“The leader who descended into the arena of the fight against terrorism was no one other than the beloved martyr Qassem Soleimani,” the Iranian president said, addressing the 77th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.
Holding up the picture of Lieut. Gen. Soleimani, Rayeesi noted that Trump had “effectively managed to sign the document of a savage crime and illegal crime and immoral crime”.
Calling General Soleimani as Daesh’s annihilator, the Iranian president underlined that the “previous president of the United States of America” should face a “fair tribunal” for the assassination of the anti-terror icon.
The proper pursuit of justice in the face of a crime admitted by the American president about endorsement [of the attack] will not be abandoned. We seek through a fair tribunal to bring justice those who martyred our beloved General Soleimani, Rayeesi added.
On the nuclear issue, Iran’s president stated that the ideas put forward by the country’s negotiators in the Vienna negotiations with the world powers prevented the talks from resulting in failure.
“Iran has been the main centerpiece of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) survival by sticking to its commitments,” President Rayeesi continued.
“Had it not been for the initiatives and flexibility of the Islamic Republic of Iran, negotiations would have stalled in the early days,” he added.
The Iranian president stressed that Tehran is seeking guarantees from the Americans because it cannot trust Washington’s loyalty to a new nuclear deal.
He once again reaffirmed that his country was not seeking an atomic weapon, and emphasized, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is not seeking to build or obtain nuclear weapons and such weapons have no place in our doctrine.”
Rayeesi stated that Washington’s maximum pressure policy on Tehran has “suffered an embarrassing defeat” and punishments imposed on the people of Iran are a form of weapons of mass destruction.
He underscored that the United States keeps equating militarism with security, and noted, “America has pursued its interests at the expense of other countries.”
Here is the full text of the speech of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi:
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and His Peace and Blessings be upon Muhammad and His Pure Household and His Select Companions
O Lord, send our greetings to the pure souls of the great prophets, “Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad”, may God’s blessings be upon them, who brought the message of “rationality, justice, spirituality and morality” to the world and destroyed the foundations of ignorance and oppression, so that people can build a better world for themselves.
Ladies and gentlemen
The basic yardstick for building a better world is justice. All human ideals are ultimately measured by justice. “Rationality based on revelation” believes in a broad framework for justice; Justice means negation of injustice. We are the standard-bearer of justice that negates all levels of oppression, including “oppression to oneself, God, society, and the universe”. The desire to establish justice is a divine deposit in everyone’s existence, and the accumulation of injustice causes nations to move in the form of popular revolutions. Although many movements did not reach the maturity of the revolution and many revolutions deviated from their original path, the success of some nations, such as the Iranian nation, in continuing the nature of their revolution, has kept the hope of establishing justice alive in the hearts of the people of the world. The Iranian Islamic Revolution was the crystallisation of the movement of the Iranian nation towards justice, which despite various seditions, has been able to protect the dignity and originality of its ideals. In the first step, the nation of Iran built the foundation of an advanced civil-political order based on “rationality emanating from revelation” in the name of the Islamic Republic, and in the second step, it seeks to form a “just international order and system”. The key elements in this path are “godliness, awareness, altruism, and multilateralism”.
Ladies and gentlemen
I am proud to represent a nation that has a great civilisational heritage. A nation that has always been free and has thwarted the attempts of hegemons to enslave its destiny for centuries. A nation that has always considered oppression as a cause of destruction and throughout its history has also fought against the captivity of other nations from “Babylonian captivity” to “Palestinian captivity”.
We believe in a common destiny for humanity and support the universalisation of justice.
We wish for others what we like for ourselves and we do not impose on others what we do not like for ourselves. The Iranian nation believes that justice creates unity, and oppression creates war. If a country claims justice inside itself, but abroad, it trains all kinds of terrorists and kills the nations, or forces the nations to surrender by imposing various pressures, it should be a shame for humanity, freedom, and justice.
Humanity is not exclusive to a part of human beings, and human rights are not conceived except by securing the rights of all human beings. Inspired by religious beliefs and based on the spirit and text of its constitution, the Islamic Republic of Iran has one of the most efficient mechanisms in the protection of human rights, and with the most effective tools, considers the fulfilment of the violated rights of each person as a human mission, a sovereign responsibility, and a divine duty delegated to it by the people. The Islamic Republic considers the double standards of some governments in the field of human rights as the most important factor in the institutionalisation of human rights violations, which results in diverse and numerous positions towards an incident under investigation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the deathly silence about the killing of dozens of helpless women in a short time in one of the Western countries. As long as this double standards persists, human rights will not be safe from repeated violations.
