Question of Palestine home
15 June 1981
rd MEETING: 15 JUNE 1981
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2283) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Adoption of the agenda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Complaint by Iraq:
Letter dated 8 June 1981 from the Chargé d'affaires of the
Permanent Mission of Iraq addressed to the President of the
Security Council (S/14509) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Held in New York on Monday, 15 June 1981, at 3 p.m.
Mr. Porfirio MUÑOZ LEDO (Mexico).
The representatives of the following States: China, France, German Democratic Republic, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Niger, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Tunisia, Uganda, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2283)
1. Adoption of the agenda
2. Complaint by Iraq:
Letter dated 8 June 1981 from the Chargé d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14509)
The meeting was called to order at 4 p.m.
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
Complaint by Iraq:
Letter dated 8 June 1981 from the
Chargé d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14509)
1. The PRESIDENT
(interpretation from Spanish):
In accordance with the decisions taken at previous meetings
[2280th to 2282nd meetings],
invite the representatives of Iraq and Israel to take places at the Council table. I invite the representatives of Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Guyana, Hungary, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, Romania, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Viet Nam, Yugoslavia, Zambia and of the Palestine Liberation Organization to take the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Kittani (Iraq) and Mr. Blum (Israel) took places at the Council table and Mr. Bedjaoui (Algeria), Mr. Kaiser (Bangladesh), Mr. Corrêa da Costa (Brazil), Mr. Tsvetkov (Bulgaria), Mr. Roa Kouri (Cuba), Mr. Hulinsky (Czecho
slovakia), Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sinclair (Guyana), Mr. Racz (Hungary), Mr. Krishnan (India), Mr. Nuseibeh (Jordan), Mr. Al-Sabah (Kuwait), Mr. Tuéni (Lebanon), Mr. Erdenechuluun (Mongolia), Mr. Ahmad (Pakistan), Mr. Marinescu (Romania), Mr. Koroma (Sierra Leone), Mr. Adan (Somalia), Mr. Abdalla (Sudan), Mr. El-Fattal (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr. Kirca (Turkey), Mrs. Nguyen Ngoc Dung (Viet Nam), Mr. Komatina (Yugoslavia), Mr. Mutukwa (Zambia) and Mr. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.
2. The PRESIDENT
(interpretation from Spanish):
I wish to inform members of the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Indonesia, Italy, Morocco, Poland and Yemen, in which they request to be invited to participate in the Council's debate on this agenda item. In accordance with past practice I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the debate, without the right to vote, pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Charter and of rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Suwondo (Indonesia), Mr. La Rocca (Italy), Mr. Mrani Zentar (Morocco), Mr. Freyberg (Poland) and Mr. Alaini (Yemen) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.
3. The PRESIDENT
(interpretation from Spanish):
May I draw the attention of members of the Council to the following documents: S/14532, containing a telegram dated 12 June 1981 from the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the President of the Security Council, and S/14533, containing a letter dated 15 June from the representative of Czechoslovakia to the President of the Security Council.
4. Mr. DORR (Ireland): The issue at present before the Council is a matter of concern to Ireland for two reasons: first, because of the direct consequences and the dangers which the attack on Iraq could give rise to in the near future in the Middle East; secondly, because certain very basic principles of universal scope have been breached and a dangerous precedent has been set for the future, not only in the Middle East but elsewhere.
5. A good deal has already been said in the Council on the question. But it has also been said, here and elsewhere, that not all Governments are wholly sincere in their criticism. It is suggested that some among us deplore publicly what we privately condone or even applaud. For this reason, I feet it necessary, in speaking for my Government, to state our position clearly and to explain in some detail why we consider that what Israel did was wrong in itself and dangerous from a wider viewpoint.
6. I should like to emphasize that my country
maintains diplomatic relations with both of the Governments involved. I need hardly say that we do not speak here out of hostility to any country, but out of a deep and serious concern for the immediate dangers in the region and the longer-term threat to the fragile structures of international life which we have always worked to maintain and develop.
We all know the issue. Israel, on Sunday, 7 June, bombed and largely destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor which, Iraq maintains, was for peaceful use only. Israel has justified its actions in very explicit terms by saying that it will not allow an enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction against its people. That is to say, it acknowledges explicitly that the attack was pre-emptive, and it justifies the attack as a legitimate act of self-defense. Furthermore, it claims a right to act similarly in future. We find this deeply worrying.
8. Of course, Ireland accepts that all States in the region, including Israel, are entitled to be concerned about their security. We believe too that it would be regrettable and indeed dangerous for any party to the conflicts of the region to introduce nuclear weapons into the area. We hope that all concerned will show the greatest restraint in this. Ultimately, of course--and by that I mean as soon as may be--we want to see a just and comprehensive peace settlement of the whole Arab-Israeli conflict. Such a settlement would help to ensure real security for all States. It would also provide justice and assure the legitimate rights of all of the peoples of the region.
9. We acknowledge that in the present troubled situation a comprehensive settlement seems very distant. We acknowledge, too, that while relations remain hostile, all States have the right to look to their legitimate security concerns. But we still believe that the Israeli attack was profoundly wrong and misguided and that it may have far-reaching implications for the future conduct of other States. For those reasons, deeply and sincerely felt, we cannot but condemn it.
10. My delegation does not use such words lightly towards any State, on any issue; least of all do we do so in addressing ourselves to the complexities of the Middle East, where fires have burned on both sides in a long history of conflict between peoples. We know that where confrontation and conflict are of long standing it can be unfair and one-sided to single out for censure a particular incident in a continuing cycle of violence. Nevertheless, we feel obliged to do this in speaking of the Israeli attack of 7 June.
11. Four aspects of the attack cause us some serious concern.
12. First, there are the immediate conseq
uences. Even though we acknowledge that an effort was made to minimize casualties, it is clear that lives were lost in the bombing--Iraqi lives, as well as that of one French technician--and the reactor was destroyed. We deplore the human suffering and we regret the material damage caused, just as we deplore and will continue to deplore any other attacks by Israel across its borders or any attacks from elsewhere directed against Israel.
13. Secondly, there are the wider consequence
s for the Middle East. We know that there is enmity between Iraq and Israel and that a formal state of war has existed between the two countries since 1948. It would be naive to ignore this. But even where there is a steady background of hostility between nations, one can still single out certain actions by either side as misguided if they greatly escalate existing tension and increase the dangers of more serious conflict. It seems to us that this could well be the effect of the Israeli attack.
14. Our fear is that this attack will c
onfirm and deepen existing hostility and lead almost inevitably to a desire for retaliation. If that desire is frustrated for the moment, it may well bide its time and seek an outlet against Israel at another time and place. And so the cycle of violence continues on a higher level and at higher pitch than before. That cannot but be a mater of concern to Israel, as it is to all of us, because it increases the danger of future conflict.
15. Thirdly, we are deeply concerned lest the attack endanger or weaken the international system wor
ked out with such difficulty over the past 20 years to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons. For over 25 years now Ireland has called attention to the dangers of nuclear proliferation.
16. Against these dangers the international community has erected a fragile barrier, but one which
has held well so far. I refer to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1968
[General Assembly resolution 2372 (XXII), annex)
safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Ireland, through the efforts of its then Foreign Minister in the General Assembly, in the late
1950s had some share in pressing for such a treaty;
and we have always thought that, although it may be imperfect, it was an achievement of major importance.
17. The safeguards system of IAEA is an import
ant part of that achievement; but now its validity has been challenged in a very fundamental way.
18. Iraq signed and ratified the Non-Proliferati
on Treaty in 1969. By doing so it solemnly bound itself, as did some 110 other countries, not to acquire or manufacture nuclear weapons. Furthermore, it accepted and implemented the system of inspection of IAEA. The most recent such inspection took place in January last and I understand the next inspection was due this month. The Director General of the Agency, Mr. Eklund, has said in a statement within the past few days that there is a very high probability that the diversion of fuel elements or plutonium would have been detected if it had occurred.
19. Israel, in contrast, has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty; nor has it accepted international inspection of its own nuclear facilities. That, of course, is its right. We may regret it, but we do not condemn it, since adherence to the Treaty is volun
20. But Israel is justifying its attack now by claims that Iraq was engaged in a nuclear weapons programme. It is clear that to grant validity to that claim must call into question the value of the whole international system on which we and other countries though we could rely with some assurance. Of course, that system is not 100 per cent foolproof; and if it is defective it should be examined and strengthened. But we are deeply concerned to see the whole system challenged and the trust which many countries had begun to place in it weakened. We have heard no supporting evidence so far to justify the claim that the safeguards had not proved effective and, indeed, we heard the very clear statement of the representative of France in the Council this morning [
in the opposite sense. I have to say, of course, in honesty, that it is harder to accept a challenge to the safeguards system when it comes by armed attack and comes from a country which, legitimately but regrettably, has itself chosen to remain outside the system and which, if it has not yet developed nuclear weapons, has at the very least kept open its options to do so.
