Attack on Iraq – SecCo debate – Verbatim record





2282ND MEETING: 15 JUNE 1981




Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2282)

Adoption of the agenda

Complaint by Iraq:

Letter dated 8 June 1981 from the Charge d’affaires of the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/14509)





2282nd MEETING

Held in New York on Monday, 15 June 1981, at 10.30 a.m.

President: Mr. Porfirio MUNOZ LEDO (Mexico).

Present: 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/2282)

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 11.30 a.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

Complaint by Iraq:

Letter dated 8 June 1981 from the Charg6 d'affaires 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 decisions taken at previous meetings [2280th and 2281st meetings], I invite the representatives of Iraq and Israel to take places at the Council table, and I invite the representatives of Algeria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cuba, Guyana, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Romania, Somalia, 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. Correa da Costa (Brazil), Mr. Tsvetkov (Bulgaria), Mr. Roa Kouri (Cuba), Mr. Sinclair (Guyana), Mr. Krishnan (India), Mr. Nuseibeh (Jordan), Mr. Al-Sabah (Kuwait), Mr. Tueni (Lebanon), Mr. Ahmad (Pakistan), Mr. Marinescu (Romania), Mr. Adan (Somalia), Mr. Abdalla (Sudan), 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 should like, to inform members of the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Bangladesh, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Hungary, Mongolia, Sierra Leone and the Syrian Arab Republic, in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council's agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Kaiser (Bangladesh), Mr. Hulinsky (Czechoslovakia), Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Racz (Hungary), Mr. Erdenechuluun (Mongolia), Mr. Koroma (Sierra Leone), and Mr. El-Fattal (Syrian Arab Republic) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.

3. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): I should like to draw the attention of members of the Council to the letter dated 13 June 1981 from the representative of Bangladesh to the President of the Security Council [S/14530].

4.  Mr. OTUNNU (Uganda): Mr. President, I greet you warmly in the name of the delegation of Uganda. We are very privileged to have you preside over affairs of peace and security in the world during these difficult and precarious times. Your uncompromising commit-ment in favor of justice and peace, your distinction as a statesman and your boundless energy, as well as your diplomatic skills will, I am sure, all combine to make the Council's work during the month of June both rewarding and memorable.

5. I also greet you, Mr. President, as a great son of Mexico. You represent a people whose revolutionary tradition is an inspiration to the peoples of the third world and whose relentless advocacy of a new and just international economic order is a source of strength to all of us.

6. I wish also to take this opportunity to pay a well- deserved tribute to your predecessor, Mr. Nisibori of Japan, who presided over the Council last month with great wisdom, patience and diplomatic skill. It was a distinct pleasure for my delegation to work with Mr. Nisibori during the month of May.

7. In the early evening of Sunday, 7 June 1981, the quiet peace that prevailed in the historic city of Baghdad on the shores of the river Tigris was suddenly and brutally disturbed by the sounds of intensive bombardments. The messengers of death and destruction had struck once again. The Israeli Air Force was engaged in an armed attack deep into the territory of Iraq. Their target this time was Iraq's nuclear research station at Tuwaitha just outside the city of Baghdad. The attack resulted in the loss of many human lives and extensive material damage.

8. This incident has given rise to the present com-plaint by Iraq against Israel. As it happens, the facts of the case are not in dispute. What is in dispute is Israel's claim that its raid on Osirak falls within the purview of the doctrine of self-defense.

9. The unilateral use of force by a State beyond its borders has always constituted a fundamental issue in international relations. Such use of force, in violation of the territorial integrity of another State, always entails grave consequences. For this reason, the present international legal r6gime, as represented by treaty laws and customary principles, has placed an absolute prohibition on such use of force.

10. The clearest expression of this prohibition is to be found in Article 2, paragraph 4 of the Charter of the United Nations, which provides as follows:

"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations".

11. The rare and only exception to this otherwise absolute prohibition is the exercise of the right of self-defense. Israel has invoked this exception in an attempt to justify its attack on Osirak. In his statement before the Council last Friday, the representative of Israel made the following categorical assertion:

"In destroying Osirak last Sunday, Israel was exercising its inherent and natural right of self-defense, as understood in general international law and well within the meaning of Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations." [2280th meeting, para. 97.]

12. But, in a curious twist, the representative of Israel did not present to the Council the body of law on which he based the assertion which I have just quoted. On the contrary, the representative of Israel pro-ceeded to bombard the Council with quotations from the opinions of a few well-selected commentators, whose views on this subject, incidentally, are long outdated and have been rejected by the overwhelming body of international legal opinion. In any case the opinions of commentators, however well place- and interesting, cannot be a substitute for the actual provisions of the law.

13. What, then, are the actual provisions of the law with regard to the right of self-defense?

14. The requirements of self-defense, under what the representative of Israel has called general international law, have been well established since the famous North American case of The Caroline in 1837. That case arose when the British Government sent an armed expeditionary force into the United States to seize arms and destroy The Caroline, a vessel that was being used by Canadian militants in their fight the then British Dominion Government in Canada.

15. The rule of necessity established in the case of The Caroline and stated by the then American Secretary of State, Daniel Webster, is that self-defense is justified only when the necessity of that  self-defense is "instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation".

16. Prime Minister Begin of Israel and the Commander of the Israeli Air Force, General Ivri, have both informed the world that the raid was preceded by many months of elaborate planning and rehearsal. These are circumstances that are plainly inconsistent with the requirements of self-defense under general international law.

17. The present claim of self-defense by Israel is therefore quite preposterous. It is as credible as the claim made by Nazi Germany at the Nuremberg  trials in 1945 that it had invaded Norway and Denmark in 1940 in exercise of the right of self-defense. The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, applying the rule of necessity to which I earlier referred, rejected the Nazi argument. The Council must today likewise reject in the strongest terms the Israeli argument.

18. Apart from general international law, Israel has also invoked Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. However, it is interesting that, while the representative of Israel last Friday readily referred to Article 51 by name, he seemed strangely shy when it came to discussing the actual contents of that Article. Well, the reason for that shyness is to be found in the explicit provisions of Article 51 itself.

