Mahmoud Ahmadinejad UN General Assembly Speech: Video, Translation, Full Transcript
Video and full transcript below
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a 34 minute speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday morning. The highly anticipated speech, which was expected to contain the usual denunciations of Israel and the United States, was relatively tame. Aside from two passing references to "Zionists," Ahmadinejad spent the bulk of speech lamenting the current status of the international world order, and calling for the need to reform and restructure the UN. The UN, he says, is skewed toward powerful states, which dominate the world order. On Monday, Ahmadinejad delivered some opening remarks, which prompted the Israel's delegation to walk out.
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
All Praise Belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and May Peace and Blessings
be upon the Greatest and Trustworthy Prophet and His Pure Progeny, His Chosen
Companions, and upon all Divine Messengers.
Oh, God, Hasten the Emergence of Your Chosen Beloved, Grant Him Good
Health and Victory, Make us His Best Companions, and all those who attest to His
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the Almighty God for having once more the chance to participate in this meeting. We have gathered here to ponder and work together for building a better life for the entire human community and for our nations.
Coming from Iran, the land of glory and beauty, the land of knowledge, culture, wisdom and morality, the cradle of philosophy and mysticism, the land of compassion and light, the land of scientists, scholars, philosophers,
masters of literature, and writers, the land of Avicenna, Ferdowsi, Hafiz, Maulana, Attar, Khayyam, and Shariar, I represent a great and proud nation that is a founder of human civilization and an inheritor of respected universal values. I represent a conscious nation which is dedicated to the cause of freedom, peace and compassion, a nation that has experienced the agony and bitter times of aggressions and imposed wars, and profoundly values the blessings of peace and stability. I am now here for the eighth time in the eighth year of my service to my noble people in this august assembly of sisters and brothers from across the world, to show to the world that my noble nation like its brilliant past, has a global vision and welcomes any effort intended to provide and promote peace, stability and tranquility which can be only realized through harmony, cooperation and joint management of the world.
I am here to voice the divine and humanitarian message of learned men and women of my country to you and to the whole world; a message that Iran's great orator and poet, presented to humanity in his eternal two-line poetry:
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul,
If one member is afflicted with pain
Other members uneasy will remain,
I have talked in the past seven years about the current challenges, solutions and prospects of the future world. Today I want to raise and discuss such issues from a different perspective.
Thousands of years has passed since children of Adam (peace be upon Him)
started to settle down in various parts of Earth.
Peoples of different colors, tastes, languages, customs and traditions pursued persistently to fulfill their aspirations to build a noble society for a more beautiful life blessed with lasting peace, security and happiness.
Despite all efforts made by righteous people and justice seekers, and the sufferings and pains endured by masses of people in the quest to achieve happiness and victory, the history of mankind, except in rare cases, is marked with unfulfilled dreams and failures.
Imagine for a moment:
-Had there been no egoism, distrust, malicious behaviors, and dictatorships with no one violating the rights of others;
- Had humanitarian values been viewed as the criterion for social dignity in place of affluence and consumerism,
- Had humanity not experienced the dark age of medieval periods, and centers of power not hindered the flourishing of knowledge and constructive thoughts,
- Had the wars of Crusade and the ensuing periods of slavery and colonialism not happened, and had the inheritors of these dark periods followed a course on the premises of humanitarians principles,
- Had the first and second World Wars in Europe, the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Africa, Latin America, and in the Balkans not happened, and if instead of the occupation of Palestine and imposition of a fake government, displacement and genocide of millions of people around the globe, the truth behind these wars had been revealed based on justice,
- Had Saddam Hussein not invaded Iran, and had the big powers supported the rights of Iranian people instead of siding with Saddam,
- If the tragic incident of September 11, and the military actions against Afghanistan and Iraq that left millions killed and homeless had not happened, and if, instead of killing and throwing the culprit into the sea without trial or without informing the world and people of America, an independent fact-finding team had been formed to make the general public aware of the truth behind the incident, and prepare for bringing to justice the perpetrators,
- Had extremism or terrorism not been used to secure political goals,
- Had the arms been turned into pens, and military expenditures been used to
promote well-being and amity among nations,
- Had the drum of ethnic, religious or racial conflicts not been beaten, and if differences had not been used for the purpose of advancing political agendas,
- Had the right to criticize the hegemonic policies and actions of the world Zionism been recognized to allow the world media to freely report and shed light on the realities, instead of taking deceitful gestures of backing freedom bent on offending the sanctities and most sacred beliefs of human beings and divine messengers, who as the purest and most compassionate human beings are the gift of the Almighty to humanity,
- Had the Security Council not been under the domination of a limited number of governments, thus disabling the United Nations to carry out its responsibilities on a just and equitable basis,
- If the international economic institutions had not been under pressure and were allowed to perform their duties and functions by using their expertise based on fairness and justice,
Had the world capitalists not weakened or victimized the economies of nations in order to make up for their own mistakes,
- If integrity and honesty had prevailed on the international relations, and all nations and governments were treated equally and justly in the global efforts to build and expand happiness for the entire mankind,
- And if tens of other unfavorable situations had not occurred in human life,
- Imagine how beautiful and pleasant our lives and how lovely the history of mankind would have been.