21. Fourthly, and related to that, is the fact that Israel has justified its attack as a pre-emptive strike. This is
the first such strike in the nuclear age by any country with the stated aim of destroying the capacity of another country to develop nuclear weapons--an intention Iraq, of course, has denied.
22. At least three other cases have arisen since 1945, at either
the world or the regional level, where the temptation for one country to strike pre-emptively at a hostile or rival country which was about to acquire such weapons must have been strong. In each such case the temptation was resisted. But now Israel has struck at Iraq. This sets a most dangerous precedent with wide and dangerous implications.
23. We have listened carefully to Israel's own
account of its actions. We recognize that it feels threatened by hostile neighbors. But Israel's justification for the attack amounts to a claim that its security needs may at any time justify immediate offensive action against a possible future threat in the region. It is further implied that Israel will be the sole arbiter and judge of where and when such a threat may exist.
We simply cannot accept this approach to national security, however much we may try to understand the fears which underlie it. It would be extremely dangerous to everyone--and not least to Israel--if universally applied.
25. Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations acknowledges the inherent right of self-defense. But it speaks of defense where armed attack occurs and until the Security Council has taken the necessary measures. Israel has argued that, in an age of massive and dangerous weapons, this must be extended to include imminent attack.
26. But the present claim goes well beyond this. It starts with the assertion that, despite evidence to the contrary, Iraq's nuclear programme will result in the secret development of a bomb within three to five years; through a further extrapolation it asserts that Iraq will use the bomb, once developed, with immense damage to Israel and its people; and it concludes that an immediate strike to eliminate that possible future danger is fully justified under Article 51.
27. Even if one accepts the premise, and further accepts what many would think improbable--that an Arab country would use nuclear weapons against Israel without regard to the consequences for itself, or the death and destruction it would wreak on fellow Arabs in the West Bank, in Jordan, in Lebanon and elsewhere--then such a definition of self-defense is still impossibly wide. It would replace the basic principle of the Charter--that defense against armed attack is legitimate pending international action to restore peace--by a virtually unlimited concept of self-defense against all possible future dangers, subjectively assessed. This would reduce to virtual anarchy all of the efforts made since the
Second World War to restrain
the arbitrary actions of States by developing a framework of universal principles and obligations to govern their relations.
28. It is true that the code of international conduct which the Charter and other such instruments provide is very imperfectly observed, and it is true that the particular case of relations between Israel and Iraq is not a notable example of its application. But even in such a case there are actions by one side or the other which we are entitled to criticize as dangerous in themselves and subversive of the effort to establish a world of law because of what would happen if they were to be applied by all States.
If we were once to accept that Israel was right to strike at Iraq to eliminate the possibility that Iraq might develop nuclear weapons, must we then accept that Iraq would be free to strike at Israel, which, in the view of many, has already acquired them? Such an argument has already been advanced in the past few days by one head of Government. In terms of strict logic, it is not easy to refute.
30. But if this approach were once accepted, how could what is right and wrong in international life be judged any longer on any kind of general principle? A world where nuclear weapons inexorably spread and where any country may act militarily against another at any time if it suspects that it is close to acquiring them could become a world of universal conflict and turmoil, under the constant threat of war by each against each.
31. In such a world any State physically able to do so could justify offensive military action against another at any time by virtue of its own subjective assessment of a possible future threat, or indeed its dislike of the character of the régime or Government in question. Any potential conflict could become actual at any time. Regional rivalries, larger ideological divisions and the further spread of nuclear weapons would become even more dangerous than they are now.
32. Israel for the moment may judge that its relative strength is such that it would nevertheless survive and defend itself against all comers in such a world. But we other small countries cannot afford to condone anything likely to bring such a world closer to reality.
33. So much for our judgement, honestly expressed, on what we have heard here by way of argument and justification. I hope that no one will judge our criticism to be insincere or to be motivated by any kind of hostility or a lack of concern for the real and legitimate security needs of any people in the face of hostility.
34. As members of the Council, however, we must go on to consider what should now be done. For our part, we believe--and here I agree with the representative of France-- that it would be right for the Council to conclude its debate by adopting a resolution.
35. First, we believe that such a resolution should contain an appropriate recognition that all countries are entitled, with due respect for international agreements, to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and that it is their right, if they so wish, to further their scientific, technological and economic development in that way.
36. Secondly, because Israel has argued that what it did on 7 June was justified under the Charter and because it claims the right to act similarly in future, we believe that the Council must now pronounce itself clearly on the issue. For our part, as a matter of principle and for reasons which I have explained, we are ready to condemn it. As a member of the Board of Governors of IAEA, my country already voted with others I for a resolution adopted by that Board at Vienna on 12 June which condemned the Israeli attack
]. We would be prepared to consider a similar judgement in a resolution of this Council, with all the weight which that would carry. But we must frankly question whether it would now be wis
e for the Council, in face of the very complex situation of conflict in the Middle East, to seek to impose formal and mandatory sanctions under the relevant provisions of the Charter.
37. Thirdly, we would be ready to consider
a call by the Council for appropriate redress as a matter of principle--though we realize that such a call in present circumstances is unlikely to be implemented.
38. Fourthly, we should like to see any res
olution of the Council encourage in some suitable was all States in the region which have not yet done so to become parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Such a formula would naturally cover also Israel, which at the last session of the General Assembly joined in the consensus on the resolution on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East [
General Assembly resolution 35/147
That resolution, among other things, invited the countries in the region to agree to place all their nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards. We believe it could be right for the Council now to endorse that recommendation.
39. My delegation would be ready to vote in fav
or of a resolution on these general lines and we think that it could secure general support in this Council, and that that is important. It would do much in our view to re-establish clearly the principles which we consider of such importance to any effort to promote a world of order and of law.
40. The PRESIDENT
(interpretation from Spanish):
The next speaker is the representative of Yugoslavia. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
41. Mr. KOMATINA (Yugoslavia): It gives me pleasure to congratulate you, Sir, on your assum
ption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month and to wish you success in carrying out your responsible duties. Your profound political understanding of the problem of the Middle East and outstanding qualities as a statesman and diplomat will enable the Council to deal in an appropriate manner with this most acute and pressing issue. My pleasure in congratulating you is all the greater as I am addressing my felicitations to the representative of Mexico, a country with which Yugoslavia maintains traditionally friendly and close relations; both are engaged in common efforts to create a new world in which the right to independence, security and progress will be accessible to all peoples and countries.
42. I should like to pay a tribute also to your predecessor, the representative of Japan, Mr. Masahiro Nisibori, for his outstanding contribution to the work of the Council last month.
43. The Yugoslav delegation wishes to cont
ribute to the consideration of this exceptional situation, which has multiple and complex implications for international relations as a whole. This is, in fact, one of the most important series of meetings of the Council in recent times, as the international community is faced with a
for which there is no precedent.
44. We attach great importance to this debate, which in our firm view has far- reaching significance. Yugoslavia supported the initiative for convening an emergency series of Council meetings, proceeding from the fact that this organ is duty bound to act in cases of threats to or breaches of peace and security and to take appropriate measures in accordance with the Charter.
45. This is yet another exceptional moment when the Council should take a resolute stand with re
gard to a premeditated act of wanton use of force, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the basic norms governing relations between sovereign States-in brief, to protect, this time, the sovereignty of Iraq and, by doing so, to protect the sovereignty of all independent States. Because what has been infringed are the fundamental postulates on which stable
international relations are based. And that is not all. Israel not only boasts that everything was done "cleanly and effectively", but considers this to be a normal practice and threatens to continue it.
46. The absurd and particularly dangerous argumentation concerning the right of preventive attack "in self-defense" must be rejected because not to reject it would be to open the way to lawlessness and to legalize aggression. If such argumentation were even partly endorsed, no country could be safe. Force would become the law that any powerful country could take into its own hands on the basis of a subjective appraisal of the existence of an alleged danger threatening its security. Who could feel safe in such a situation?
47. Furthermore, Israel has dealt a serious blow to the very principle of peaceful co-operation among States in the field of nuclear energy and has trampled upon the international system of nuclear safeguards. It has infringed upon the inalienable right of sovereign countries to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It has been internationally confirmed and proved that the nuclear reactor in Iraq was built precisely with such purposes in mind. That is corroborated also by the findings of the appropriate department of IAEA and the statement of its Director General, Mr. Eklund.