19. I have heard many fantastic arguments from the representative of Israel but I have not heard him stretch our imagination by suggesting that the mere fact of having a nuclear research center somehow constituted an armed attack by Iraq against Israel. But Article 51 is explicit in stating that the right of collective and individual self-defense is only permissible in response to an armed attack. Since there was no armed attack against Israel, whose border lies some 1,000 kilometers away from Iraq, how, then, can Israel take refuge under Article 51? Indeed, I recall no previous occasion when the Council has accepted the plea of self-defense in the absence of a prior armed attack.

20. Clearly, the Israeli claim flies in the face of not only the principles of customary international law but also the provisions of the Charter. The Israeli argu-ment is a tortuous attempt to force a square peg into a round hole. It amounts to a cynical perversion of the norms of international law as we know them.

21. The Israeli raid on Osirak constitutes an act of aggression under Article 39 of the Charter.

22. The Israeli representative also tried to justify this act of aggression by referring to a so-called state of war between Israel and Iraq. The notion that a state of war justifies everything is a heresy that is unknown to the civilization of international law. As the represen-tative of Algeria has rightly pointed out, even a state of war involves precise obligations that are clearly set out Geneva Conventions of 1949 [ibid., para. 146].

23. In that regard, Israel should learn from the wise words of Professor Yehuda Blum, when he said that

“a State cannot invoke in its favor benefits deriving from certain provisions of international law without being prepared at the same time also to abide by the duties flowing from international law". [ibid., para. 75.]

Moreover, article 3 of the Definition of Aggression adopted by the General Assembly in resolution 3314 (XXIX) states that "regardless of a declaration of war … bombardment by the armed forces of a State the territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a State against the territory of another State” shall qualify as an act of aggression. Further-more, article 5, paragraph 1 of the Definition rules out the justification of aggression on any grounds what-soever. It states that "No consideration of whatever nature, whether political, economic, military or otherwise, may serve as a justification for aggression."

24. The last justification offered by Israel is the allegation that Osirak was about to produce nuclear weapons. The representative of Israel even, went to great lengths to produce bits of information from various dubious sources. In this matter, obviously, the most authoritative and objective source of information is the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has carried out regular safeguards inspections.

The most recent inspection was carried out last January.

25. In a statement issued on 9 June, the Director General of IAEA, Mr. Sigvard Eklund, stated categorically: "The Agency has inspected the Iraqi reactors and has not found evidence of any activity not in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty."1/ And in its resolution of, 12 June, 198 1, the Board of Governors of IAEA strongly condemned the Israeli aggression. In the view of the Board, the aggression constituted "clear disregard for the Agency's safe-guards régime and the Non-Proliferation Treaty and could do great harm to the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes" [S/14532].

26. Unlike Iraq, Israel is not a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [General Assembly resolution 2373 (XXII), annex]. Unlike those of Iraq, none of Israel's nuclear facilities is subject to international inspection.

27. It is significant that, throughout his statement [2280th meeting] about the supposed dangers posed by Osirak, the Israeli representative made no reference to Israel's own nuclear facilities. He was strangely silent about the nuclear arsenal at Dimona in the Negev desert, where Israel is manufacturing nuclear weapons with impunity.

28. The Israeli discourse on the need for a nuclear–weapon-free zone in the Middle East reminds me of an armed bandit who walks into a courtroom, takes everybody hostage and then lectures the group on the virtues of being a law-abiding citizen.

29. The Israeli claims are the product of a political hallucination, a condition in which the Zionist leaders imagine most things to constitute a danger to Israeli security and most people to be enemies of Israel. It is not only the Arab world which has been the victim of that political hallucination. The Security Council and the General Assembly have been subjected to constant Zionist vilification. Even the Secretary-General of the United Nations has come under virulent attack. The list of enemies has recently been expanded to include Chancellor Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Ger-many, the former President of France, Mr. Valery Giscard d'Estaing and the United States Secretary of Defense, Mr. Caspar Weinberger. I could go on with this catalogue of the so-called enemies of Israel. The trouble is, it begins to sound more and more like a roll- call of Who's Who in the world.

30. Any man or woman of conscience who has dared to question Zionist policies of domination and expan-sion and who has raised a voice in support Of Palestinian rights has been labeled an enemy of Israel or given some other equally ugly epithet.

31. But there is rhyme and reason to this political hallucination. To be sure, the attack on Osirak is not an isolated incident; it is an integral part of a Zionist program which includes the permanent oppression of the Palestinian,' people, the- dismemberment, of Lebanon and the domination of the entire Arab world. That is the meaning of the act of aggression of 7 June.


32. But the Israeli act of aggression has a larger meaning which transcends the territory of Iraq and the borders of the Arab world. Nuclear research is a science whose role in the field of positive technology for development is rapidly expanding. By attacking the nuclear research center at Tuwaitha, Israel is seeking to close that horizon of knowledge to Iraq and the Arab world. If this act of barbarity goes unchecked and unpunished, then all of us in the third world will be consigned to a permanent state of scientific and technological underdevelopment.

33. If the Israeli aggression is not condemned and punished by the Council, what guarantee is there that in the future some leader facing the pressures of elections will not launch an attack on his neighbor’s nuclear yard just to engage in jingoism and impress the electorate?

34. Our world will have finally degenerated from a r6gime of universal norms to a militarized jungle in which nuclear holocaust is the only prospect for the grand finale.

35. Imagine for a moment the plight of those of us from Africa. We have the apartheid régime in the south, with proven nuclear capability, and the Zionist r6gime to the north, with a definite nuclear arsenal. Both regimes are collaborating very closely on their schemes of domination and destruction. And for whom, may I ask, are the nuclear time bombs of Pretoria and Tel Aviv ticking?

36. Both Israel and South Africa rely on external assistance to sustain their war arsenals. Those who have persisted in supplying Israel and South Africa with the means of death and destruction cannot escape responsibility for the actions of their proteges.

37. Israel is the spoilt child of the Middle East, which has grown in arrogance and aggression on the indul-gence of its benefactors. The spoilt child is so used to special treatment that it does not expect to be -made to account for its actions any more. But the Security Council must act without fear or favor and impose sanctions against Israel under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. In that way, Israel will know that the policies of aggression and expansion do not pay.