- Let us take a look at the world situation today.
a): The Economic Situation
-Poverty is on the rise and the gap is widening between the rich and the poor.
-Total foreign debt of 18 industrial countries has exceeded 60 trillion dollars, whilst the repayment of half of this amount is sufficient to eradicate poverty in the world.
-Economies dependent on consumerism and exploitation of people only serve the interests of a limited number of countries.
-Creation of worthless paper assets by using influence and control over the world's economic centers constitutes the greatest abuse of history, and is considered a major contributor to global economic crisis.
-It has been reported that only 32 trillions of paper assets were printed by one government alone.
-Development planning based on capitalist economy that runs in a vicious circle, triggers unhealthy and devastating competitions and is a failed practice.
b) The Cultural Situation:
From the standpoint of the politicians who control the world power centers, concepts such as moral principles, purity, honesty, integrity, compassion and self-sacrifice are rejected as defunct and outdated notions, and an impediment to the accomplishment of their goals. They openly talk about their disbelief in the relevance of ethics to the political and social affairs.
Pure and indigenous cultures as the product of centuries - old efforts of nations, the common denominator reflecting human profound feeling and love towards beauties, and the force which breeds diversity, cultural vividness, and social dynamism, are under constant attacks, and susceptible to extinction.
A specific life style devoid of individual or social identity is being imposed on nations by organized and systematic destruction and humiliation of identities.
Family as the noblest institution of societies and a center emanating love and humanity has been seriously weakened and its constructive role is on the decline.
Woman's sublime role and personality, as a heavenly being, a manifestation of divine image and beauty, and the main pillar of every society, has been damaged and abused by the powerful and the wealthy.
Human soul has become frustrated and the essence of humankind humiliated and suppressed.
c): Political and Security.Situation
Unilateralism, application of double standards, and imposition of wars, instability and occupations to ensure economic interests, and expand dominance over sensitive centers of the world have turned to be the order of the day.
Arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass-destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent: Testing new generations of ultra-modern weaponry and the pledge to disclose these armaments on due time is now being used as a new language of threat against nations to coerce them into accepting a new era of hegemony. Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality.
-A state of mistrust has cast its shadow on the international relations, whilst there is no trusted or just authority to help resolve world conflicts.
- No one feels secure or safe even those who have stockpiled thousands of atomic bombs and other arms in their arsenals.
d): The Environmental Situation
-The environment as a common wealth and heritage of the entire humankind and a constant guarantor of man's survival has been seriously damaged and devastated as a result of irresponsible and excessive use of resources particularly by capitalists across the world, a situation that has caused massive drought, flood, and pollutions inflicting irreparable damage and jeopardizing seriously human life on Earth.
Despite advances in scientific knowledge and technology, the aspirations of Adam's children have not yet been fulfilled.
Does anybody believe that continuation of the current order is capable of bringing happiness for human society.'?
Today everyone is discontent and disappointed with the current international order.
Human beings do not deserve to be under continued sufferings of the present situation. God of wisdom and compassion who loves all human beings has not
ordained such a destiny for mankind. He has ordered human, as the Supreme Creature, to make the best and most beautiful life on Earth along with justice, and dignity. We must, therefore, think of a solution.
Who is responsible for all these sufferings and failures?
Some people try to justify that everything is normal and a reflection of divine will, putting the blame on nations as responsible for all prevalent vices and evils.
They are of the opinion that:
-It is the nations that succumb to discrimination and tyranny;
-It is the nations that surrender to dictatorship and greed;
-It is the nations that accept the hegemony of Arrogant and expansionist powers;
-It is the nations that are influenced by the propaganda tactics of powers, and most all vices in our world are the result of their passive attitudes with the inclination to live under the supremacy of the world powers.