48. We wonder what would happen if other countries too begun to destroy, for instance, nuclear power stations, laboratories, research institutes and other installations. If that form of interventionism is not nipped in the bud, the world, and the militarily weak countries in particular, will remain helpless and unprotected.
49. If the Council failed to react in an adequate manner it would not respond to its basic vocation as the organ responsible for peace in the world. That would throw the door wide open to further actions of a similar kind; aggressors everywhere would become even more arrogant, and in the final analysis that would encourage all those forces in the world which have raised State terrorism to the level of a fundamental political doctrine.
50. What is even more dangerous, the Council would thereby once again shut its eyes to the substance of the Middle East crisis, which is entering a new critical phase, as this act of war has resulted in a qualitative escalation of aggression.
51. And this crisis not only remains unsolved but it is worsening all the time, We are constantly faced with the occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories, with the negation of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, with Israel's refusal to comply with the decisions of the United Nations and the international community. The war is being waged continuously on a number of visible and invisible fronts; aggression against sovereign countries continues, a fact that is best illustrated by the drama of Lebanon, whose very existence is jeopardized, and that is also confirmed by the Israeli air raid on Baghdad that we are now considering.
52. In such a situation, neither the Council nor any individual State can remain indifferent. It is therefore this forum's duty not only to take clear stands and to condemn the Israeli attack and qualify it as it deserves but also to take measures under the Charter in order to prevent similar actions in the future. General disagreement is not sufficient; what is needed are clear positions aimed at preventing this ominous practice from taking root. Moreover, the Council should clearly reflect the feelings of world public opinion, which has condemned this most recent act of aggression unanimously and includes voices of protest in Israel itself.
53. My country has again taken a resolute stand in accordance with its policy of consistent resistance to any encroachment on the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of independent countries. The Federal Secretariat for Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia has qualified the unprovoked air raid on the capital of Iraq as "an act of State terrorism and a most flagrant violation of the principle of sovereignty in international relations". Further, it has characterized it as "yet another serious violation of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct" and a "very dangerous development which gives cause for grave concern and calls for energetic condemnation by the entire international community". The statement of the Secretariat for Foreign Affairs emphasized that:
"Israel again resorted to brutal use of force with a view to spreading the flames of war in the Middle East and exacerbating the crisis in that region. With its latest armed aggression it has extended the area of its intervention and onslaught on the freedom of the peoples and countries in that region".
In this connection, the statement laid stress on the need to proceed resolutely and without delay to a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East crisis on the basis of the implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations and the decisions adopted at meetings of non-aligned countries, which have assessed the Middle East crisis as one of the most dangerous conflicts in the world. In that sense, the statement underlines the necessity of taking urgent measures to initiate a process of political settlement of the Middle East conflict.
54. Yugoslavia has always called for such a solution, which is more urgent today than ever before. In order to be lasting, just and comprehensive, such a settlement must include the withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab and Palestinian territories occupied in the 1967 war; achievement of the inalienable national right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and creation of its own State under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as its sole legitimate representative; and the establishment of equal security for all States in the Middle East. Of course, the idea of equal security implies the right of every people to live in its own State safely and independently, as well as the protection of all countries against aggression.
55. The liberation of the Palestinian people has been and still remains the key component of such a solution. For as long as the Palestinian people does not emerge from its forced exile and does not achieve the right to its own national State; as long as all the
created by force are not eliminated and the occupied territories liberated; and as long as the Israeli policy of domination and expansion, which is the root cause of war and instability there, is not thwarted, there can be neither peace nor stability in the Middle East.
56. We live in a world burdened by ever deeper contradictions which are constantly being aggravated. The worsening of international relations affects almost all spheres of international life. There are no limits to open or covert use of force. The latter is assuming, ever more diverse forms of interference, armed intervention, occupation, pressure, State terrorism and subversion for the purpose of destabilizing independent countries. It is also manifested in the fact that world problems remain unresolved and unequal economic and political relations are maintained. We encounter it in great-Power rivalry for spheres of interest, in attempts to impose alien models of development and to jeopardize the aspirations of peoples to free social, national and economic development. All this brings into question the policy of détente and constitutes a threat to international peace and security.
57. However, everyday practice in substance confirms that any policy relying on force, aggression and occupation is short-sighted. Although it ma
y secure temporary advantages, such a policy is bound to turn against
58. Peoples throughout the world are ever more strongly resisting such a policy of force and domination. Countries are resolutely defending their independence and territorial integrity. No one is willing to reconcile himself to unjust relations and oppression. In the final analysis, no people can be held in subjection forever. The liberation struggle against colonial and foreign domination has not been defeated anywhere. That is an undeniable fact of international life and a motor force of positive developments in the world.
59. All this has found expression in the pri
nciples and objectives of the policy of non-alignment and, for that reason, it could become one of the ever more influential global, positive factors of peace, equality and progress.
60. To conclude, my delegation believes that the main message of the Council at this serious mo
ment should be to prevent the use of force from gaining ascendancy over the rule of law. For this reason, we feel that the Council should condemn unequivocally the unprovoked attack against Iraq and express its solidarity with that country; apply effective measures compelling Israel to behave in accordance with the principles of the Charter and decisions of the United Nations and prevent acts against peace and security; reject the policy of
; reaffirm the right of all countries to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes; and ensure that all countries contribute towards the implementation of the decisions of the world Organization and refrain from giving Israel such assistance as is, directly or indirectly, likely to encourage or enable it to defy the will of the international community. This would contribute not only towards restraining force and aggression in the Middle East and liberating the Palestinian people, but also towards improving international relations as a whole.
61. Mr. TROYANOVSKY (Union of Sovie
t Socialist Republics) (
interpretation from Russian
The Soviet delegation has listened with great attention to the statement made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Mr. Saadoon Hammadi [
who very convincingly set forth the facts and arguments relating to the Iraqi Government's appeal to the Security Council.
62. As members know, year in and year out, the question of Israel's acts of aggression against the Arab peoples has been on the agenda of the Security Council and of other organs of the United
Nations. The international community has frequently condemned Israel's continuing occupation of Arab lands and other hostile acts carried out by Israel against the Arabs. This new criminal act committed by Israel, this time against Iraq, has brought forth a wave of indignation and condemnation throughout the world as a flagrant violation of international norms and customs, as a serious threat to the fate of the world not only in the Middle East, but also beyond that region. This condemnation has been reflected in the resolution adopted at the extraordinary session of the Council of the League of Arab States, which took place at Baghdad on 11 June [
and also in statements made in the Security Council by the Foreign Ministers of Kuwait [
and Tunisia [
the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States [
and many other representatives.
Indeed, the raid by the Israeli Air Force on the nuclear research centre close to Baghdad cannot be considered otherwise than as a direct act of aggression against a sovereign State member of the United Nations. As a result of the raid, human lives were lost and serious material damage inflicted. Either of these effects would have been enough for us to call to account the high-handed aggressor. But that is not the only point. We must realize that the attack committed by the Israeli Air Force represents a new stage in Israel’s policy
of international terrorism against the Arab
States and an attempt to strengthen its criminal practice of carrying out so-called "pre-emptive strikes” against Arab cities and villages and to replace international law with the law of the jungle and a policy of operating from "a position of strength". Israel's actions require not only the harshest condemnation but also decisive suppression, the more so in the Israeli leaders have openly threatened to continue carrying out such strikes in the future when they see fit. The Security Council has not yet completed its consideration of the question of Israel's aggression against Iraq, and Mr. Begin is already threatening to carry out another armed attack against the territory of another Arab State, Lebanon.
64. The representative of Israel
has cited even legal arguments to support the doctrine of preventive war. These arguments are familiar to us from the 1930s when another State carried out "Pre-emptive, strikes" right and left until it collapsed under the weight of its own crimes.
65. Israel's attempts to justify its criminal action are futile from beginning to end.
66. The Israeli representatives' statements that Iraq has embarked on the construction of nuclear weapons are contradicted by the facts. The nuclear reactor destroyed by the Israeli Air Force was under construc-tion and, as, has been emphasized by international specialists, was not intended for the production of nuclear weapons. In this connection, we find notewor-thy the statement by the Director General of IAEA, Mr. Eklund, made on 9 June this year, and which many representatives have cited, to the effect that in accordance with the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which Iraq has been party since it entered into force, "Iraq accepts Agency safeguards on all its nuclear activities". The ' statement continues: "These safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date . . .".