38.   Those who live by the sword live dangerously. Yet, it is not too late for Israel to heed the call of the prophet Isaiah and the call of the prophet Micah, and renounce aggression and beat the machine guns into plough shares, the tanks into tractors, and those messengers of death and destruction, the F-16s, into doves, the messengers of peace. Otherwise, the peace and security Israel seeks will remain forever elusive.

39. Mr. LEPRETTE (France) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, it is a very special pleasure for me to welcome, your accession to the, office, of the presidency of the Security Council. I salute you as statesman and diplomat whose experience has, since your arrival in New York, been a source of inspiration for the Organization and has often helped us to steer clear of obstacles. I also salute the representative of great country which occupies a notable place in the -community of nations and with which France maintains the friendliest and most co-operative of relations.

40. I should like also to pay tribute to the exemplary way in which your predecessor, Mr. Nisibon conducted our work last May in very delicate conditions and circumstances.

41. At the request of the Government of Iraq, the Council is meeting to consider the situation resulting from the attack carried out on 7 June by Israeli aircraft against the Tamuz nuclear installations in Iraq.

42. Thus, the Council, which already has before it numerous questions concerning the situation in the Middle East-and I note, in particular, Lebanon, the Iraq-Iran conflict, the question of Palestine, Jerusalem, and the occupied territories-is called upon to take a stand on a particularly serious event. It is, indeed, a clear violation of the rules of international law. That is why France so quickly expressed itself being in favor of an urgent meeting of the Council.

43. In a release published the day following the attack, the Israeli Government claimed responsibility for the operation and noted that France had participated in the construction of the Iraqi nuclear center.

44. Following that statement, the French Government reacted in the clearest possible way; the Prime Minister, Mr. Pierre Mauroy, said on Monday evening, 8 June, that the bombing was "an unacceptable act, which the French Government condemns and which can only increase tension in the region.”

45. Shortly thereafter, an official press release, published by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, emphasized that "Any attack on the territory of a foreign State constitutes a violation of law and is therefore to be condemned. " The President of the French Republic and the Government sent their condolences to the family and colleagues of the French engineer who was killed during that bombardment. After having given initial indications as to the damage to the Tamuz center, the official communiqué recalled that those installations had been made subject to IAEA control and I shall come back to this point. Finally, the Ambassador of Israel in Paris was summoned by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who informed him of the French Government's feelings about the incident and asked him to provide explanations.

46. Hence my Government's position was clearly expressed from the very first moment the incident took place. I would add that French public opinion was particularly shocked by this intolerable infringement – of the principles of law which, furthermore, threatened the security, of our compatriots working abroad. At the same time, French public opinion felt the seriousness of this act of force which exacerbated the dangerous situation prevalent in the Middle East.

47. Given the diversity of the comments published in the press with regard to French-Iraqi nuclear co-operation, I feel it useful to furnish some additional information.

48. My Government rejects the allegations of the Israeli Government that the Tamuz reactor "was intended to produce atomic bombs". This mixing of peaceful and military uses of nuclear energy is inadmissible. The sole purpose of the Tamuz reactor was-and is-scientific research, and the agreements between France and Iraq exclude any use of it-even indirectly-for military purposes.

49. We can speak knowledgeably about the Tamuz-1 and Tamuz-2 reactors, because they are the exact replicas of the Isis and Osiris reactors which were built for the needs of the French civil program; they are in operation at the Saclay center, in my country, and are intended for experimental irradiation of materials and for the production of radioisotopes.

50. During our meeting on 12 June, attention was drawn to two possible dangers: the diversion of enriched uranium and the production of plutonium.

51. The first hypothesis is groundless. The IAEA safeguards are designed precisely to ensure that fuels are not diverted. And these safeguards have worked quite satisfactorily. Furthermore, once fuels have begun to be irradiated in a reactor core, the highly enriched uranium which they contain becomes unsuitable for the manufacture of explosives. Finally, I recall the summary published by the French Government 1980, to the effect that:

“The ways and means employed for the delivery of this uranium are in keeping with the needs of the research reactor alone. They are programmed accordingly and are accompanied by all the necessary precautions."

52. The second hypothesis is just as groundless. The Tamuz reactor is conceived exclusively for scientific research. Any attempt to use it to produce plutonium for military purposes-which presupposes the massive irradiation of natural uranium for the subsequent extraction of plutonium-would require a radical alteration of the installation and the manipulation of quantities of dangerously, irradiated, materials in the order of several tons. Such an operation would immediately be discovered before it could succeed.

53. To conclude this technical aspect, it would be absurd for a country wishing to manufacture a nuclear bomb to build a reactor such as the Tamuz reactor to get material for military, purposes. As everybody knows, there are simple ways to achieve that goal: the purchase of centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium, or the construction of natural uranium reactors for making plutonium, for example.

54. Pursuant to the agreements of 1975 and 1976, which were duly made public, Iraq made precise formal commitments to France in the matter of safeguards and guarantees. In keeping with the obliga-tions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iraq entered into all the necessary implementation agreements with IAEA and provided it with all the information called for. On two occasions, the latter being this year, it received at the Tamuz site inspectors from the Agency, who found nothing amiss. For its part, the French Government, anxious not to allow any diver-sion and to avoid any criticism and any suspicion, had only recently made sure that no measure would be neglected to guarantee the use of the supplies for exclusively peaceful purposes.

55. In these circumstances, the Israeli attack, among its other consequences, seriously damages the very principles of peaceful nuclear co-operation among States within the framework of an international non-proliferation régime. It could shake the very founda-tions of international co-operation in that field. In this regard, my delegation can only subscribe to the view expressed by the Director General Eklund of IAEA in his statement before the Governing Council of that Agency:

"The Agency has inspected the Iraqi reactors and has not found evidence of any activity not in accord-ance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. A non-NPT country has evidently not felt assured by our findings and about our ability to continue to dis-charge our safeguarding responsibilities effectively. … one can only conclude that it is the Agency's safeguards r6gime which has also been attacked. Where will this lead us in future? This is a matter of grave concern which should be pondered well."2/

56. Where would we end up if a State were to proclaim itself judge of the intentions of another State even though the latter was complying with the rules and disciplines of the international community in so sensitive an area as nuclear energy? More serious, perhaps, is the scorn shown for the rules of inter-national law. The Israeli attack, directed against the territory of a foreign State, constitutes a violation of the fundamental principles which all States espouse when they sign the Charter-in particular, the right of each State to have its sovereignty and independence respected, as well as the obligation of all not to resort to the use of force but, rather, to seek means of peaceful settlement. Nothing can justify an act which, moreover, has aroused unanimous criticism through-out the world.

