsible for the current global economic crisis? Where did the crisis start from? From Africa? From Asia? Or was it first from the United States, then spreading to Europe and to their allies? For a long time they imposed inequitable economic regulations. By their political power on the international economy they imposed a financial and a monetary system without a proper international oversight mechanism on nations and governments that played no role in the repressive trends or policies. They have not even allowed their people to oversee of monitor their financial policies. They introduce all laws and regulations in defiance to all moral values only to protect the interests of the owners of wealth and power. They further presented a definition of market economy and competition that denied many of the economic opportunities that could be available to other countries of the world. They even transferred their problems to others whilst the wave of crisis lashed back, plaguing their economies with thousands of billions of dollars in budget deficits. And today, they are injecting hundreds of billions of cash from the pockets of their own people into the failing banks companies and financial institutions making the situation more and more complicated for the economy and their people. They are simply thinking about maintaining power and wealth. They couldn’t care any less about the people of the world and even about their own people.