/ Therefore, statements by the Israeli leaders, and in particular by Prime Minister Begin, to the effect that the Israeli raid was motivated, supposedly, by the desire to ensure the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, simply sound like an affront to common sense. On the contrary, as was correctly noted by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, this Israeli attack further complicates the implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, in particular in respect of the application of the safeguards and inspection system by IAEA.
67. At the same time, as is well known, Israel, despite many appeals by the international community, has refused to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. This is not the first year that the question of Israel's nuclear ambitions and its co-operation with the racist régime of Pretoria in the production of nuclear weapons has been on the agenda of the United Nations. The General Assembly
has firmly condemned the actions of Israel aimed at manufacturing, acquiring and stockpiling nuclear weapons, called upon Israel to place all its nuclear installations under the control of IAEA and asked the Security Council to adopt appropriate measures to ensure the implementation of the relevant resolutions relating to the question of Israel's nuclear armament. Israel's refusal to comply with these decisions of the United Nations bears eloquent witness to the fact that its real objective is the establishment of its own dominance in the Middle East region. We can well imagine to what consequences these adventuristic plans would lead were they not to be halted.
68. We would be telling only half the truth if, in condemning the irresponsible actions of the Israeli politicians, we were to pass over in silence the role of those who stand behind Israel. Many are now posing the question: Did the Government of the United States know in advance about the intended raid by the Israeli Air Force? It is difficult to imagine that it did not know in advance. However, what is important here is not so much the answer to the question, but, rather, the indisputable fact that Begin's Government would not have dared to challenge the entire international com-munity unless it were convinced of the understanding and virtual encouragement
for its adventuristic expansionist course extended by Washington, which has for many years been providing the most varied kinds of assistance and support to Israel in its armed activities against the Arab States.
69. Now the whole world has I been able to see for itself once again: the bombing of the nuclear research centre near Baghdad was carried out using the most modem American military technology, the F-15 and P-16 aircraft. And their use was not hindered by statements by the United States Government to the effect that the weapons given by them to Israel were to be used only for defensive purposes. Moreover, in Washington they are acknowledging openly that the United States had long been concerned over the construction of the nuclear reactor in Iraq. It is obvious that the Israelis had fully understood the hint given them from across the ocean.
70. Now they are trying in Washington to distance themselves from the Israeli action, so as to avoid the just anger of the Arab peoples; but they cannot mislead anyone by putting on such a show. What it really cost the United States to take the decision to delay the delivery to Israel of four F-16 aircraft can be seen from the explanation given by a representative of the State Department that this delay will not apply to other weapons, but only to those four aircraft. It is sufficient to recall in this connection that quite recently Israel already took delivery of 53 F-16 aircraft. In addition, Israel was to receive another 15 F-15 aeroplanes, 200 M-60 tanks, 600 air-to-air missiles, 600 air-to-ground missiles and 800
armored transports. There is no doubt that a certain delay in the delivery to Israel of the four aircraft will not have any effect whatsoever on the rate at which the Israeli army is arming itself. To ensure that even this essentially empty gesture should not unduly concern the ruling circles of Israel and the Zionist lobby in the United States of America, the White House hurriedly assured the Israeli Ambassador that there would be no change in the United States policy of support for Israel.
71. As can be seen from the TASS statement of 9 June [S1145251, the Soviet ruling circles categorically "condemn the bandit-like raid carried out by the Israeli Air Force against the capital of Iraq and hold that the responsibility for that raid lies with Israel and with the United States of America, which arms the aggressor and provides it with support of every kind."
72. It is evident that the basis for this comprehensive and close American-Israeli co-operation is the aspiration of the United States to use Israel as an instrument for its imperialist policy in the Middle East. Can there be any doubt that, if the United States really wanted to do so, it could long ago have put an end to the outrageous attacks by the Israeli expansionists against Arab lands, whether it be in the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights or in the land of Lebanon which has suffered so much?
73. Quite a good deal has recently been heard from Washington about the so-called need to struggle against international terrorism, and yet it would be difficult to find any clearer example of international terrorism at the level of State policy than what is done by Tel Aviv using American weaponry and with the political cover of the United States of America.
74. The Soviet delegation considers that it is the duty of the Council, given this continuing escalation of Israeli aggression, to take decisive measures against the aggressor. We should not only condemn Israel, we must also take measures to halt its criminal policy. This is what the international community expects of the Council. Millions of Arabs are looking to the Council with hope--and indeed it is not only Arabs who believe that Israeli aggression should not go unpunished.
75. The Soviet Union has consistently advoc
ated and continues to advocate support for the just struggle of all the Arab peoples, including the Iraqi people against Israeli aggression. Proceeding from that premise, the Soviet delegation fully supports Iraq's position in respect of Israel's attack on its territory. We stand in solidarity in support of the just demands of Iraq for the application of sanctions against Israel under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.
76. It is evident that this new act of armed aggress
ion by Israel is a logical consequence of the policy of the United States in the Middle East, which, instead of seeking to achieve the establishment of a firm and just peace in the region, has moved towards separatist deals and division of the Arab world. The results of this American policy are evident: Tel Aviv's lying has become even more blatant and uncompromising, leading day by day to an ever greater exacerbation of the situation and dealing a blow to the process of a real settlement in the region.
77. In counterpoint to this anti-Arab approach, the Soviet Union calls for a return to the honourable collective search for a comprehensive settlement on a just and realistic basis. As was emphasized a
t the twenty-sixth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union by Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, under the circumstances, this could be achieved within the context of a specially convened international conference. The Soviet Union is willing, in a constructive spirit and with good will, to participate in the work of such a conference, along with other interested parties
The United Nations could continue to play a use role in this. We would call on all those who truly desire to see peace and security triumph in the Middle East to follow this path.
78. This most recent armed intervention by Tel Aviv provides once again convincing proof that we can no longer dally in taking decisive action to curb aggression. An important step in that direction would be the adoption by the Council of a resolution categorica
lly condemning Israel for its act of aggression against Iraq and the application against Israel of mandatory sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.
79. The PRESIDENT
(interpretation from Spanish):
The next speaker is the representative of Egypt. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
80. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt): Mr. Pres
ident, I should like first of all to congratulate you today on your assumption of the presidency of this principal organ of the United Nations at a crucial juncture in world events. I should like also to pay a high tribute to the friendly country that you represent. My delegation is confident, Mr. President, that you are fully capable of performing your task in guiding the work of the Council to a most satisfactory outcome.
81. Similarly, Sir, I cannot fail on this occasion also to express my delegation's deep appreciation and admiration for your predecessor, Mr. Nisibori of Japan, who fulfilled his mandate last month as President in an excellent way which won him our highest esteem and admiration.
The Council meets today in a grim mood, befitting this tragic occasion. The tension-ravaged Middle East received another setback with the Israeli air assault on a scientific research facility near Baghdad, an act that introduces anarchy to international affairs. There is cause for grave concern about the very serious and extraordinary fall-out of this totally unwarranted Israeli raid of 7 June 1981.
83. That date will, no doubt, stand out in history as the date on which Israel willfully tried to shake the fragile situation in the Middle East and acted against International law and the internationally sanctioned moral code of conduct.
84. The facts speak for themselves. The Osirak reactor is a scientific research facility that is already subject to inspection by IAEA--and I must remind the Council that the last inspection of that scientific facility was made last January, barely five months ago.
85. The Director General of IAEA, in his statement at the opening of the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on 9 June, said that:
“Iraq has been a party to the Non-Proliferation
Treaty since it came into force in 1970. In accordance with that Treaty, Iraq accepts Agency safeguards on all its nuclear activities. These safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date, including during the recent period of armed conflict with Iran. The last safeguards inspection at the Iraqi nuclear centre took place in January of this year, and all
material there was satisfactorily accounted for. This material included the fuel so far delivered for the Tamuz reactors.”
In the same statement, the Director General also said that “This attack on the Iraqi nuclear centre is a serious development with far-reaching implications".
86. It is indeed futile to try to fathom Israel's motives in its raid on the Osirak facility. The attacks runs counter to Israel's declared intention of seeking a comprehensive peace or stability in the area. Perhaps Israel is trying to
tell the whole world that it will accept no restraint on its ability to destabilize the Middle East against and contrary, to all expectations and the making of further sincere attempts to consolidate the peace structure in the region.
87. Israel has set a very serious precedent that threatens world peace and subjects the Middle East to a new wave of instability and chaos.
88. Unfortunately, this latest art of irresponsible aggression was made possible by Israel's abuse of American arms in violation of the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976 and the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement of 23 July 1952 whose pertinent portions provide that:
"The Government of Israel assures the United States Government that such equipment, materials or services as may be acquired from the United States . . . are required for and will be used solely to maintain its internal security, [and] its legitimate self-defense ... of the area of which it is a part ... and that it will not undertake any act of aggression against any other State."
