Iran

Ayatollah Khamenei’s inaugural address

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Ayatollah Khamenei’s inaugural address delivered on August 30, 2012 at the 16th Non-Aligned Summit in Tehran. (Extracts)


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Two Worlds, and may peace and blessings be upon the greatest and trustworthy Messenger and on his pure progeny, his select companions, and all the prophets and divine envoys.

I welcome you honorable guests, the leaders and delegations representing the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement, and all the other participants of this great international summit?

This brilliant truth (of religious values, our remarks) has such potential that it can form the foundation of societies which are free and proud and at the same time enjoy progress and justice? And it is this common and universal truth that can form the foundations of brotherly cooperation among the nations that do not share any similarities in terms of outward structures, historical background and geographical location.

Whenever international cooperation is based on such a foundation, governments will build their relationships with each other not on the basis of fear and threats, or greed and unilateral interests, or mediation of treasonous and venal individuals, but on the basis of wholesome and shared interests and more importantly, the interests of humanity. In this way, governments can relieve their awakened consciences and put the minds of their peoples at ease.

This values-based order is the exact opposite of the hegemony-based order, which has been upheld, propagandized and led by hegemonic Western powers in the recent centuries and by the domineering and aggressive government of America today?

In the recent past, we have been witness to the failure of the policies of the Cold War era and the unilateralism that followed it. Having learnt lessons from this historical experience, the world is in transition towards a new international order and the Non-Aligned Movement can and should play a new role. This new order should be based on the participation of all nations and equal rights for all of them. And as members of this movement, our solidarity is an obvious necessity in the current era for establishing this new order.

Fortunately, the outlook of global developments promises a multi-faceted system in which the traditional power blocs are replaced with a group of countries, cultures and civilizations from different economic, social and political origins. The striking events that we have witnessed over the past three decades clearly show that the emergence of new powers has coincided with the decline of the traditional powers. This gradual transition of power provides the non-aligned countries with an opportunity to play a significant and worthy role on the world stage and prepare the ground for a just and truly participatory global management?

The UN Security Council has an illogical, unjust and completely undemocratic structure and mechanism. This is a flagrant form of dictatorship, which is antiquated and obsolete and whose expiry date has passed. It is through abusing this improper mechanism that America and its accomplices have managed to disguise their bullying as noble concepts and impose it on the world. They protect the interests of the West in the name of ?human rights?. They interfere militarily in other countries in the name of ?democracy?. They target defenseless people in villages and cities with their bombs and weapons in the name of ?combating terrorism?. From their perspective, humanity is divided into first-, second- and third-class citizens. Human life is considered cheap in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and expensive in America and Western Europe. The security of America and Europe is considered important, while the security of the rest of humanity is considered unimportant?

They impose their domineering and illegal demands in the name of ?international community?. Using their exclusive and organized media network, they disguise their lies as the truth, their falsehood as true, and their oppression as efforts to promote justice. In contrast, they brand as lies every true statement that exposes their deceit and label every legitimate demand as roguish?

The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the use of nuclear, chemical and similar weapons as a great and unforgivable sin. We proposed the idea of ?Middle East free of nuclear weapons? and we are committed to it. This does not mean forgoing our right to peaceful use of nuclear power and production of nuclear fuel?

I stress that the Islamic Republic has never been after nuclear weapons and that it will never give up the right of its people to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Our motto is: ?Nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none.? We will insist on each of these two precepts, and we know that breaking the monopoly of certain Western countries on production of nuclear energy in the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty is in the interest of all independent countries, including the members of the Non-Aligned Movement?

Honored guests, I deem it necessary to speak about a very important issue, which though related to our region has dimensions extending far beyond it and which has influenced global policies for several decades. This issue is the agonizing issue of Palestine?

Our standpoint is that Palestine belongs to the Palestinians and that continuing its occupation is a great and intolerable injustice and a major threat to global peace and security. All solutions suggested and followed up by the Westerners and their affiliates for ?resolving the problem of Palestine? have been wrong and unsuccessful, and it will remain so in the future. We have put forth a just and entirely democratic solution. All the Palestinians ? both the current citizens of Palestine and those who have been forced to immigrate to other countries but have preserved their Palestinian identity, including Muslims, Christians and Jews ? should take part in a carefully supervised and confidence-building referendum and chose the political system of their country, and all the Palestinians who have suffered from years of exile should return to their country and take part in this referendum and then help draft a Constitution and hold elections. Peace will then be established?

Honorable guests, now I would like to return to my initial point. Global conditions are sensitive and the world is passing through a crucial historical juncture. It is anticipated that a new order shall be born. The Non-Aligned Movement, which includes almost two-thirds of the world community, can play a major role in shaping that future?

We need to remain faithful to our goals. We should not fear the bullying powers when they frown at us, nor should we become happy when they smile at us. We should consider the will of God and the laws of creation as our support. We should learn lessons from what happened to the communist camp two decades ago and from the failure of the policies of so-called ?Western liberal democracy? at the present time, whose signs can be seen by everybody in the streets of European countries and America and in the insoluble economic problems of these countries?

Thank you.

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