57. Finally, I should like to share with the Council my Government's grave concern over the heightened tension which grips the entire Middle East as A result of that act. At a time when efforts are being made on all sides to promote a settlement of the Lebanese crisis, this act of war can only compromise those efforts, introduce -an additional factor of discord and further complicate the search for a peaceful settlement in the Middle East-a search to which France and its European partners are actively committed.

58. In these circumstances, it is for the Council to take a clear stand on the matter that has been submitted to it by the Iraqi Government. The Coun-cil's responsibility is at stake and it cannot avoid this responsibility without doing damage to its authority. It is important that a firm resolution result from our debates. That resolution should, as we understand it, contain the following elements: first, condemnation of the Israeli military action; secondly, a solemn appeal to Israel to cease such military actions; and thirdly, equitable reparation for the destruction and damage for which Israel has publicly acknowledged respon-sibility. In our view, those should be the conclusions of the Council's debate.

59. But, over and above those conclusions, it is to the future of peace in the region that we must now turn our thoughts. We have many times affirmed, and we reaffirm, our attachment to Israel's security. We are convinced that the resort to force in the long run does not serve either that security or the security of the Israelis. The true solution of the problem lies in a just and negotiated settlement of the Middle East conflict, for this and future generations. There must be an end to this chain of violence and reprisal. It is not by ignoring the guarantees given by the international community and the efforts which that community is making to bring about peace that Israel will win recognition from its neighbors as a trustworthy partner. And is that not what all the peoples of the region are hoping for? Peace and security through confidence.

60. Mr. ZACHMANN (German Democratic Re-public): The delegation of the German Democratic Republic shares the world-wide indignation at the barbarous raid of the Israeli Air Force on the nuclear research center near the capital of the Republic of Iraq. The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Iraq has informed the Security Council [ibid.] in detail about the scope and the extent of that brutal act of aggression, which has far-reaching consequences for world peace and security.

61. In gross disregard of international law, the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Iraq and other Arab States were violated. The raid made with aircraft supplied by the United States resulted in casualties and the lives of thousands were endangered without any scruples. In this connection, my delega-tion would like to offer its deepest sympathy to the representatives of Iraq and France.

62. Despite the repeated calls of the Security Council to Israel to cease its acts of aggression against sovereign Arab States, once again a State Member of the United Nations has become the victim of malicious attack.

63. It is evident that the aggravation of the international situation by the most aggressive circles of imperialism has encouraged the aggressor to escalate its policy of State terrorism to a dangerous extent. As is well known, the leading representatives of international reaction have made no secret of the fact that they want to implement their so-called interests in the Gulf region "with the full range of their means”-and that implies nothing else but armed force. In strategic conception Israel plays a decisive role.

64. The aggression against Iraq is renewed evidence of the continuation of the provocative action of Israel against Arab States and the Palestine Liberation Organization. It reaffirms the fact that Israel is unscrupulously using military force to achieve its aggressive goals against the legitimate interests of Arab peoples.

65. As a result of the world-wide protest, the ruling circles in Israel now seek to fabricate an alleged threat by Iraq to justify this flagrant violation of international law. This allegation is just as mendacious as it is unfounded. The truth is that Iraq, as a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, has strictly adhered to the provisions of that Treaty.  The Iraqi nuclear research center had been subjected to the inspection of the IAEA.

66. During the debate of the Council, reference has already been made to the statement given in this connection by the Director General of IAEA Mr. Eklund, in which he confirmed that the Agency has inspected the Iraqi reactors and had not found evidence of any activity not in accordance with the- Non-Proliferation Treaty.1/

67. Israel, however, is not a party to that Treaty. It is developing its nuclear capacity for military purposes, using its close collaboration with imperialist States and South Africa. That explains, too, why Israel has not acceded to the Treaty and refuses inspection by IAEA.

68. The attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor, which was designed for the peaceful use of atomic energy, is an unparalleled precedent, a direct attack on the entire safeguards régime of IAEA and a challenge to all parties to the Treaty-not to mention the outrageous impudence of giving Arab countries lessons on what advanced technologies they are permitted to use.

69. Many States have rightly raised the question: By whom will the aggressor feel threatened tomorrow and against whom will it then use its well-equipped war machinery supplied by United States imperialism?

70. The statements of "regret and concern" made by Israel's major ally on this Israeli attack sound theatrical thunder. Such manifestations remain untrustworthy as long as they are not combined with true, effective measures for the complete cessation of military support to the aggressor. The danger of a further aggravation of the situation in the region, for which Israel is responsible, makes it imperative to cease all nuclear and military collaboration with the aggressor, as is demanded in the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, in particular its resolutions 33/71 A, 34/89 and 35/157.

71. The German Democratic Republic strongly conde-mns this new Israeli act of aggression. My delegation supports the demands of the Iraqi Government and the League of Arab States for the imposition of mandatory sanctions against Israel, in accordance Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, to stop the continued breach of international law and the flagrant violation of the Charter by the ruling circles of Israel, which endanger the peace and security of the peoples in that region and not only there. Once again the urgency of a comprehensive political solution of the Middle East issues is under-score. The proposal to hold an international peace conference on this subject is extremely timely.

72. In conclusion, I should like to refer to the statement of 10 June 1981 of the Central Committee of the Soviet Socialist Unity Party of Germany, the State Council and the Council of Ministers of the German Democratic Republic. It states, inter alia:

“At this hour, the German Democratic Republic reaffirms its full solidarity with Iraq and all Arab countries and comes out for a just, peaceful settleme-nt of the Middle East issue in line with the proposals of the Soviet Union and the United Nations.