89. We have seen to what end American weapons, supposedly for defensive purposes, are being misused by Israel. They are being misused against civilian targets and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and now against scientific installations in Iraq. It is hoped that obligations under the agreement to which I have referred will be effectively discharged.
90. The Government and people of Egypt joined with the rest of the Arab world and all peace-loving countries in condemning this attack and, upon the instructions of my Government, we have already circulated a letter dated 9 June [
], on Egypt's condemnation of Israel's raid.
It is with the deepest regret and indignation that Egypt views Israel's outrageous attack against Iraq. The Egyptian people and Government were profoundly shocked and angered by that act, which was contrary to all prerequisites for establishing a solid basis for a just and lasting peace in the area.
92. Actually, Israel's destruction of Iraq's nuclear plant is against the spirit of, and runs counter to, sincere efforts to forge peace in the area. It does not help the whole process to which we have been dedicated for the last three years.
93. The peace process was initially based on the Camp David accords, which did not and do not justify or permit acts of aggression. Aggressive policies and practices cannot and should not be accounted for by those accords, which were meant to formulate a framework for peace in the Middle East.
94. If a party to those accords acts to the contrary, the blame and responsibility should be put on that party and not on the accords, which must be fully implemented and scrupulously
respected. That is the position of my Government, which has painstakingly pursued, and is still pursuing, sustained and persistent efforts to achieve peace, stability, security, progress and development for the whole region.
95. The Israeli Government stands fully responsible for all the negative consequences which will be brought about by its totally unacceptable behavior. Egypt cannot afford to overlook the inherent dangerous threat to the security of the region, which is seriously damaged by Israel's aggressive attack on Iraq.
That act of aggression, committed under an excuse of so-called legitimate self-defense, portends dreadful prospects for the region, since Israel will invoke that principle whenever and wherever it likes. That will only lead to the further isolation of Israel, for no peace-loving State can tolerate or acquiesce in such an irresponsible act.
97. Today more than ever, Israel stands alone, condemned by friends and enemies alike for its application of the law of the jungle in international relations. While Israel may have felt it was improving its short-term safety and security, it has actually destabilized the situation in the Middle East, thereby jeopardizing in the long term its own security.
98. I have to emphasize that this act of aggression constitutes a real challenge which should be confronted and condemned. It is a challenge that necessitates on our part a continued commitment to the cause of peace in the Middle East, a resolute determination to overcome these obstacles created by Israel and to respond courageously to the challenge posed by the irresponsible act of the Government of Israel, which further aggravates an already tense situation and obstructs the road towards a just, comprehensive peaceful settlement in the area.
99. The Council, the international community, the world conscience is called upon to prevent this return to old concepts and doctrines which should have been abandoned after the initiative of the peace process in the Middle East. Such concepts and acts represent, regrettably, a setback to genuine efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
100. There could be--or, rather, will be--very serious consequences as a result of the bombing raid. They could come within months or even after years. However, there may still be room for reason and statesmanship and wisdom. In our modest opinion, the terms in which the debate is taking place may be missing a substantial point: condemnation in itself, however necessary, may not remedy the aftermath of the aggression. Indeed, we have before us a specific case with specific circumstances, and we should not be diverted into a labyrinth of discussions and argumentation. Nevertheless, it is our firm conviction that there is a cause-and-effect relationship underl
ying the whole issue before us today: it is in the Middle East crisis, in essence, that the causes of the latest Israeli attack on Iraq lie.
101. It is the Middle East crisis, the core of which is the Palestinian question, that motivated the latest explosion in the Middle East. It is in vain that we focus on the effects or the symptoms, overl
ooking the original causes behind them. The time is overdue for the international community, for the United Nations, for the super-Powers, for Western Europe, for the non-aligned countries and for all peace-loving peoples to embark with us, intensively, on an all-out initiative to consolidate the fragile peace and security structure in the Middle East, to help to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem, fulfilling the right, of all people and all States to existence, security and sovereignty, and particularly the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence. This is the real cause which we have to espouse and dedicate ourselves to, if we really want to spare that region further eruption, confrontation and conflicts which might potentially engulf the whole world in unknown eventualities.
102. Conscious of a potential nuclear threat to peace and stability in the Middle East, Egypt since
the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly in 1974, has advocated the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region. The General Assembly adopted by overwhelming majorities a series of resolutions on this subject. Yet it was only during the thirty-fifth session that General Assembly resolution
on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone, was adopted by consensus. Israel, while trying to project an image of genuine interest in a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, refuses to demonstrate in a concrete way its commitment to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Instead of implementing the provisions of resolution 35/147, Israel persisted in its rejectionist attitude and opted to execute by this raid its self-imposed responsibilities, having blatantly violated a resolution to which it had subscribed.
103. Resolution 35/147 calls on all concerned p
, to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to agree t
o place all its nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards. To date, Israel refuses to adhere to the Non-Proliferation Treaty or to place its nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards. In fact, Israel has not taken any credible steps towards the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
104. By its unwarranted air raid on the Iraqi
peaceful nuclear reactor, Israel has cast serious doubts on its previous pronouncements of its support for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Israel's latest action is an assault on the two basic multilateral instruments against the proliferation of nuclear weapons--the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the system of safeguards administered by IAEA. Israel, it seems, believes no one but itself. This is a very dangerous attitude for a country that does not cease to proclaim its desire for peaceful co-existence with its neighbors and to have I relations with all countries.
105. Israel, although an adamant opponent of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has arrogated to itself, it seems, the right to interpret and execute the provision of the Treaty in a strange manner. It cites unsubstantiated arguments that Iraq was constructing the Tamuz reactor for military purposes, whereas the peaceful character of the reactor is beyond doubt, as Iraq is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and has subscribed to the safeguards of IAEA.
106. To make good its declaration in support of the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East, we call upon Israel to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and place all its nuclear activities under the safeguards system of IAEA, in conformity with General Assembly resolution 35/147, as all other concerned parties have done.
107. We equally reiterate our call to all States, pending the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, to declare solemnly that they will refrain, on a reciprocal basis, from producing, acquiring or in any way possessing nuclear weapons and nuclear explosive devices, and to deposit such declarations with the Security Council for consideration, as appropriate. This has been the initiative of my
Government and has been our consistent position since 1974.
108. Israel's tragic and ominous aggression under-scores
the great urgency of a comprehensive peaceful settlement of the Middle East crisis based on these two interrelated elements, the cause and the effect. It is through the achievement of the right of all peoples and States to existence, security and independence and more particularly the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone, that this vital region and the whole world could be spared a doomed destiny.
109. To conclude, Egypt has been affected by this act of aggression as much as all Arab countries and peoples have been. Egypt has been and will continue to be an organic part and parcel of the Arab nation. Our history is one, our present aspirations and ordeals are one, and our common destiny is and always will be one. Not one person, Government or country should be under the illusion that Egypt's national interests differ from those of the Arab peoples--and I say that loud and clear.
They are one and the same. Egypt, as it has done in war, will fulfil in peace all its historical tasks in safeguarding and enhancing the legitimate interests and aspirations of the Arab people.
110. The PRESIDENT
(interpretation from Spanish)
The next speaker is the representative of Romania. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
111. Mr. MARINESCU (Romania)
(interpretation from French)
Romania is a country which devotes its efforts to peaceful construction and development and, on the international level, to strengthening co-operation and understanding among all peoples, and we deem it necessary clearly to submit our views to the Council in these difficult circumstances for peace and security in the Middle East and throughout the world.
112. I am grateful to you, Mr. President, and to the other members of the Council for having granted my country's request to be allowed to participate in this important meeting of the Council. May I wish you, as the representative of Mexico, a country with which Romania has manifold links, complete success in your most responsible tasks. I am certain that you will guide the Council's debates with expertise and wisdom, following in the footsteps of the great diplomats and politicians whom your country has given to the world.
113. The aggressive act which is the subject of the present debate in the Council has been justly reproved and condemned throughout the world by the authorized representatives of many States and by world public opinion, which learned with profound disquiet and indignation of the aerial attack by Israel against Iraqi nuclear installations.
114. From the outset, the Government of the Social-ist Republic of Romania and the public opinion of my country most vigorously condemned this inadmissible act of armed aggression as a grave violation of the elementary rules governing relations among States, the sacred principles of national independence and sovereignty, non- intervention in internal affairs, territorial integrity and non-recourse to force or the threat of its use.
