17th October 2012
Mr. Li Baodong
Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN
350 East 35th Street, Manhattan, New York, NY 10016, USA
Sub: No to War and Sanctions on Iran
Citizens International and Universal Justice Network are seriously concerned about the threats of an illegal war by the United States and Israel against Iran on the pretext of stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons. According to a recent report in Foreign Policy magazine, “Israel and the US are considering a joint surgical strike targeting Iranian uranium enrichment facilities”.
The allegation by the US, Israel and some European countries that Iran is developing nuclear weapons has been proved to be baseless and untrue. Reports by intelligence agencies of the US and Israel have categorically stated that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, and has not taken a decision to do so.
Despite extensive and intrusive inspections by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, they have not found any evidence of Iran developing nuclear weapons. In 2007, the then Director General of the IAEA Dr Mohammad El-Baradei said, “We have not come to see any undeclared activities or weaponisation of their programme.” The IAEA, in its latest report, has confirmed that there has been no diversion of enriched uranium for weaponisation.
The US and the West stand accused of hypocrisy and practising double-standard in their so-called efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. While imposing cruel sanctions, and threatening war, on Iran, they have done nothing to make Israel accountable for its nuclear arsenal.
Israel has secretly developed, and now possesses, more than 200 nuclear weapons with sophisticated delivery systems in the air, sea and land. It is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and therefore not subject to inspection by the IAEA while Iran is and subject to intrusive IAEA inspections.
While Iran has not attacked any other country in recent history, Israel, on the other hand, has committed aggression against neighbouring states several times and repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons. It has blockaded and turned Gaza into an open-air prison; has been carrying out violations of human rights and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians; contemptuously ignoring UN Security Council resolutions and continuing to build settler-colonies on Palestinian occupied territory
Last February, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the West of seeking regime change in Iran under the pretext of stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Iran is targeted for regime change because of its resistance to US hegemony and support for the Palestinian cause.
Threats of war and imposition of draconian sanctions on a sovereign nation are crimes under international law. An attack on Iran by the US and Israel would amount to aggression against a sovereign nation, a member of the UN. The Nuremberg Tribunal set up to try Nazi war criminals warned that waging an aggressive war is “essentially an evil thing” and “ is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
On 19 June 1981, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution which strongly condemned the military attack by Israel on the Iraqi nuclear research centre “in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct.”
The Council was concerned that the premeditated Israeli air attack “could at any time explode the situation in the area, with grave consequences for the vital interests of all States.” It called upon Israel “urgently to place its nuclear facilities under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.” Israel has refused to comply with the Council’s call and yet no action has been taken against it.
A military attack on Iran would have calamitous consequences not only for Iran and the Gulf region but for the whole world. Russia is moving its troops to Iran’s northern border in anticipation of a US-Israeli attack. Deputy Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin warned: “Iran is our neighbour. If Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.”
A 2010 report by the Oxford Research Group concluded: “military action against Iran should be ruled out as a means of responding to its possible nuclear weapons ambitions. The consequences of such an attack would lead to a sustained conflict and regional instability that would be unlikely to prevent the eventual acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran and might even encourage it.”
After the horrors of the Second World, the United Nations was created for saving “succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” Its purpose is “to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of peace”.
Article 2 provides that “all members shall refrain… from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”. Both the US and Israel have repeatedly violated this principle but, sadly, they have not been held accountable for their violations.
Pursuant to Article 24, “in order to ensure prompt and effective action” the member states “confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security”. In discharging these duties they are required “to act in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations”.
The Council would not be able to discharge its responsibility under the Charter to prevent the threatened war and aggression against Iran because of the veto power of the US. But, the US veto need not prevent major powers like Russia, China, India and Brazil together with Turkey and other peace-loving countries from taking the matter to the UN General Assembly under the “Uniting for Peace” resolution which empowers the Assembly to issue any recommendations it deems necessary in order to restore international peace and security.
What is happening to Iran today is a replay of the Iraq war. The Council members should heed what Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize winner for literature in 2005, said in his Nobel lecture about the illegality and hypocrisy surrounding the Iraq war:
“The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading… as liberation.
We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’.”
Pinter anguished over our moral blindness: “What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days – conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead? “
Members of the Council, you have a shared responsibility for the crimes the US and Israel are committing against Iran and its over 70 million people. We appeal to you to regain your moral sensibility, your conscience, and stop the war and sanctions on Iran.
S.M. Mohamed Idris
Chairman, Citizens International Co-ordinator, Universal Justice Network (UJN)