“The German Democratic Republic, as always, holds the view that peace and security in this region require the complete withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Palestinian and Arab territories and the guaranteeing of the inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine, whose only legitimate represen-tative is the PLO.

“This includes the right of the Arab people of Palestine, of all expelled Palestinians, to return to their homeland, to self-determination, and to form an independent Palestinian State." [S/14516.]

73. Mr. de PINIES (Spain) (interpretation from Spanish): Seldom does one have so much satisfaction as I have today in seeing you, Sir, the representative of Mexico presiding over the Security Council. You are an illustrious son of a country so closely linked to my own, a country to which, through you, I should like to pay a well-deserved tribute.

74. I should like also to express our gratitude to the representative of Japan for the work he did last month.

75. The attack carried out by Israeli forces on 7 June against the Iraqi nuclear center is an act of aggression against a State Member of the United Nations, an act that endangers international peace and security. It is a clear violation of the basic rules of international law and of the principles on which the Organization is founded.

76. Immediately upon hearing of the perpetration of this act, my Government issued a communiqué strongly condemning this intolerable act of force [S/14511].

77. Israel seeks to justify this act of aggression by presenting it as preventive action to avert some future, hypothetical threat to its security. That justification is absolutely unacceptable.

78. The Charter of the United Nations clearly enshrines the principle of refraining from the threat or use of force; and when, in Article 51, it refers to the inherent right of self-defense, it limits that right to a case of armed attack against a Member of the United Nations-and only until this organ, the Security Council, has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. The Charter does not allow for-indeed, if it did, that would amount to a return to the law of the jungle-any fight to preventive action by which a Member State could set itself up as judge, party and policeman in respect to another country. To act in that way would be to destroy the basic principles governing the organized interna-tional community and to create the most absolute lawlessness.

79. The Security Council now has the responsibility firmly to condemn this act of aggression carried out by Israel and to consider the measures necessary to prevent any other action-as irresponsible as the one we condemn today-that would threaten international peace and security not only in the area of tension in the Middle East, but throughout the world.

80. This Israeli act of aggression is the most recent and serious incident in a large series of confrontations in the Middle East that have made of that region a real powder keg and a true source of jeopardy to world peace. To rid ourselves of this jeopardy we must achieve peace in the Middle East and find a solution to the problem of Palestine. Only in that way can there be established among all the States of the region a relationship of trust that would make possible the peaceful development of the entire region, the avoid-ance of confrontations and the elimination of recourse to acts like the one the Council is now examining. A solution of that kind should be based on the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force-which means that Israel must withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967; recognition and implementation of the national rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination in its homeland; and, finally, the right of all the States in the region to live in peace within secure and recognized borders.

81. The action we are considering today obviously could bring about a further delay. in the achievement of a general solution to the Middle East conflict. It should make all those who supply large amounts of war materiel to that region aware of the responsibility they have for the use to which that materiel may be put-for it is extremely difficult to identify purely defensive uses, and operations can be carried out with such materiel to penetrate deeply into the territory of another country.

82. Moreover, as the Director General of IAEA has himself pointed out, the nuclear center that was attacked was covered by international safeguards and it had been visited recently; there is no excuse for saying that there were any potential dangers, in the near or distant future.

83. The representative of France, in the statement which he has just made, to which we have listened with attention, has made clear the fallacy of allegations that the Iraqi nuclear reactor was intended for the production of, or was at the point of producing, nuclear weapons.

84. If, following Israel's example, other countries were to try to eliminate the nuclear capacity that Israel is said to have, we would be at the beginning of a military conflict with incalculable proportions. There can be no greater irresponsibility than that shown by the Government of Israel.

85. The Council must energetically condemn the Israeli action and call for proper reparations in the case of the victims of this indescribable action and for all material damage caused. The Council should also reiterate the right of all States to have access to nuclear technology for peaceful uses and should appeal to all countries to refrain from supplying areas of conflict with highly developed weaponry that may be used for offensive actions such as that now being considered by the Council.

86. My delegation is willing to support a draft resolution containing such elements.

87. Mr. MI Guojun (China) (interpretation from Chinese): First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to extend a warm welcome and thanks to Mr. Hammadi, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq; Mr. Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al–Sabah, Deputy Premier and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait; Mr. Caid Essebsi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia; and Mr. Klibi, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, for attending the current Security Council meetings and for the important statements they have made to the Council.

88. In the evening of 7 June, the Israeli authorities brazenly sent warplanes to bomb the nuclear reactor in the vicinity of Baghdad. This was, a deliberate premeditated act of naked aggression a sovereign Arab State and another serious crime the Israeli authorities have committed against Iraq, as well as the entire Arab nation. The Chinese Government and people condemn in the strongest terms and voice their utmost indignation at this Israeli act of aggression, which has rudely trampled upon the Charter of the United Nations. It was entirely necessary and justified for the Iraqi Government to request an immediate meeting of the Council to consider this matter. The Chinese delegation listened attentively to the important statement made to the Council by  Mr. Saadoon Hammadi, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq, in which he exposed Israel's criminal aggression with irrefutable facts.

89. The Israeli authorities have tried to exonerate themselves by resorting to utterly absurd excuses. They claim that the Iraqi nuclear reactor was intended to develop atomic bombs for use against Israel and that, therefore, they had to take preemptive steps to destroy the reactor. According to this argument, Israel would be free at all times to send war planes to attack any factory or nuclear reactor in any country that Israel imagined to be operating against it. If this out-and-out gangster logic were allowed to run rampant, what then would be left of the code of international conduct? If every country were to behave like this would not the world be in total chaos? Thus the conduct of the Israeli authorities once more shows that they are the enemies of world peace and security.

