UN Secretary-General: I witnessed the Shah’s Crimes Myself but…
Meeting between Mohammad Ali Rajai and Kurt Waldheim
October 31st, 2016
Meeting between Rajai and Kurt Waldheim
After issue of war between Iran and Iraq was brought up in the United Nations, presence of a representative from both countries in the United Nations seemed to be necessary. Mr. Rajai who was Iran’s Prime Minister at that time, decided to pay a visit to the Security Council and express country’s standpoint on the war. On 17 Oct 1980, Rajai set off for New York after spending a few days in Iran’s fronts. From there, He flew to Mehrabad Airport and after doing an interview, he boarded a plane to depart for the meeting in New York as head of a delegation consisted of Behzad Nabavian, Goudarz Eftekhar, one person from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, three people from Prime Minister office and four reporters and cameramen from IRIB and Pars News. The flight landed in New York Airport after 13 hours and the delegation was welcomed by Mr. Shams Ardakani, Mr. Shemirani and ambassador of Algeria in the US.
Meeting Kurt Waldheim
Waldheim welcomed Rajai’s visit to the UN and his presence in the Security Council to talk from Iran’s side in the war with Iraq. Rajai greeted him as well and stated: “although I had to make this journey when my country is going through hard days, but I hope that after understanding Iran’s stance on war, the Security Council would see the reality of this war.”
Rest of the conversation is as follows:
W: “I think that you have a strong stance. Iraq’s military intervention in your country is visible and known to all and I believe that the UN and the Security Council are the right places to talk about your country’s stance on war. You will see that your justified requests and complaints will be heard and received and a right decision will be made about them.”
R: “I hope that you have got your information about how this war has affected our country from reliable sources. Because right now, the south and west of Iran completely and other parts partially, are being bombarded by Iraqi Army. I heard that in this afternoon, a hospital in Abadan was bombarded and 8 of the patients were dead and 40 more injured people were added to the list of casualties. We hope that the Secretary-General and your colleagues in the UN and Security Council take the issue more seriously and not let cumbersome formalities delay taking action on this issue. “
W: “the Security Council is willing to establish peace based on principles of the Chapter, which have been clearly defined. Your presence is highly appreciated. I also explained it to Mr. Banisadr on the phone that a well-known figure must be sent here. Iraqis sent a high-ranking official here and the council couldn’t enter a substantive discussion. Now that you’ve come and since you have a strong stance on the issue, the Council will be able to make a decision based on the Chapter.
“I need to add that since beginning of attack on Iran, I requested the Security Council to set a session for this issue and I orderd it officially. You see that I was seriously concerned about it from the beginning. In such occasion, the invaded country is supposed to issue a complaint, but since nothing was brought up from your side, I did it on your behalf, considering the blatant violation.”
R: “this is what everyone expects you to do, that when such an event occurs, you act upon it and try to solve the issue. But another issue is about the UN and Security Council. It’s a fact that oppressed nations won’t issue any complaint,s based on their previous experiences and say that the UN is only a place for tyrants to legitimize their actions. I was asked by many of Iranians why I wanted to come here. And I asked myself if it wasn’t better to take my gun and fight the enemy head on, instead of wasting my time here. That’s because I see that the UN hasn’t been able to help the oppressed. In this particular issue, let us postpone the decision making to the end of the session and I hope that the result will be good.”
W: “I understand you and your people’s opinion, but I need to clarify that the United Nations asked for nothing more than a ceasefire only because Islamic Countries had asked the Council to wait until Mr. Zia-ul-Haq and Yasser Arafat’s intercession to solve the problem, came to a result. It was what delayed us. The Council was also waiting for representative of both countries and now it will solve the problem.”
R: “in my opinion, the Council is not a reliable authority to do anything for the nations. I see it as my right to say that maybe the Council needs to renew its organization and principles. What we expect from this organization and what we see are poles apart. It seems that the Security Council has turned to be just an information center in the international community. This is while what the world needs is a serious executive system to stop those with powers that make wrong decisions.”
W: “the Security Council has changed a lot since 1945. Some small countries have joined us such as Bangladesh, Zambia, Mexico and more which were victims of colonialism in the past and now have gained their freedom with the help of the United Nations. Their presence has made the Council more powerful. Their representatives have more understanding of your revolution and what happened during Shah’s regime. I personally witnessed Shah’s and SAVAK’s crimes in Tehran. You can rest assured that we’ll do our part and you will see that representatives of the Third World countries will understand and sympathize with you. But the issue of hostages in Tehran, which I can’t avoid mentioning it, has led to Iran’s isolation and negligence of your nation’s rights. It has even hindered investigating Shah’s crimes for the last 25 years, although we have made a committee to work on it. I tell you as a friend: it’s to Iran’s benefit to end this isolation in order to overcome its problems and this horrific war.”
R: “the issue of isolation that you said, is a natural consequence of each revolution that brings a new school of thought. Such a revolution brings something new and it takes time for it to be accepted and supported by others, especially the ones near to it. We have been isolated mostly by those which seek to plunder us and also by their allies. We are aware that until we build an independent, developed and free country with accordance to our revolution’s standards, this isolation is unavoidable.
“and about the issue of hostages, I prefer not to talk about it yet. As you know out Parliament is working on it and our country’s opinion on the issue will be soon announced. But I perceive from the US official’s stance that they will continue their wrong stance even after the announcement. What they have done in the meantime has been the same. The obvious example is their military attack on Tabas and planning a coup. We have so many evidences and documents against what they claim and each of them are ten times more important for us than the issue of hostages. But this is the way of tyrant rulers to legitimize their actions, no matter how wrong they are, with help of their media and propagation.”
W: “when the US government was informed that you will come to New York, they expressed their willingness to solve the issue and that they will accept all four conditions set by Imam and requested me to notify you. It may be the responsibility of your parliament. But since you’re not eager to negotiate with Americans, you can send a representative to negotiate and overseer implementation of the four conditions.”
R: “as you are aware, our parliament hasn’t decided on anything yet. But I will try to take necessary actions soon.”
W: “it’s needed to say that as long as you’re here, I’m ready to help you in any issues. About war with Iraq and relations with the United States. I’ll help you to overcome the crisis.”
R: “I’m grateful for that, but I’m here to talk about Iraq’s invasion to our country in the Council and not the issue of our relations with the US.”
W: “about this war, I had asked the Algerian ambassador to go to Tehran, but he said that non-aligned movement is sending a delegation there. and it was better to wait until they came to a conclusion. They may send officials of some countries. The delay is because we’re waiting for them. Thank you for listening to me.”
R: “their delay is their own responsibility. Right now, each second that passes, not only an economic unit, millions of dollars or even a city is being destroyed, but also so many innocent people are being killed. This is all because an individual (Saddam) wants to satisfy his inhuman aspirations. This is the critical moment that your decision has a significant impact. Decision of the UN’s Secretary-General has the same power as decision of all members of this organization.”