-These are the arguments raised by those who tend to blame nations for the unfavorable conditions prevailing in the world, with the intention to justify the attitudes and destructive behaviors of the ruling minority.
-These claims, supposedly authentic, can not in any way justify continuation of the present oppressive international order. Indeed, Poverty is imposed on nations, and powers' ambitions and goals are pursued either through deceits or resort to force.
-To justify their inhuman actions, they propagate the theory based on ' the Survival of the fittest'.
-While in principle, most governments and nations of justice-seeking people are humble and submissive in the face of Right, and are after fostering dignity, prosperity and constructive interactions.
-Masses of people never want to expand their territories, nor do they seek to obtain legendary wealth. They have no disputes among themselves in principles and have never played any role in the creation of any disastrous events in the course of history.
-I do not believe that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and others have any problems, or are hostile against each other. They get along together comfortably and live together in an atmosphere of peace and amity.
They are all devoted to the cause of justice, purity and love.
-The general tendency of nations has always been to accomplish positive common aspirations reflecting exalted divine and human beauties and nobilities.
-The current abysmal situation of the world and the bitter incidents of history are due mainly to the wrong management of the world and the self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the Devil.
-The order that is rooted in the anti-human thoughts of slavery and the old and new colonialism are responsible for poverty, corruption, ignorance, oppression and discrimination in every corner of the world.
The current world order has certain characteristics, some of which are as follows:
- It is founded on materialism, and that is why it is in no way bound to moral values.
It has been shaped according to selfishness, deception, hatred and animosity.
3- It believes in classification of human beings, humiliation of other nations, trampling upon the rights of others and their domination.
_ It seeks to expand its domination by spreading discord and conflicts amongst ethnic groups and nations.
It aims to monopolize power, wealth, science and technology.
Policies of the world's main centers of power are based on the principles of domination and the conquering of others. These centers only seek supremacy, and are not in favor of peace and definitely not at the service of their nations.
-Are we to believe that those who spend hundreds of millions of dollars on election campaigns have the interests of the people of the world at their hearts?
-Despite what big political parties claim in the capitalistic countries, the money that goes into election campaigns is usually nothing but an investment.
-In such countries, people have to vote for parties that only represent a small number of people.
-The will and the views of the masses have the least impact and influence on the big decisions especially those made about the major domestic and foreign policies. Their voices are not heard even if they constitute 99% of their societies.
-Human and ethical values are sacrificed in order to win votes and the willingness to listen to the demands of the people has become only a tool at the time of election.
7- The current world order is discriminatory and based on injustice.
Distinguished Friends and Colleagues,
What should be done and what is the way out of the current situation?
There is no doubt that the world is in need of a new order and a fresh way of thinking:
1- An order in which man is recognized as God's Supreme Creature, enjoying material and spiritual qualities and possessing a pure and divine nature filled with a desire to seek justice and truth.
2- An order that aims to revive human dignity and believes in universal happiness and perfection.
_ An order which is after peace, lasting security and welfare for all walks of life around the globe.
An order that is founded upon trust and kindness and brings thoughts, hearts and hands closer to each other. Rulers must love people.
A just and fair order in which everybody is equal before law and in which there is no double standard.
Leaders of the world must regard themselves as committed servants of their people, not their superiors.
Authority is a sacred gift from people to their rulers, not a chance to amass power and wealth.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Is it possible to have such an order without having everybody's contribution to the way the world is run?
It is abundantly evident that when all the people and governments start to think and commit themselves to the above-mentioned principles and become sensitive to the internationally important issues and participate in decision makings, their wishes find a chance to be materialized.
By raising collective awareness, the seeking of a joint global management becomes more vivid with the chances of its implementation increased.
Therefore, Together We Need to:
1-Place our trust in God Almighty and stand against the acquisitive minority with all our might, so that they become isolated, and can no longer decide the destiny of other nations.
2-Believe in the God's bounty of blessing and mercy and seek it in the integration and unity of human societies. Governments emerging from the free will of nations must believe in their own ceaseless capabilities and know that they can achieve victory if they vigorously fight the unjust order and defend human rights.
3-Pave the ground for the joint global management by insisting upon justice in all its aspects, strengthen unity, friendship and expand economic, social, cultural and political interactions in independent and specialized organizations.