90. All these years the Israeli authorities have persisted in their hostility against the Arab and Palestinian peoples and gone farther and further down the road of aggression and expansion. Israel still occupies the homeland of the Palestinian people, subjecting them to persecution at will. It has carried out constant armed invasions or raids against southern Lebanon, massacring Lebanese citizens and Palestinian refugees and creating turmoil in Lebanon and now Israel has stretched out its tentacles of aggression to Iraq. It must be pointed out that the Israeli authorities' policy of aggression and expansion has long enjoyed the support and connivance of the super-Powers. Their recent frenzied escalation of aggressiveness has in turn provided the super-Powers with opportunities and conditions for further intervention in the Middle East, thus aggravating the tension there and threatening the peace and security of the entire world. The Council, whose primary responsibility is the maintenance of international peace and security, must take most resolute and stern measures instead of viewing this situation, with indifference.

91. Israel's barbarous crime of aggression has naturally aroused indignation and condemnation among the people of the Arab countries and the rest of the world. The extraordinary session of the Council of the League of Arab States held a few days ago at Baghdad vigorously condemned this latest crime of Israel and adopted important decisions regarding the measures to be taken to cope with the situation [S/14529, annex]. This fully reflects the just call and solemn position of the Arab countries and people. We are confident that all the Arab people, including the Palestinian people, will by carrying out a concerted struggle and with the firm support of the people of the world, ultimately defeat the Israeli aggressors and win final victory.

92. The Chinese Government and people have always firmly stood by the Arab people, we firmly support Iraq and other Arab countries in their just struggle to defend their State sovereignty and recover their lost territories and we firmly support the Palestin-ian people in their just struggle to regain their national rights, including the right to return to their homeland and to establish their own State. We believe that, in order to uphold justice and defend the fundamental principles of the Charter, the Council should sternly condemn Israel for its latest crimes of aggression, take effective measures resolutely to put an end to all the Israeli acts of aggression against the Arab countries and prescribe the necessary punishment for Israel in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter.

93. Mr. NISIBORI (Japan): The Government of Japan finds it extremely regrettable that on 7 June the Israeli Air Force attacked the nuclear reactor in Iraq and strongly condemns such an outrageous action. The basic position of the Government of Japan on this incident was made clear in the statement of the Minister for Foreign Affairs on 9 June [S/14512]. Israel's action in violating the territorial airspace of Iraq and destroying its facilities, clearly constitutes a violation of international law and of fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular, the peaceful settlement of disputes and the non-use of force.

94. Israel is attempting to justify the action by claiming that it was carried out for defensive purposes.

95. My delegation would like to point out that, in a recent statement, the Director General of IAEA confirmed that Iraq, as a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, subscribed to the safeguards system of the IAEA and that it had fulfilled its obligations under the system to the satisfaction of the Agency.1/ If, in spite of that assurance, Israel suspected that Iraq intended to produce atomic bombs, it should, in our view, have sought to settle the matter by peaceful means, for example by submitting it to IAEA for consideration. We believe that Israel's resorting directly to military measures is absolutely unjustifiable.

96. As the Foreign Minister indicated in his state-ment [ibid.], the Government of Japan is deeply concerned that tensions between the Arab States and Israel may be further heightened by this incident. We are heartened that the use of force has not escalated in the region since the attack occurred. Furthermore, we highly regard the self-restraint which Iraq and the States friendly to it have exercised and greatly appreciate their attitude in seeking to settle the dispute peacefully through the United Nations and other forums. The Government of Japan will spare no effort for the peaceful solution of this question.

97. Japan has on many occasions expressed its view that Israel and the Palestinians, together with the Arab countries, should recognize each other's position and that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East should be achieved through peace talks. Japan has been exerting efforts towards this end in co-operation with other countries concerned. That Israel undertook an action contrary to these efforts is deplorable. Israel, as we all know, continually claims "the right to live in peace within secure and recog-nized boundaries". By violating the boundaries of other countries in such an arrogant manner, Israel has undermined its own credibility in the international community.

98. To conclude, allow me to refer to the fact that the Japanese people are particularly disturbed by the present incident since it involves the question of nuclear development. Japan, as the only nation to have experienced the devastation of the atomic bomb, has been strongly promoting nuclear disarmament as the item of first priority of disarmament. It has also been exerting vigorous efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, particularly through the régime of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The recent Israeli attack on the nuclear installations of a State party to that Treaty must, in the view of the Government of Japan, be regarded as a grave challenge to the safeguards system of IAEA and indeed, to the régime of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

99. It is imperative that the adverse effects which this incident may have on the maintenance and strengthening of such international efforts be kept to a minimum. We wish to reconfirm Japan's position that further efforts should be made to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and that the countries which are not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, including Israel, should accede to it as soon as possible.

100. Sir Anthony PARSONS (United Kingdom): Mr. President, first I congratulate you most warmly as a good friend and as a respected colleague on your assumption of the exacting responsibilities of the presidency of the Security Council and I also, on behalf of my delegation, thank Mr. Nisibori of Japan with equal warmth for the admirable way in which he conducted our affairs last month.

101. The situation in the Middle East has for many years been the subject of intense concern to my Government. Apart from the human and political issues which it raises, such as the imperatives of peace, justice and security, we are acutely conscious of the risks posed for the international community as a whole by continuing turmoil in a region of such strategic importance.

102. When he addressed the General Assembly in September last year, my Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Lord Carrington, argued that the Middle East conflict was above all one which cried out for negotiations leading to a peaceful solution. The vio-lence had gone on far too long. Negotiations were bound to be a lengthy and complex process, and could hardly succeed unless a calmer atmosphere could be created. Lord Carrington appealed again to all concerned to refrain from inflammatory acts and statements.2/

103. But the dismal fact is that the situation in the region has become more inflamed and more dangerous. Recent events have gravely deepened our concern and reinforced my Government in its view that renunciation of violence is the essential pre-requisite for any progress towards peaceful solutions. The world has watched with mounting concern the continuing tragedy in Lebanon. All our sympathy goes out to that troubled country and its people, who have so long been denied the opportunity to live in peace; also to the Lebanese Government, whose sovereign rights have long been so grossly infringed. We have also followed anxiously the so-called Syrian missile crisis. We admire the continuing efforts of Mr. Habib and still hope that a peaceful outcome can be achieved. Now there is the Israeli air attack on the Iraqi nuclear facility at Baghdad, which is the subject of this debate.

104. My Government has condemned that attack without equivocation. My Prime Minister said in the House of Commons on 9 June:3/

"The Government have already made plain their view that armed attack in such circumstances cannot be justified. It represents a grave breach of international law."

