Sunday, September 26, 2004

Iran blasts U.S. "lawless militarism" in Iraq

Description of Selected News: "Iran blasts U.S. "lawless militarism" in Iraq


UNITED NATIONS (Agencies) – Iran accused the United States on Friday of "lawless militarism" in Iraq and called Israel the biggest threat to peace in the Middle East, Reuters said.

"The attack against Iraq was illegal," Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told the UN General Assembly, thanking UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for publicly stating the same in a television interview last week. The invasion was an example of "increasing lawless militarism," involving "the use of brute and unsanctioned military force to achieve some political goals, albeit desirable goals," said Kharrazi, explaining that his country, which fought an eight-year war with its neighbor, had "benefited greatly by the removal of Saddam Hussein."

Kharrazi said Israel, which is widely believed to have nuclear weapons but does not acknowledge them, had systematically thwarted UN efforts to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.

"All countries of the region and beyond are unanimous in considering the Israeli arsenal, including its weapons of mass destruction, combined with its policy and record of aggression and state terrorism, as the single greatest threat to regional and global peace and security," he said.

"Israelis cannot hide these facts behind smoke screens. It is time for the international community to show its resolve to maintain the credibility of multilateral disarmament instruments by taking action to compel Israel to comply," he said.

Pursuit of racist policies aimed at beleaguering the Palestinian residential areas, forced immigration of Palestinians to places outside their homeland and the construction of the wall to terrorize the Palestinian people and deprive them from their basic needs are other such examples. "The exercise of the veto power in the UN Security Council has impeded international efforts to stop the Israeli crimes and kept this organization from performing its duty to address threats to international peace and security."

Kharrazi stressed that a durable peace in Palestine will be possible only if it is based on justice and guarantees and end to the occupation of the Palestinian lands, restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, return of the Palestinian Diaspora to their homeland, participation of all in a democratic process and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Al-Qods Al-Sharif as its capital.

"We are of the view that the enlightened Palestinian people are capable of deciding independently about their political and social affairs and we respect their free decisions on the future of Palestine," the minister stated.

Kharrazi stressed the need for a global approach based on collective cooperation under the provisions of the UN Charter and principles of the international law to fight against terrorism as an international challenge, IRNA news agency reported. Kharrazi said, "We must rise above business as usual politics and avoid discrimination, double standards and selectivity in our approach to fighting this global menace."

"As a victim of terrorism, Iran strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and has demonstrated strong conviction in fighting terrorism by the arrest and handover of the greatest number of Al Qaeda members apprehended by any single state to date," he remarked.

"If we, in this august body, do not collectively defend the rule of law, we have helped to send the UN Charter to oblivion in the interest of domination and militarism," the minister said.

He welcomed the valuable efforts by the Afghan government in consolidation of peace, security and stability in the country, saying "Significant progress has been made in the areas of public administration, fiscal management and social developments ... The Afghan people are willing to take control of their lives and determine their own destiny. "Holding fair and free presidential and legislative elections and establishing a broad-based, representative and multi-ethnic government will be a vital step along the process of democratization and reconstruction in Afghanistan."

He said the paradigm of Dialogue among Civilizations, presented by President Mohammad Khatami and warmly received by the international community can promote mutual understanding and facilitate cooperation among states in the pursuit of peace, tolerance , freedom and prosperity. "In our view, the only option available to us is to foster closer international cooperation under internationally recognized rules and instruments in the light of dialogue, justice and democracy."

Kharrazi insisted on Iran's right of getting access to nuclear technology for peaceful aims.

Kharrazi also stressed the importance of taking action by the international community due to the existence and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"As the only victim of the unbridled use of weapons of mass destruction in recent years, Iran feels very strongly about the absolute imperative of a collective and rule-based multilateral campaign to eradicate all these weapons and to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons as an interim measure.

"This must be done by the universal application of disarmament and non-proliferation instruments in a comprehensive and non-discriminatory manner," he said.

He urged addressing the legitimate disarmament and non-proliferation concerns of the international community through transparency and vigorous application of monitoring mechanisms.

"Iran has always been prepared to contribute activity to this global effort. While we insist on our right to use technology for peaceful purposes, we have and will leave no stone unturned in order to provide assurances of our peaceful intentions," he said.

Iran has been in the forefront of efforts to establish a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, the minister said, adding this initiative which has received the repeated approval of the General Assembly and the Security Council has been systematically obstructed by Israel's intransigence and its rejection of all multilateral instruments, regrettably with impunity.

Pointing to Iran's stance on Iraq, Kharrazi said, "Iran's view of the way we got here in Iraq is clear. The Iraqi dictator is gone and the Iraqi people are to begin to take control of their lives and destiny, however they continue to experience violence and insecurity nevertheless.

"We condemn all acts of violence and terrorism in Iraq. We stress the need for promoting security, preserving the unity, territorial integrity and political independence of Iraq, promoting democracy through drafting a new constitution, holding free and fair elections as scheduled and accelerating the reconstruction in Iraq as well as the speedy withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq," the minister added.

The Iranian minister called the formation the Iraqi transitional government as a positive step towards the restoration of the Iraqi people's sovereignty and stressed the pivotal role of the United Nations and substantial responsibilities to discharge in the transitional period.

"In this connection, the compliance with the provisions of the relevant Security Council resolutions and the enhancement of the pivotal role of the UN and its Secretary-General and his special representative for Iraq is the best option and approach to restore peace and security in that country," Kharrazi mentioned.

Iran welcomes the position of the UN Secretary-General on the important role that Iraq's neighboring countries can play in the restoration of peace and stability in Iraq and its reconstruction, he noted.

He said based on an overall and realistic review of the current developments in international relations, the world today faces the formidable challenge of extremism in two distinct and yet interconnected faces: violence and terrorism of non-state actors and unbridled militarism of states.

"Insecurity is manifested in the horrendous acts of extreme violence and terrorism; whether it is in Iraq, Afghanistan or Russia.

"Lawlessness is manifested in going outside of the law among nations and the UN Charter, relying on the glorification of force and the brute use of the military might," he said.

Kharrazi stressed to be relentless against terrorism in a truly collective and all-inclusive manner and to muster the courage and national discipline to guard against militarism and remain within the confines of the law among nations.

"The increasing insecurity and the escalation of acts of violence and terrorism in different parts of the world are a matter of serious concerns of all of us," he noted."

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