4-Care about the interests of all the people of the world and join hands to reform the current structures of the UN with our joint efforts and coordination. It is necessary to note that the UN belongs to nations. Thus, the existence of discrimination amongst the members is a great insult to all. The existence of discrimination and monopoly in the UN is in no way acceptable.
5-Have more coordinated efforts to generate and propagate and firmly establish the language needed for designing the required structures of the joint global management filled with justice, love and freedom. Participation in global management is the basis of lasting peace. The Non-Aligned Movement as the second largest trans-regional group after the UN, held its 16th summit in Tehran with the motto of "Joint Global Management", cognizant of the importance of this issue and the shortcomings of the current mismanagement in the emergence of crises and problems afflicting the world today. During the Summit, participating Heads of State and representatives of more than 120 countries underscored the necessity of a more serious and effective participation of all nations in the global management.
-Fortunately, we are now at a historic juncture. On one hand, Marxism is no longer around and is practically eliminated from the management systems, and on the other, capitalism is bogged down in a self-made quagmire. It has indeed reached a deadlock and does not seem to be able to come up with any noteworthy solution to the various economic, political, security and cultural problems of the world. NAM is proud to once again emphasize the rightfulness of its historic decision to reject the poles of power and the unbridled hegemony ruling the world. On behalf of the members of NAM, I would like to invite all countries of the world to play a more active role in making it possible for everybody to contribute to the global decision-making processes. The need to remove the structural barriers and encourage the process of universal participation in global management has never been greater before.
The UN lacks the efficiency to bring about the required changes. If this inefficiency persists, nations will lose hope in the global structures to defend their rights. If the UN is not restructured, international interactions and the spirit of collective global cooperation will be tarnished and the standing of the UN will be damaged.
The UN that has been created with the purpose of expanding justice and reinstitution of the universal rights has in practice been engulfed by discrimination preparing a supportive ground for the domination of a few powerful countries.
Consequently, UN's inefficiency has been on the rise. Moreover, the existence of the veto right and monopolization of power in the Security Council have made it nearly impossible to defend the rights of the nations.
The issue of UN re-structuring is very vital and is a need that has been emphasized time and again by the representatives of nations, a goal that has not yet been accomplished.
I would like to urge the honorable members of the United Nations and H.E.. the Secretary General and his colleagues to place this issue high on their agenda and devise an appropriate mechanism to make it happen.
NAM stands ready to aid the UN in this essential endeavor.
Mr. President, Friends and Dear Colleagues,
Creating peace and lasting security with decent life for all, although a great and a historic mission can be accomplished. The Almighty God has not left us alone in this mission and has said that it will surely happen. If it doesn't, then it will be contradictory to his wisdom.
-God Almighty has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam A1-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ (PBUH) and the righteous. By using the inherent potential of all the worthy men and women of all nations and I repeat, the inherent potential of "all the worthy men and women of all nations" he will lead humanity into achieving its glorious and eternal ideals.
-The arrival of the Ultimate Savior will mark a new beginning, a rebirth and a resurrection. It will be the beginning of peace, lasting security and genuine life.
-His arrival will be the end of oppression, immorality, poverty, discrimination and the beginning of justice, love and empathy.
-He will come and he will cut through ignorance, superstition, prejudice by opening the gates of science and knowledge. He will establish a world brimful of prudence and he will prepare the ground for the collective, active and constructive participation of all in the global management.
-He will come to grant kindness, hope, freedom and dignity to all humanity as a girl.
-He will come so mankind will taste the pleasure of being human and being in the company of other humans.
-He will come so that hands will be joined, hearts will be filled with love and thoughts will be purified to be at service of security, welfare and happiness for all.
-He will come to return all children of Adam irrespective of their skin colors to their innate origin after a long history of separation and division linking them to eternal happiness.
-The arrival of the Ultimate Savior, Jesus Christ and the Righteous will bring about an eternally bright future for mankind, not by force or waging wars but through thought awakening and developing kindness in everyone. Their arrival will breathe a new life in the cold and frozen body of the world. He will bless humanity with a spring that puts an end to our winter of ignorance, poverty and war with the tidings of a season of blooming.
-Now we can sense the sweet scent and the soulful breeze of the spring, a spring that has just begun and doesn't belong to a specific race, ethnicity, nation or a region, a spring that will soon reach all the territories in Asia, Europe, Africa and the US.
-He will be the spring of all the justice-seekers, freedom-lovers and the followers of heavenly prophets. He will be the spring of humanity and the greenery of all ages.