105. Mrs. Thatcher was asked about the fact that, whereas Iraq has signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and accepted IAEA safeguards, Israel has not. She replied:

"The Government firmly support the Non-Proliferation Treaty and wish that more countries would become signatories."

She went on to say:

"A tragedy of this case was that Iraq was a signatory to the agreement and had been inspected, but neither of these facts protected her. It was an unprovoked attack, which we must condemn. Just because a country is trying to manufacture energy from nuclear sources, it must not be believed that she is doing something totally wrong.”3/

106. It has been argued that the Israeli attack was an act of self-defense. But it was not a response to an armed attack on Israel by Iraq. There was no instant or overwhelming necessity for self-defense. Nor can it be justified as a forcible measure of self-protection. The Israeli intervention amounted to a use of force which cannot find a place in international law Charter and which violated the sovereignty of Iraq.

107. It has also been argued that, whatever the legal rights and wrongs of the matter, the international community privately breathed a sigh of relief after the Israeli raid, the suggestion being that the Iraqi Government will not now have a nuclear-weapon potential for some further time to come. That is certainly not the case so far as my Government is concerned. We do not believe that Iraq had the capacity to manufacture fissile material for nuclear weapons. Answering an assertion of this kind in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister replied:

"Had there been an attack on Israel of the kind that there has just been on Iraq, I should totally and utterly have condemned it. I therefore totally and utterly condemn the attack on Iraq."4/

108. My Government also believes that the Israeli attack has very serious implications for the international nuclear safeguards system. We note the recent statement by the Director General of IAEA that all the facilities and fuel concerned were covered by Agency safeguards under the Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards agreement between Iraq and the Agency; that Iraq accepts Agency safeguards on all its nuclear activities; that those safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date; and that, during the last safeguards inspection in January of this year, all nuclear material was satisfactorily accounted for. We share Mr. Eklund's view that the Agency's safeguards system is a basic element of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and that the Israeli attack amounts to an attack on the IAEA safeguards regime. The member States of the European Community have already made a statement at Vienna rejecting the assertion implicit in the Israeli action that safeguards are ineffective and reiterating the strong support of the member States for the Agency's safeguards system and their full confidence in its efficacy.

109. It will be clear to the Council that my Government shares the concern of the international community at the Israeli raid. It reinforces our belief that a just solution of the Middle East problem is urgently needed, and that it can only be reached through negotiation. But negotiations can succeed only in a climate of confidence. This in turn requires that acts of violence in the area must cease. For our part, the British Government is ready to play a full role with our partners in the European Community in the search for peaceful settlement. The Ten have committed themselves to the search for common ground and to gain acceptance of the principles set out by the Heads of State and Government and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs: Of the Nine at Venice in June last year [S/14009]. We believe that those principles can form basis for a just and lasting settlement, which alone will ring down the curtain on the long and bitter tragedy of the Middle East and enable its people to live their lives in peace and security.

110. In the mean time, in the context of our present debate, I should like to express the support of my delegation for the three points to be contained in a resolution of the Council as set out this morning by my French colleague [para. 58 above].

111. In conclusion, I express my sincere condolen-ces and those of my Government to the family of the young French technician who was killed in the attack.

112. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Span-ish): The next speaker is the representative of Leb-anon. I now invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

113. Mr. TUENI (Lebanon): Mr. President, at the outset, let me thank you and the other members of the Council for allowing me to speak in this most important debate.

114. I should like to address my thanks to all those who, in this context, have found it possible to speak of Lebanon as well.

115. I should like to take this opportunity to congratulate you, Sir, for leading the present debate as you did once before, when you presided over a similar discussion, in April 1980, with statesmanship as well as diplomacy. Not only have you displayed qualities that have inspired confidence and trust, but you have also represented the culture and ideals of your country with which we in Lebanon have had the closest historical bonds.

116. There would have been no reason for the representative of Lebanon to burden the present debate with yet another statement a few days before the Council's meeting to discuss the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, had it not been for the ideological-and, I dare say, the organic-links between Israel's attack on the Iraqi nuclear installations and its consistent aggression in Lebanon under the guise of so-called preemptive attacks against the Palestinians.

117. As many of my friends have already said in various ways, what Israel is trying to "preempt", in Iraq as well as in Lebanon, is nothing other but the establishment of peace, of a genuine and just peace, in the Middle East, a peace in which the imperatives of both national security and self-determination will be respected and guaranteed.

118. To those of us who want to view the Middle East question in its historical perspective, Israel is confronted today with two options: either to accept the Arab world as it is, and as it will more and more become-independent, responsible, prosperous and fully developed-or to try to maintain that Arab world in a state of colonial dependence and cultural under-development, whatever its wealth and geo-strategic importance.

119. The vicious attack on Baghdad on Sunday, 7 June, is symptomatic of Israel's choice, Peace, as perceived by Israel, can only be apocalyptic. To preserve Israel's security myth, it should have an unchallengeable superiority and the uncontested right to police 20 countries and over 140 million people living at the crossroads of history and of the world.

120. I shall not repeat the very eloquent and very learned arguments of my friends, from the legal to the scientific. Yet I cannot resist the temptation to add another quotation to the numerous testimonies they cited in support of our case.

121. In a recent study published in the spring 1981 edition of Foreign Affairs on Israel's security, Mr. Shai Feldman from the Israeli Center for Strategic Studies gives us this rare insight into present Israeli thinking:

"Israel should develop the capability and adopt an appropriate strategy and doctrine for overt nuclear deterrence….

"In terms of capability, Israel should develop nuclear weapons in a quantity and of a yield sufficient to demolish salient targets in each of the Arab States. The suggested doctrine is counter value-that is, threatening the destruction of cities and resources…. The strategy's purpose would be to deter the Arab States from pursuing most forms of violence against Israel by letting them know that she possesses the means for devastating pun-ishment."

122. Are we not justified in asking how such intellec-tual arrogance can be conducive to peace or compati-ble with the international rule of law? The Arabs are even denied, in more explicit literature displayed during this debate, the very right, let alone the possibility, of acceding even to the academic qualifica-tions compatible with nuclear research and the use of atoms for peace. We are one word away from being described as subhuman.