Above human rights, the rights of nations are easily trampled by oppressive powers. The right of Canadian indigenous communities whose children were buried in mass graves in schoolyards instead of school classes; the right to self-determination of the Palestinian nation, the right to development of nations under sanctions, the right to life of nations under occupation or victims of terrorism, the right to life of homeless refugees who keep children in cages separate from their mothers and fathers; all of them show that the position of the claimant and the accused in the issue of human rights should not be changed and that the real violators of human rights do not have the necessary moral competence to comment on human rights. Iran’s unique role in the destruction of ISIS, which only one of its crimes was enslaving Kurdish, Yazidi and Christian women, is enough to show that we are in the position of the claimant and defender of human rights, and the supporters of ISIS are in the position of the accused.
Now we have come together in a situation where we are facing an important reality, that is, “turning and changing the world” and entering a “new era and order”. The old world, the world of “unilateralism”, “domination-seeking”, “dominance of capital over morality, justice and virtue”, “developer of poverty, discrimination and inequality”, “use of violence, sanctions and violation of the rights of nations” and “use of international organisations and institutions as a tool of pressure on independent countries” and in a word, the world is unfair in every way. This unfair order has lost its legitimacy in the public opinion of the world and serious wills have been formed to change it. The decline of this old order is undeniable. Our region, that is West Asia, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and proud Iran, is the great museum of the decline of this old order.
In addition to that, the growing threat of terrorism and extremism, cultural decline and the deterioration of political ethics, the unprecedented weakening of multilateralism and the pathological growth of unilateral illegitimate actions have created great challenges on the path of comprehensive progress and human excellence.
We believe that there is no other option than solidarity and cooperation in the framework of multilateralism based on justice, and based on the principles and transcendent human values emanating from the teachings of divine prophets, to deal with ancient threats and modern global problems.
All the free nations have these high values, but this series of beliefs is the reason for all the enmity of the oppressors of the world against us. What we want is the rights of the Iranian nation and we do not tolerate a relationship based on oppression. We stand for the rights of our nation. We believe that any oppressive relationship is detrimental to global peace and security, and the most important threat to the global community is the “normalisation of oppression”. Achieving global security through any means other than justice will not be sustainable, and that is what we expect the United Nations to do.
Yes, it is difficult to implement justice and maybe that is why many self-proclaimed advocates of peace are running away from justice. Our question to these governments is that if you do not have the will to implement justice, do you not have the desire to deal with oppression?
Our logic is rooted in the Qur’anic culture that said “Do not oppress and do not be oppressed.” The fate of many nations is determined by this phrase. Those who do not benefit from the “power of logic” resort to “logic of force”. Logic that is based on justice is powerful and rules hearts. A country that does not have logic, resorts to coups, occupation, military intervention, army killings, indiscriminate treatment of terrorism and many other atrocities and injustices. Did resorting to nuclear weapons lead the world to justice or did it become the basis of domination? The killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi, Yemeni, Syrian, and Afghan children was in the service of which human cause? Aren’t these manifestations of oppression and injustice in the world?
Indeed, what did Iran demand other than demanding its legal and just rights, which has made world powers upset?
Today, hegemony and the spirit of the Cold War are scourging the world and a new era of unrest is threatening our world. The desire of the nations of the world to realise justice has become more intense and their will for progress, independence and security has become more serious. The fruitfulness of the doctrine of resistance is a clear manifestation of the determination of nations to realise justice.
But on the other hand, unilateralism seeks to hold countries back from their independent development path. America cannot accept that countries stand on their own feet, and is naïve o think that militarism is a source of security.
America’s friends are not better off. What is happening in Europe today is a mirror of what happened in the past decades in West Asia. The nature of the deployment of troops to West Asia and the expansion of NATO to Eastern Europe are not different from each other, because in both, the fate of the countries is defined by the America who pursues its own interests at the expense of others.
Mr President, dear audience
The Islamic revolution was the beginning of the movement of the Iranian nation to reach its rightful position and during this period, it went through various crises such as coups, domestic terrorism, separatism, war, chaos and sanctions, none of which alone, could be tolerated by many countries.
More than 40 years have passed since the then President of Iran, Mohammad Ali Rajai, placed his foot on this podium, the traces of torture by the US-backed regime were visible on. After that speech, he was martyred by the American-backed terrorist group.
Four decades ago, the nation of Iran, under the leadership of Imam Khomeini (RA), mastered its own destiny by expelling foreigners from its country, and now the nations of the region are trying to take control of their own destiny by following that experience.
The Iranian nation, which itself has been a victim of terrorism, has today become the pillar of security in the region and the true vanguard of the fight against terrorism in the world.