-Let us join hands and clear the way for his eventual arrival with empathy and cooperation, in harmony and unity. Let us march on this path to salvation for the thirsty souls of humanity to taste immortal joy and grace.
Long live this spring, long live this spring and long live this spring.
11:44am: The bulk of Ahmadinejad's speech was spent ridiculing the current world order, and calling for the restructuring of the UN, which he said is skewed heavily toward a few countries that dominate that global order. That critique is valid, as five countries can defeat a resolution at the UN Security Council, the branch of the UN tasked with enforcing international law.
11:40am: American and Israeli warhawks looking for incendiary rhetoric to use as ammunition in their pro-war arguments vis-a-vis Iran will be disappointed by Ahmadinejad's address.
11:39am: Ahmadinejad has finished his speech, which was actually rather tame.
11:36am: He's now talking about how the world's problems will be solved by the return of the 12th imam and Jesus of Nazareth, a prevalent belief among Shi'a Muslims.
11:34am: Says the UN lacks the efficiency required to restructure itself into a more multilateral organization. Calls the restructuring of the UN "very vital."
11:32am: "Capitalism is bogged down in a self-made quagmire." Says it has no solution to world's problems.
11:30am: Calls for "joint global management" and increased social, cultural, and political actions. "Join hands to reform the current structures of the United Nations." Says, "The United Nations belongs to all nations, probably alluding to the UN Security Council, whose five permanent members have veto power over resolutions.
11:28am: Calls for a "just and fair order in which everyone is equal before the law" with no "double standards."
11:26am: Makes a 99% reference. "The world is in need of a new order, and a fresh way of thinking."
11:25am: Says current world order is "bound to materialism," and has no values, and believes in the classification of humans. It spreads conflicts and ethnic groups among nations. Aims to monopolize power and wealth for a limited group. World order is based on principle of domination, whose practitioners do not seek peace. Decries "hundreds of millions of dollars" spent on political campaigns, which are mere investments.
11:23am: Says that the expansionist powers prefer a "survival of the fittest" model in international relations. Says he doesn't believe different religions have problems among themselves; they are all devoted to the concept of justice and law.
11:22am: MA blames "expansionist powers" for current geopolitical landscape. Calls international order "oppressive."
11:20am: "Everyone is disappointed with the current international order."
11:18am: Iranian president is railing against "unilateralism," "double standards," and "intimidation," by nuclear powers and those who have weapons of mass destruction. Denounces "Zionists." That's two mentions.
11:17am: MA laments the destruction of cultural and social identities around the world.
11:15am: MA denounces "the creation of worthless paper assets," alluding to the U.S. Denounces capitalism as "a failed practice" prone to harmful cycles.
11:13am First use of "Zionism." That's 1. Remember, the over/under is 5.5.
11:12am: MA knocks the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and criticizes the killing of 9/11 "culprit" Osama bin Laden, instead of bringing him to trial to face justice.
11:09am: Lots of fluff so far, but it's likely just the warm-up act for the fireworks.
11:07am: MA says Iran is dedicated to freedom. Nice to a world leader with a sense of humor.
11:07am: Ahmadinejad starts with a prayer, which means he and the U.S. Congress have something in common. Can we build on this?
11:05am: Here comes Ahmadinejad.
10:59am: President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana is now speaking. Things are running a little late at.
10:53am: Over/under on number of derisive references to "Zionists" in this speech: 5.5
10:42am: Ahmadinejad will likely be defiant, as Iran has been besieged by the U.S. and Israel, especially in recent years. The American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq meant that the U.S. was occupying the countries on the eastern and western borders of Iran. This, along with a permanent U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf, and the assassinations of several of Iranian nuclear scientists, has put Iran on high alert. Indeed, the increasing pressure being placed on Iran, which includes cryptic rhetoric about "red lines" coming from Tel Aviv, may have the undesirable effect of reaffirming an Iranian need for nuclear weapons to act as a viable deterrent to a potential U.S. and/or Israeli military action.
10:34am: Amazingly, Ahmadinejad is not even the most objectionable speaker at the General Assembly on Wednesday, as President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe will speak at approximately 6pm. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is schedule to address the assembly on Thursday. Undoubtedly both heads of government will at the very least allude to each other's countries, as tensions have escalated over an Iranian nuclear program that Ahmadinejad insists is for civilian purposes. Netanyahu has said Iran's nuclear ambitions go beyond this.