Iranian President tells General Assembly that nuclear issue is now closed
The issue of Iran’s nuclear activities is a matter only for the United Nations atomic watchdog now and not the Security Council, the country’s President told the General Assembly today as he accused “arrogant powers” of abusing the Council to prevent Iran enjoying its rights and entitlements.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomed what he said was a shift by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) towards supporting the rights of its Member States while supervising their nuclear activities.
“Previously, they illegally insisted on politicizing the Iranian nation’s nuclear case, but today, because of the resistance of the Iranian nation, the issue is back to the Agency, and I officially announce that in our opinion the nuclear issue of Iran is now closed and has turned into an ordinary Agency matter,” he said.
The Security Council imposed sanctions on Iran last year amid concern over the exact nature and scope of the country’s nuclear activities. Earlier this month, however, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei welcomed Iran’s agreement on a timeline to address all outstanding issues.
Stressing that Iran’s nuclear activities have always been entirely peaceful and transparent, Mr. Ahmadinejad said Tehran had been deprived of other members’ technical assistance and sometimes even IAEA support, despite having fulfilled all of its obligations. Even some centres not involved in the fuel cycle production or requiring Agency supervision were closed, he told the Assembly’s annual high-level debate.
“For about five years, some of the aforementioned powers have, by exerting pressure on the IAEA, attempted to prevent the Iranian nation from exercising its rights… The Iranian nation came to the firm belief that the main concern of these powers is not the possible deviation of Iran’s nuclear activities, but is to prevent its scientific progress under this pretext.”
Mr. Ahmadinejad devoted much of his speech to criticism of “certain powers,” which he said were responsible for many of the world’s problems. These powers routinely breached human rights despite claiming to be exclusive advocates of those rights; aggressively attacked indigenous cultures and national values; promoted lewdness and violence; perpetuated gross economic imbalances between countries; violated rules of international law and disrespected their global commitments; and escalated the arms race.
Mr. Ahmadinejad warned these countries “to learn from history and their actions,” saying they had lost the competence to lead the planet, and that international relations would soon change.
“The era of darkness will end, prisoners will return home, the occupied lands will be freed, Palestine and Iraq will be liberated from the dominion of the occupiers, and the people of America and Europe will be free of the pressure exerted by the Zionists.
“The tender-hearted and humanity-loving governments will replace the aggressive and domineering ones. 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.”
He announced that Iran would help establish the “Coalition for Peace,” which he described as “a front of fraternity, amity and sustainable peace based on monotheism and justice.”
The Iranian leader also called for the General Assembly to be viewed and treated as the UN’s most important pillar, with the urgent task of reforming the Security Council.
“The presence of some monopolistic powers has prevented the Security Council from performing its main duty, which is the maintenance of international peace and security based on justice. The credibility of the Council has been tarnished and its efficacy in defending the rights of UN Member States has been undermined.”
Many nations had lost confidence in the Council, as well as in the major international monetary and banking mechanisms, he said.