The Iranian nation has paid a price to achieve its lofty and just goals; Whether it was when Saddam tore up the Algerian agreement and started a full-scale military war against us, and when the former American president violated the nuclear agreement and launched a full-scale economic war and unveiled a new form of crime against humanity.
Some time ago, the former president of the United States announced that ISIS (also known as Daesh or ISIL) was created by the United States; It doesn’t matter to us that ISIS was created by which of the American governments. The problem is that a government on the other side of the globe decided to redraw the geography of our region at the cost of shedding the blood of hundreds of thousands of women and children, but the Islamic Republic stopped this project and then pushed it back. The commander and hero of this war against terrorism and the destroyer of ISIS was none other than Lieutenant General Haj Qasem Soleimani. The one who was martyred in the path of the freedom of the nations of the region and the former president of the United States printed his name on the case of this crime.
The fair trial of the crime to which the former American president has confessed is a service to humanity; So that the hearts of those who have been hurt by this oppression can somehow find relief from this oppression that has been done to the nations of the region. The fair treatment of the crime that the former president of the United States has confessed to is a service to humanity, so that from now on, cruelty will be silenced and justice will prevail. We will follow the implementation of justice and the trial of the commander and supervisor of the martyrdom of Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani through a fair court until a definitive result is reached.
Ladies and gentlemen
The story of the Iranian nation is the story of a nation that has learned to stand on its own feet and not rely on others; it learned this experience when it declared impartiality in both world wars, but was occupied militarily in both times; Or where it resorted to the United States in order to nationalise the oil industry to save itself from British colonialism, but they staged a coup against the Iranian government at the time; And since in a multilateral international agreement that was approved by the UN Security Council, it promised to lift the sanctions, but it found itself facing the most brutal system of sanctions.
Dear audience, ladies and gentlemen
Having the same attitude and those experiences, the Iranian nation has followed the policy of persistence and progress. It is because of the same advanced, stable and rational political and civil order that despite sanctions and threats, Islamic Iran is today a strong country, with huge scientific and technical achievements and unparalleled independence in the region and the world. We believe that today the world needs a “strong Iran”.
Today, while exporting oil and gas, we have created a wide network of electricity and gas distribution throughout the country; we are leaders in advanced science and knowledge, including stem cells, space industries, bio and nanotechnology, and nuclear sciences; Iran’s growth in Human development indicators are impressive. Social welfare infrastructures, including insurance coverage, have been widely established for Iran’s 85 million population, and democracy has been comprehensively institutionalised in the ruling structure of the Islamic Republic and has become the basic procedure of the system. While we were sanctioned during the war, even to buy barbed wire, we have now reached the point of deterrence by acquiring the technical know-how of the most advanced military equipment. This is despite the fact that during all this period, we witnessed the increasing hostility of America against the progress of the Iranian nation.
People of the world
It was not our enemies who relieved the pressure, but it was our nation that drove every enemy out of the field. The Iranian nation, with its effective presence and comprehensive participation in the political order arising from the Islamic Revolution, was able to go through the first stage of the Islamic Revolution with strength and success while adhering to the values and inspiring the nations, and now in the second stage, “neighbourhood policy” and “deepening economic multilateralism” is the priority of its foreign policy agenda.
The Islamic Republic of Iran wants maximum interaction with all the countries of the world, especially its neighbouring and friendly countries. War is not the solution to crises, but the way to solve crises is dialogue and understanding. As a powerful country in the region, the Islamic Republic of Iran has the will and ability to help solve crises. In the past year, Iran’s economic ties have been strengthened, and its regional trade has grown significantly, and with the expansion of sustainable economic cooperation infrastructure, a new chapter of friendship and mutual trust has emerged. This neighbourhood policy is a policy that creates security and stability. We have proved that we are friends of our neighbours during their hardships.
In all the numerous conversations I have had with regional heads and leaders, one of the most important common points is that the security of the region must be provided “endogenously and without external interference” and the way to achieve this is cooperation, not dividing the world into blocs. The upcoming era is the era of “stable cooperation, prosperity, stability and brotherhood”, if the fate of the region is determined by the countries of the region. Occupiers and usurpers will be gone one day and neighbours stay for each other for good.
Once upon a time, they created a war between the two nations of Iran and Iraq, but today, the greatest symbol of brotherhood and cultural event in the world, namely the Arba’een procession, is held with the unparalleled effort of the people of Iraq and Iran and other nations of the world to commemorate Imam Hussein (AS), the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and glorify him who sacrificed his life and his family to free people from ignorance and free them from oppression.