115. As is well known, Romania has unceasingly affirmed the absolute value of those principles and has undertaken constant and resolute efforts to promote their strict application among all countries of the world as a fundamental premise for the maintenance of international peace and security and the freedom of all peoples. In accordance with these principles and generally accepted binding rules, the use of force, acts of aggression and armed attacks directed against other peoples and against independent and sovereign States cannot be accepted in any form, in any circumstances or on any pretext.
116. In the light of those principles and norms, as well as the experience of history, the bombing of the territory of Iraq by Israeli aircraft’s is a deliberate act of aggression and the motives invoked to justify it appear totally hollow and devoid of any legitimacy. One cannot in any way accept the "motivation" whereby the Government of Israel attempts to justify its attack namely, that it was determined by security considerations.
117. First of all, a flagrant violation of the principles and fundamental rules of the Charter and of international law can in no way assume the mantle of a legal act. It is all the more grave and dangerous to make of such a pretension a doctrine for attack, or even of preventive war, for that doctrine is totally unacceptable for reasons which relate both to an elementary respect for international morality and law and to the interests and fundamental rights of every people with regard to peace and security.
118. Let no one--and above all not those who bear the heavy responsibility for this inexcusable act--misunderstand or harbor illusions: recourse to force inevitably leads to the further use of force, with the most serious consequences. World experience bears indisputable testimony to the fact that the course which leads to the strengthening of the security of a State, to its independent and sovereign development, can in no way include military actions or acts of aggression against other States. On the contrary, recourse to the use of arms and any aggressive actions are a source of insecurity, because they are inevitably followed by reactions and reprisals.
119. The military action taken by Israel constitutes an extremely dangerous precedent in international life. To acquiesce in it would open the way to arbitrariness in its most dangerous form and to the most irresponsible actions with the gravest implications for security and even for the very existence of the countries and peoples of the world. It is all the more dangerous since it occurs at this time in a particularly complex and tense international situation, when the efforts of all States should be devoted to a resumption and continuation of détente, to a policy of peace and co-operation. It is on the basis of those considerations that we believe the Israeli Government has just taken on a grave responsibility, even towards its own people, and that it is its duty urgently and definitively to halt all such aggressive actions.
120. As is emphasized in the statement issued by the Romanian Press Agency, with the authorization of the Government of Romania [
it is imperative to understand with total clarity that no one, for any reason and in any circumstances, can take it upon himself to violate the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of another State; that the defense of a State's own security can in no way justify a flagrant failure to respect the security of other States.
121. For that reason, we feel that the Council should give the clearest expression to the general condemnation of the Israeli act of armed aggression and resolutely affirm that the international community is determined not to tolerate such acts, which jeopardize the interests of all peoples, as well as the maintenance of peace and security.
122. In our opinion, the Council should also reaffirm the inalienable right of all countries to use
nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, their right to access to scientific achievement in this field and to nuclear technology, as an integral part of their right to development. Any act designed to prevent or restrict the exercise of that right would be detrimental to international co-operation, to the solution of urgent economic and social problems facing mankind.
123. There is no doubt that the military action by Israel seriously damages the situation in th
e Middle East, as well as the interests of all the peoples of the region, including those of the people of Israel. Every one knows how tense the situation in the Middle East is and how vast is the potential for explosion that has been building up in that region. In those circumstances, any act of force can only enlarge the area of conflict, make the possibility of a settlement even more remote and create an immediate danger of escalation of the confrontation--one of the most serious threats to world peace.
124. The Israeli bombing of Iraq, Israel's
military actions in Lebanon--which bring widespread destruction and such terrible loss to the Lebanese people--the constant risk that new hotbeds of conflict will develop: all that shows how necessary it is to reach a comprehensive solution to the Middle East problem, to establish a just and lasting peace in that part of the world.
125. In firmly condemning the Israeli act of aggression and expressing its deep concern over the development of events, Romania reaffirms its consistent position that the very complex situation in the Mi
ddle East can be solved only by political means, through negotiations.
126. In Romania's view--constantly affirm by Romania's President, Nicolae Ceausescu --there
is no conflict in any part of the world that can just recourse to arms; all problems must be settled solely by peaceful means, by negotiations among the parties concerned. That is the only viable course for solving the problems of conflict in the Middle East.
127. The events of recent weeks have proved beyond any challenge the imperative need to proceed witho
ut delay to the achievement of a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East. As we have repeatedly emphasized since the conflict began, such a settlement, to be viable, must provide for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Arab territories occupied as result of the 1967 war. To meet the vital interests of all the peoples of the region, as well as the supreme requirements of justice and peace, it is necessary, at the same time, to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self- determination, including its right to establish its own independent State. The facts prove--if proof is still needed--that an equitable solution of the problems and the achievement of an atmosphere of calm and security in the Middle East cannot be envisaged without a solution of the Palestinian problem: an essential component of a lasting settlement in the region. A peaceful settlement must also include the guaranteeing of the independence and territorial integrity of all the States of the region.
128. Emphasizing those basic requirements of a comprehensive solution, the President of Romania recently reaffirmed the need to intensify the efforts to organize an international conference, under the auspices and with the participation of the United Nations, of all the parties concerned, including the PLO, as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, as well as the co-Chairmen of the Geneva Conference: the Soviet Union and the United States of America. It seems to us very appropriate to recall on this occasion that the idea of a peace conference on the Middle East was included in General Assembly resolution 34/70, adopted by an overwhelming majority on 6 December 1979.
129. We are more than ever convinced of the timeliness and realism of that idea, proposed by Romania several times during recent years, as well as the urgency of a peaceful solution in the Middle East. To that end, the Government of Israel must fully understand the seriousness of the situation that has been created and, in a spirit of reason and political lucidity, of responsibility towards the cause of peace and the interests and the future of all the peoples of the region, it must put an immediate end to such a dangerous development.
130. It is high time for the United Nations, all its organs and in particular the Security Council--while taking the measures necessary to put an end to these intolerable acts that threaten peace and security in the region--to place at the forefront of their concerns the fundamental objective of the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, to make every effort to go beyond the present state of affairs, to act firmly for a comprehensive settlement of the conflict, in accordance with the deep aspirations of all the peoples of the region.
131. If the present debate were to conclude in that way, if that were to be the direction taken by the international community's action, then these meetings of the Security Council would represent an important contribution to the solution of one of the most critical conflicts
the world, in conformity with the interests of peace and security and the requirements of détente international co-operation.
132. The PRESIDENT
interpretation from Span
ish): The next speaker is the representative of Viet Nam. I invite her to take a place at the Council table and to make her statement.
133. Mrs. NGUYEN NGOC DUNG (Viet Nam)(
interpretation from French):
First of all, the delegation of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam would like to express its appreciation to the President and members of the Council for giving us this opportunity to state the views of our Government on the air raid carried out by Israel against the nuclear research centre in Iraq on 7 June.
134. Together with the international community, which has risen up in indignation at that odious aggression, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam issued a statement dated 9 June [
] on this problem. The statement said that the pretext advanced by Mr. Begin to the effect that that unprovoked criminal act was an act of self-defense bore witness to cynical arrogance and was futile as a justification of it.
135. That shocking attack, far from being an isolated act of aggression by the Israeli Air Force, was undertaken along with a series of bombings against the territory of Lebanon, which indiscriminately killed thousands of innocent people, and other military operations against Syria and other Arab countries aimed at crushing the forces of resistance of the Arab countries and thereby perpetuating the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Arab territories.
136. Israel’s allegation made to support its attack against the nuclear research centre--namely, that it was carried out to prevent Iraq manufacturing an atom bomb--is not only completely tendentious but also quite clearly shows Israel’s design, with the assistance of the United States, to keep a monopoly on nuclear weapons in the region.
137. It is quite evident that the operation was a premeditated act of terrorism carefully prepared and carried out, using the most sophisticated American weapons and equipment, within the context of the well-known plan of Israel to continue at any cost its expansionist designs against the Arab countries. That operation could not have been carried out without the support and encouragement of the United States. It seriously exacerbates already existing tension in the Middle East and endangers peace and security in the region.
138. The Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam considers that act of aggression to be a flagrant violation of the sacred independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Iraq, and a violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law and custom. It is an insolent challenge to Arab and world public opinion.
139. As was stated in the recent message sent by Mr. Nguyen Co Thach, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to Mr. Saadoon Hammadi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq,
"The Government and people of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam strongly condemn the afore-mentioned criminal acts carried out by the expansionist Zionist Israeli aggressors and call on them to respect the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq and of the other Arab countries."
140. Minister Nguyen Co Thach at the same time reaffirmed the resolute support of the people and Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam for, and their militant solidarity with, the Iraqi people, the Palestinian people and the other Arab peoples in the just struggle against American imperialism and the Zionist aggressors of Israel to recover the occupied Arab territories and to achieve the sacred national rights of the Palestinian people.