123. Yet we are. hopeful that Israel will someday, before it is too late, understand that, in the words of Rabbi Balfour Brickner, as reported in The New York Times of 12 June, "Israel does not live in a vacuum. She is part of an international community and depen-dent on that community for aid and peace".

124. We are hopeful, not only because such voices have been heard in Israel itself, but because we believe that the time has come for the international community to defend itself against another atomic holocaust. Shall I say how much it revolts my country and countrymen to see that what may have appeared almost permissi-ble on the scale of a Lebanese war now becomes a universal danger by acquiring the nuclear dimension?

125. What is still more revolting for us in Lebanon is to hear the representative of Israel (2280th meeting], in his very special variations on international law, speak of the Armistice Agreements of 1949. Iraq, we are told, had no right to claim immunity from Israeli aggression because it failed to sign the Agreement of 1949. But what about Jordan? And what about the violation of Saudi Arabia's airspace? Does that logic mean that the oil fields of the Gulf-let alone the Holy City of Makkah, or Taief or Riyadh-may become the targets of yet another "preemptive" attack because the Islamic Conference meetings held in Saudi Arabia spoke of jihad in a manner that displeased Mr. Begin?

126. Lebanon did sign the 1949 General Armistice Agreement with Israel [S/1296/Rev.1] referred to in this chamber. We have time and time again called upon Israel to respect that Agreement. The Council has reiterated its support for the Agreement in no less than ten. resolutions calling upon Israel to abide by its provisions and to consent to reactivating it. Yet we have constantly been confronted with queer inter-pretations of law to justify, day after day, the state of constant aggression against Lebanon and the occupa-tion of Lebanese territory, with people dying almost every day of every month of every year, not only since the invasion of 1978, but well before, long before the so-called civil war was ignited in the martyr country which I here represent.

127. Strange are the hazards of political coincidence. Or is it really coincidental that the Government of Israel chose to "preempt" Iraqi nuclear development precisely when tremendous Arab and American efforts were converging to restore peace in Lebanon?

128. A most distinguished American journalist, Joseph Kraft, who can hardly be accused-as so many others are on such occasions-of anti-Semitism, wrote in The Washington Post of 11 June that:

"The Israelis struck at a time when American diplomacy was engaged, through the mission of Ambassador Philip Habib, in a promising effort to ease tension in the Middle East by restoring the integrity of Lebanon. In conducting the raid, the Israelis violated the airspace of a country crucial to the Habib mission-Saudi Arabia….

"Americans need not be afraid to point out that the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, does not look more prone to use terrorist tactics than Menachem Begin."

129. Similar comments have been numerous, almost unanimous, and the latest was by none other than The New York Times, which pleaded editorially in a most eloquent manner for precisely the same message that many of our Arab colleagues have expressed in the Council. I shall quote at random from an article of yesterday, 14 June:

“But as the Israelis too often forget, their dependence on American support and influence in the Arab world imposes unavoidable limits on their concepts and tactics of self-defense.

"The strike against Iraq's nuclear reactor served none of these interests. It may delay one Moslem nation's nuclear-weapons project, but it will not arrest the march of technology to the Middle East…. It heightened distrust of America- in the Middle East.


"American responses to Israel's attack will either help repair or further destroy the frail conventions of sovereignty and territory that are vital to every nation's security….


"Israel's place in the Middle East will never be secured by force alone, certainly not by transient monopolies in weaponry.


"Those who let sympathy for Israel lead them to condone its claims to an ever-widening zone of defense condemn it to perpetual isolation and siege."

130. I could go on quoting almost forever, certainly for as long as it took the representative of Israel to make his most unconvincing case, if not longer. If I have abused the Council's time, it was simply to show that whatever we are told later in defense of Israel cannot fool the more enlightened and sober- minded American public. There is one reality which appears to us beyond question: Mr. Begin was not pre-empting war; he was pre-empting peace. In clearer terms, he was pre-empting the Americans, while pretending to protect Israel against a most problematic Arab danger, at the most inopportune time.

131. Israel has assumed once more, as often before, the self-appointed role of the region's policeman and, if I may say so, the role of a dangerously pretentious policeman with an atomic stick-the self-appointed custodian of the interests of its so-called friends, against those friends' better judgement, and even against their will.

132. Hence we are compelled to address ourselves to Israel’s friends in the Council, as Prince Saud Al-Faisal did yesterday in a most eloquently gentle yet forceful manner. There can be no compromise with condemnation, but condemnation alone is not sufficient. The international community-and the United States in particular-must find it possible to put an end to Israel's license and sense of impunity. Israel, not the atom, must be harnessed for peace.

133. We have all come here to demonstrate our confidence in the United Nations, undiscouraged by the defiant rhetoric which has often described this body as a "monument of hypocrisy"; for we in the Arab world believe that, if ever there should be peace, it can only be achieved through dialogue in this framework and through the use of force in defense of the Charter and the rights of nations.

134. In this context, there can be no security with-out responsibility and the application of compulsory measures of international law. Hence, beyond the sanctions authorized by the Charter, we should seek, in practical terms, compulsory ways and means of subjecting Israel's nuclear superiority to the imperatives of international compacts. Any other course would render our debates here and whatever resolutions we adopt an exercise in futility.

135. As for peace-peace according to the Israeli mythology of self-defense-it can only lead, as once before in history, to national suicide, except that this time it may be so apocalyptic that the fate of all of humanity will be equally imperiled.

The meeting rose at 1.15 p.m.


1/ This statement was made at the 563rd meeting of the Board of Governors of IAEA, the official records of which are published in summary form.

2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-fifth Session, Plenary Meetings, 7th meeting, para. 10.

3/ United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Parliamentary Debates, Sixth Series-vol. 6 (London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office), p. 262.

4/ Ibid., p. 264.

Document symbol: S/PV.2282
Document Type: Meeting record, Provisional verbatim record
Document Sources: Security Council
Country: Iraq
Subject: Agenda Item, Incidents
Publication Date: 15/06/1981

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