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        General Assembly
        Security Council

27 December 2001

Original: English

General Assembly
Fifty-sixth session
Agenda item 42
The situation in the Middle East
Security Council
Fifty-sixth year

Letter dated 26 December 2001 from the Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

On instructions from my Government, I have the honour to attach herewith the text of a letter addressed to you by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, dated 25 December 2001 (see annex).

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly under agenda item 42, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Yehuda Lancry
Permanent Representative

Annex to the letter dated 26 December 2001 from the Permanent Representative
of Israel to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
Letter dated 25 December 2001 from the Deputy Prime Minister
and Foreign Minister of the State of Israel, H.E. Mr. Shimon Peres,
addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council

We are deeply concerned by an unprecedented and exceptionally grave statement delivered by one of Iran’s prominent leaders, the former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Head of the Expediency Council. On 14 December, Rafsanjani declared before a crowd in Teheran that the Islamic world is arming itself with nuclear weapons in order to destroy Israel and undermine Western interests in the region.

In his speech, delivered on the occasion of the Iranian “Jerusalem Day”, Rafsanjani emphasized the following themes:

– “The establishment of Israel is the most hideous occurrence in history. The Islamic world will not tolerate the continued existence of Israel in the region, and will vomit it out from its midst.

– “The Jihad operations against Israel must continue unrelentingly until victory is achieved. Therefore, all Palestinian Authority actions against the Jihad organizations are unacceptable. When the Islamic world acquires atomic weapons, the strategy of the West will hit a dead-end — since the use of a single atomic bomb has the power to destroy Israel completely, while it will only cause partial damage to the Islamic world.

– “The West’s support for Israel is liable to bring about World War III, which will be fought between those believers who seek a martyr’s death, on the one hand, and those who represent the epitome of arrogance on the other hand.

– “The United States is making a strategic blunder, if it views the campaign in Afghanistan as a model for a policy to be applied towards its other rivals. Such an error would cause a catastrophe for world stability and for all mankind.”

This bone-chilling statement clearly contradicts the Iranian claim that its plans to acquire nuclear technologies are designed only for peaceful purposes. Rafsanjani’s declaration speaks for itself, and leaves no room for any doubt as to Iran’s inherent hatred of Israel and its declared goal to destroy it. Moreover, Iran is determined to obstruct the peace process, underscored by its call to continue the Jihad terrorist operations against Israel. This constitutes a threat of genocide.

I therefore appeal to you to demand that Iran abandon its plan to arm itself with unconventional weapons, and that immediate steps be taken to ensure that a plan of this kind is not put into effect. Otherwise, I fear that it might be too late to deal with the danger we could face.

(Signed) Shimon Peres
Deputy Prime Minster
Minster of Foreign Affairs

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