141. The Vietnamese delegation is willing to support any resolutions and decisions that the Council may take at this series of meetings on Israel in the discharge of its difficult task of helping to ensure peace and security, which are so gravely jeopardized in the region.
142. The PRESIDENT
interpretation from Spanish
): The next speaker is the representative of Sierra Leone. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
143. Mr. KOROMA (Sierra Leone): I have been instructed by my Government to make the following statement.
144. Mr. President, for my country it is not just a matter of coincidence that you should be presiding over the affairs of the Council at a time when it is considering the grave matter which is before it. For your country, Mexico, which you so ably represent in the Council, is a firm believer in the United Nations and its purposes and principles and a staunch supporter of international law and justice. We also know for certain that Mexico cannot be a party to the conspiracy now being hatched in certain quarters to destroy the United Nations, undermine its authority and weaken its effectiveness, which is precisely the inevitable consequence of the latest Israeli attack against Iraq.
145. The charge against Israel now before the Council is that on Sunday, 7 June 1981, deploying its military war machine, as is its wont in the Middle East region, it carried out a premeditated and unprovoked attack against a nuclear research installation situated near Baghdad, thereby causing many civilian casualties and much material damage. In the course of executing such a nefarious operation, Israel violated the ter-ritorial integrity not only of Iraq but also of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Thus, under the Charter of the United Nations, Israel stands accused, first and foremost, of the illegal use of force against a State Member of the Organization contrary to Article 2, paragraph 4,
of the Charter; secondly, Israel stands accused of a serious violation of the territorial integrity of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. By its action against Iraq, Israel stands accused of committing a deliberate and calculated act of aggression--the gravest of all crimes against international peace and security--against a State Member of the Organization.
146. Having been caught
in flagrante delicto
committing that offence and having admitted responsibility for the attack, Israel, in order to justify its action, propounded a new thesis, that of "anticipatory” or “preventive aggression" in the guise of self-defense. This new thesis, notwithstanding the numerous but, none the less, selective citations in its defense, ought to be rejected, if only for the maintenance of international peace and security throughout the world.
147. It was also asserted in this forum last week, with a flamboyant display of legal chicanery, that the military attack against Iraq was both moral and legal. My delegation finds nothing admirable
in a morality that denies by force of arms the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland, that subjects its men, women and children to incessant bombing raids or that persists in international brigandage and the illegal occupation of foreign territories. Israel's plea of self-defense cannot, in any case, be justified in law. It cannot be justified because, as Israel itself argued before the Council in 1951 [
551st meeting, par
the plea of self-defense is untenable where no armed attack has taken place or is imminent. Israel's decision, therefore, to take the law into its own hands was predicated on the false notion that Iraq, having completed the installation of a nuclear research station, was going to manufacture nuclear weapons and then unleash a war against Israel. On the basis of this suspicion, Israel took it upon itself to commit a crime of enormous gravity against a Member of this Organization. It persisted in its suspicion, notwithstanding the impeccable evidence of IAEA that Iraq’s reactors had consistently been inspected and no evidence has been found of any activity not in accordance with the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In other words, the Israeli assertion that with the completion of the nuclear installation Iraq was going to start making bombs was at best a pretext used to justify Israel's aggressive designs against a neighboring State and at worst a mendacious fabrication.
148. As for the principle of self-defense, it has long been accepted that, for it to be invoked or justified, the necessity for action must be instant, overwhelming and leaving no choice of means and no mo
ment for deliberation. The Israeli action was carried out in pursuance of policies long considered and prepared and was plainly an act of aggression.
149. Accordingly, if Israel still harbo
red certain suspicions, notwithstanding the IAEA explanation that Iraq's reactors had consistently been inspected and no evidence had been found of any activity not in accordance with the provisions of the Non- Proliferation Treaty, the proper course would have been to come to the Council with such evidence as it may have had in its possession. The right to self-defense exists only to the extent to which protection by a higher authority, in this case the Security Council, is not available. Instead of coming to the Council, Israel chose to take the law into its own hands. Thus, Israel, by carrying out an armed attack against Iraq, acted illegally and entirely without justification and the plea of self-defense is not in any way applicable in this case.
150. Furthermore, since Israel was not and could not have been acting in self-defense, the military action by Israel was tantamount to aggression, a capital offence which has to be adjudged under Article 39 of the Charter and against which measures have to be taken under Articles 41 and 42. In this particular case, the offence committed by Israel is of such enormous gravity and establishes such a dangerous precedent that an appropriate response reflecting the abhorrence with which the international community views the action must be given to Israel, if only to restore confidence in the international security system and to ensure that such a flagrant act of aggression is not rewarded.
151. But leaving aside the legal dimension of this matter for a moment, one further aspect of the Israeli raid is the dangerous precedent it will set with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security, if such action is not nipped in the bud by the international community. Today a number of States are engaged in peaceful nuclear research and, if all such nuclear installations are going to be bombed out of existence merely on the basis of suspicions that they may be used for military purposes against another State, then the world, we would submit, is entering a very dangerous period of international insecurity. This is a reason why this body should take an irrevocable stand against such action, and no one State should be allowed to arrogate to itself the responsibility of being a world policeman.
152. As the concomitant of its co-conspirator against the Organization, the pariah régime of Pretoria, Israel has appointed itself the regional gendarme of the Middle East and carried out incessant raids against the Lebanese and the heroic Palestinian people which, having been driven out of their homes, have taken refuge in Lebanon. Lately Israel has carved out and set up an enclave in Lebanon which, to all intents and purposes, is under its control while, at the same time, it persists in the illegal occupation of territories occupied since 1967.
153. To crown it all, Israel has now embarked upon on a policy of destroying scientific installations in the name of security. This latest form of international lawlessness is fraught with grave consequences and it is for the Council to put a stop to it. If the Council fails to take appropriate action against Israel, or if it is perceived to have adopted a meaningless resolution not in consonance with the enormity of the crime committed, a premium will be placed on aggression and the credibility or relevance of this body will be brought further into question.
154. Equally, when Israel, a State that has refused to become a party to the Non- Proliferation Treaty, takes it upon itself to launch a military attack against the nuclear installations of another State which is a party to the Treaty and is judged to be of good behavior as far as the Treaty is concerned, then, unless the Council can impose sanctions against Israel, the non-proliferation régime will be seriously undermined. Little wonder, then, that the Director General of IAEA spoke out as forcefully against the Israeli raid as he did. It is the duty of the Council to restore faith in the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
155. Notwithstanding the vituperation, my delega-tion has been instructed to take part in the deliberations of the Council, not out of hypocrisy or to shed crocodile tears, but to speak out against international lawlessness as well as to reaffirm our faith and belief in the United Nations, so that at the end of the day it can offer protection to all nations, to the weak as well as to the strong.
156. My Government continues to believe that a durable and just peace will return to the Middle East only with the solution of the Palestinian question. My Government reaffirms its recognition of the Palestin-ian people as a principal party in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and the PLO as the sole and authentic representative of the Pales-tinian people.
157. May I conclude by thanking Mr. Nisibori of Japan for the serenity and wisdom with which he presided over the affairs of the council last month. May I also thank you, Mr. President, and all the members of the Council, for allowing my delegation to take part in the Council's deliberations.
158. The PRESIDENT
interpretation from Spanish
): The next speaker is the representative of Mongolia. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
159. Mr. ERDENECHULUUN (Mongolia): Allow me first to express the gratitude of the delegation of the Mongolian People's Republic to you, Mr. President, and to the other members of the Council for giving me the opportunity to present my Government's position on the question under consideration. May I take this opportunity to congratulate you warmly on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of June.
160. I also wish to pay tribute to Mr. Nisibori of Japan, who presided over the Council last month.
161. The Council is once again seized of the problem of the Middle East, following a flagrant act of aggression committed by Israel, this time against the Republic of Iraq.
162. The Government and people of the Mongolian People's Republic have learned with extreme concern and indignation of the Israeli air raid on the Iraqi atomic reactor near Baghdad, which caused loss of lives and extensive material damage.
163. The Government of the Mongolian People's Republic, in the statement of the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, resolutely condemned the aggressive attack of Israel against Iraq as a flagrant violation of international law and supported the Iraqi request for an immediate convening of the Security Council for the discussion of the situation brought about by the Israeli aggression.
164. The extreme danger of such a blatant act of aggression becomes all the more evident in the light of the increasingly precarious situation in the Middle East, fraught with serious consequences for peace and security in the world as a whole. It is absolutely clear that this barbarous act cannot be divorced from the over-all policy of aggression and expansionism of Israel against the Arab nations.