I would like to draw your attention to one of the sad manifestations of injustice, which is the source of all crises in the region. Contemporary history has not seen a nation more oppressed than Palestine and crueller than the occupying regime in Al-Quds. The Zionist Regime, which has more than seventy years of apartheid, oppression and murder of women and children in its dark history, has built the largest prison on earth in Gaza, and the continuation of settlement construction and the images of the oppressed Palestinians crying due to the usurpation of their lands, homes and farms, and the killing of their children, show everyone that seven decades of oppression and occupation by Israel is not over.
Governments claiming freedom and democracy must answer why they are running away from the clear and fair formula of the Islamic Republic to solve the Palestinian issue? In oppressed Palestine, we believe in the policy of a single Palestine. All the land of Palestine “from the sea to the river” belongs to the original inhabitants of this historic and holy land. The solution to the Palestinian issue is only to refer to the votes of all Palestinians, including Muslims, Christians and Jews, in the form of holding a comprehensive referendum.
The occupying regime of Al-Quds, which continues to occupy the territories of other countries in the region, cannot be a partner in peace and security.
Let me draw your attention to another manifestation of injustice, which is the West’s double-standard position towards Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities. While the basic pillar of global security is “global disarmament”, some powers are trying to make the world forget the main issue of global disarmament by making Iran’s peaceful activities a problem.
As the representative of the great nation of Iran, I explicitly declare that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons and such weapons have no place in our defence doctrine. This ruling was announced in the fatwa of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, and for the Iranian government and people, the religious fatwa of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution is more effective than any international supervision.
This is despite the fact that the self-proclaimed governments have continued to produce and use nuclear weapons and have gifted these weapons to the Zionist Regime. Countries that have to be disarmed are rewarded, and countries that have adhered to their commitments are even deprived of the rights contained in the NPT. While Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme includes only two percent of the world’s nuclear programs, 35 percent of inspections are of our facilities.
Now, I would like to ask the audience to carefully pay attention to a few points:
- The Islamic Republic accepted an agreement in 2015 in good faith and with a solid intention and fulfilled all its commitments in the first place, but the result was America breaking its promise and imposing sanctions which, according to their own admission, were the most unprecedented sanctions in history. Sanctions are a punishment for seeking justice and independence of the Iranian nation. Sanction is a weapon of mass murder, and accompanying or remaining silent towards it is aiding and abetting oppression.
- It was America that left the agreement, not Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency stated 15 times in its reports that Iran has fully adhered to the provisions of the agreement.
- At the same time, Iran has paid the cost of complying with its obligations, but due to the violation of the promise of the American side and the non-compliance of the European side, Iran has not enjoyed the benefits of this agreement.
Based on the capacities seen in the agreement, we took legal measures so that the violating party returns to its obligations. By adhering to its obligations, Iran has been the main axis of the JCPOA’s survival, and if it were not for the initiatives and flexibility of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the negotiations would have stopped in the first days.
Iran’s negotiation logic based on a fair analysis of developments is only one sentence: “adherence to commitments”. Reassuring assurances are not just about preparing for a contingency. We are talking about an experience. We have before us the experience of America’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and the delay of the current American government in returning to its commitments for more than a year and a half. Today, when the American government is talking about its intention to return to its obligations, another voice is heard from inside that country, which questions the commitment of the United States. With that experience and this perspective, can we act with tolerance in the important issue of ensuring the stability of the agreement?
Of course, the Islamic Republic, with its vast facilities and wide connections with the world, has neutralised the effects of sanctions one after another and created new opportunities. According to the official admission of the US government, the policy of maximum pressure against Iran has failed shamefully.
We will find our way regardless of any agreement and continue with strength. Besides, in the serious negotiations we have had, we have shown that if the interests of the Iranian nation are guaranteed, we have a strong will to solve this issue fairly. We believe that the knot of the nuclear agreement should be untied from the place where it was tied.
Dear friends and colleagues
The last part of my speech is about the necessity of global justice. All of us and each and every human being in the world must actively and committedly participate in the construction of the new world. If the new world wants to be a morally legitimate world, accepted by the people of the world, and successful and victorious in terms of its ability to solve global problems, it has no way but to be formed on the axis of global justice. This requires paying attention to principles such as “a sense of global shared responsibility against oppression and injustice”, “respecting the will of nations and not interfering in their independent growth”, “negating double standards”, “opposition to war and violence”, “the independence and fair functioning of international institutions”, and most importantly “the role of righteous and just people in shaping this new order”.
Our view of the future is very hopeful. We faithfully believe that based on God’s providence and will, as God’s prophets have given good news, justice will become universal and the government of God’s righteous servants will rule the earth and humanity will be redeemed with the appearance of the last saviour.
Thank you for your attention.
Peace be upon you and may God have mercy on you.