165. The reasons underlying the total disregard by Israel of the elementary norms of conduct between States, the cynical arrogance with which it defies world public opinion, can be found first and foremost in Israel's conviction of being irreplaceable in the global strategy of imperialism.
166. It seems obvious that, without enormous military and other support on the part of imperialist circles, especially that of the United States, it would not have been possible for Israel, which has elevated international terrorism to the level of State policy, to act the policeman in that part of the world. This clearly shows the danger of the United States-Israeli collusion in the Middle East and of their notorious policy of separate deals.
167. It is more than strange to hear the allegations to the effect that Israel was compelled to resort to the so-called pre-emptive attack in the exercise of its "inherent right of self-defense". One may conclude that Israel has decided to assume the role of supreme judge, to determine at its own discretion whether one State or another is acting in consonance with the security requirements of Israel and to deliver verdicts against those who have violated those requirements.
168. This time it turned out to be Iraq whose nuclear research centre was allegedly endangering the security of Israel. There is certainly no guarantee of such an act not happening again. One would have to b
ear in mind the cynical assertion that, should the Iraqis try again to build a reactor, the Israelis would use all the means at their disposal to destroy that reactor.
169. In order to put the Israeli act of aggre
ssion in its proper perspective, it is necessary to deal with the facts, and particularly those in the nuclear field. Unlike Israel, Iraq was among the first countries to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of, Weapons. Later on Iraq concluded an agreement with IAEA for the application of safeguards to all its nuclear activities, as required by the Non- Proliferation Treaty. As is well known, Iraq, besides being a member of IAEA, has concluded bilateral co-operation agreements with a number of countries.
170. It is no coincidence that the Board of G
overnors of IAEA adopted a resolution entitled "Military attack on Iraqi nuclear research centre and its implications for the Agency", in which the Board strongly condemned Israel for that premeditated and unjustified attack on the Iraqi nuclear research centre, which was covered by Agency safeguards, and recommended that the General Conference at its forthcoming regular session should consider all the implications of that attack, including suspending the exercise by Israel of the privileges and rights of membership [
171. As far as Israel is concerned, it is no
longer a secret that it is developing a nuclear capability and has bluntly refused to heed the call of the international community that it accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Moreover, the world community repeatedly voiced deep concern over and condemnation of the military and nuclear collaboration between Israel and the racist régime of South Africa, as well as certain Western Powers, and appealed to all States to put an end to any co-operation with Israel in the nuclear field.
172. The recent escalation of military actions
by Israel against Lebanon, Iraq and other countries necessitates the adoption of decisive and effective measures to frustrate such actions and to establish just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
It is the considered view of the Government of the Mongolian People's. Republic that the Council, as the organ bearing primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, should not limit itself to condemning Israel's act of aggression against Iraq, but should impose upon Israel mandatory sanctions in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. The Council should also reaffirm the right of all States to develop their programmes of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We strongly support the demand that all Israeli nuclear facilities be open to inspection and be placed under IAEA safeguards.
174. The dangerous situation prevailing in the M
iddle East, heightened by the naked aggression of Israel against Iraq, reaffirms the need to make every effort aimed at a comprehensive solution of the Middle East crisis. We believe that the convening of an international conference on this problem has become a matter of extreme urgency. In that connection, I should like to refer to the report of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, Chairman of the Presidium of the Great People's Khural of the Mongolian People's Republic, Comrade Yu Tsedenbal, delivered at the eighteenth Congress of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, where it is stated,
that the Mongolian People's Republic is firmly on the side of the Arab peoples' struggle for an early and comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem. That problem must be settled on the basis of the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the occupied territories and respect for the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including their right to create their own State.
175. In conclusion, my delegation would express its hope that the Council will adopt a resolution that would envisage effective measures aimed at forcing Israel to comply with the demands of the world community.
176. The PRESIDENT
interpretation from Spanish
The next speaker is the representative of Zambia, and I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
177. Mr. MUTUKWA (Zambia): Mr. President, on behalf of the Zambian delegation, I wish to congratulate you most warmly on your assumption of the office of President of the Security Council for the month of June. Having served with you on the Council last year, my delegation is aware of your enormous diplomatic skills and qualities, which befit the office that you hold.
178. Once again, the Council is summoned to a series of emergency meetings because of yet another reckless and senseless act by Israel. On Sunday, 7 June 1981, Israel perpetrated an unprovoked and premedi-
tated aerial attack on an Iraqi nuclear facility, a facility which was designed for peaceful applications. In the process, Israel not only destroyed property and lives, but violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. In this connection, with the indulgence of the President, I shall quote the message sent by Mr. Kenneth Kaunda, the President of Zambia, to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq:
“It was with deep shock and indignation that I heard the news about the bombing and the destruction of your country's nuclear installations by Israel. In their arrogance, the Israeli leaders have shamelessly invoked frivolous pretexts to justify their action.
“No pretext whatsoever can justify the barbaric and criminal Israeli action, which we in Zambia most strongly condemn. Israel has once again brazenly violated international law. State terrorism, as repeatedly committed by Israel, ought to be a source of grave international concern. It heightens tensions in the Middle East, a volatile part of the world and constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security.
"The friends and allies of Israel have the duty to restrain the Tel Aviv régime in its aggressive actions and instill a sense of realism in its outlook. The core of the conflict in the Middle East remains the question of Palestine. The prerequisite for Israel to live in conditions of peace and security is its recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Wanton and unprovoked acts of aggres-sion against independent and sovereign Arab States in the region are but scapegoats which can only prolong the conflict in the Middle East.
"I convey to you, my dear brother, the unflinching solidarity of the party and its Government, as well as the people of Zambia as a whole."
179. Furthermore, as we join the entire world in its unanimous indictment of Israel for its irresponsible military action against Iraq and also for its brazen violation of the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, my delegation wishes to commend the Government and people of Iraq for their display of maximal restraint in the face of naked provocation by Israel. We also wish to call upon those among us who are under obligation--contractual or otherwise--as suppliers of arms to and backers of Israel to reconsider seriously their traditional support, which blinds Israel and encourages that country to engage in unrestrained militarism. We also appeal to the supporters of Israel to be objective and not to apply double standards in assessing the havoc which Israel is creating in the Middle East region and elsewhere.
180. We cannot but draw parallels between Israel's latest violation of Iraq's sovereignty and the acts of unprovoked aggression, characterized by human and material destruction, that racist minority régimes have been visiting upon Zambia and the other front-line States in recent years. Zambia therefore understands fully the plight of the people and Government of Iraq in these circumstances. We cannot, furthermore, remain silent when fundamental principles of international law and peace have been trampled upon.
181. The attack by Israel on Iraq has very grave implications for international peace and security and this should not be underestimated. No State could feel secure if lawlessness and anarchy held sway in international relations. The. United Nations and, in particular, the Security Council must ensure that the world does not revert to a primitive state of nature. What should be self-evident even to the most vocal in Tel Aviv is that they, too, would not be safe in a world of anarchy and lawlessness. It is equally dangerous for acts of aggression to be committed as a ploy to further myopic electoral gimmicks by some leaders in Israel who are bent on trying to deceive the world. Fortunately, all enlightened members of the international community can see through those transparently deceptive maneuvers by Israel.
182. It is ironic that Israel, a country that seeks to have recognized, secure borders, should be engaged in committing repeated acts of aggression beyond its borders. Israel must learn the principles of peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, which constitute the quintessence of peace. Peace and security are not compatible with aggression. Irrational use of force can only harm the perpetrator. Only durable peace can ensure stability in the Middle East, and at the core of that stability is the resolution of the Palestinian problem.
183. We call upon the Council to take prompt, effective measures to deal with the problem of Israeli aggression against Iraq. But that should not be the end of the measures to be taken by the Council. It is of vital importance that the Council address itself to and prescribe measures to deal decisively with the root cause of Israeli aggression and the whole q
uestion of the attainment by the Palestinian people of the inalienable rights and of a State of their own. The linkage here is quite obvious, and we believe that piecemeal approaches can only bring temporary solutions.
184. Zambia believes that there is an urgent
need for the Council to deal with the incessant conflict in the Middle East before it escalates further into a holocaust with serious consequences for all mankind.
The meeting rose at 6.20
/ This statement was made at the 563rd meeting of the B
oard of Governors of IAEA, the official records of which are published in summary form.
United States Treaties and Other International Agreements
, vol. 3, Part 4, 1952 (United States Government Printin
g Office, Washington, D.C., 1955), p. 4985.