2284th MEETING: 16 JUNE 1981




Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2284) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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

2284th MEETING

Held in New York on Tuesday, 16 June 1981, at 10.30 a.m.


President:  Mr. Porfirio MUÑOZ 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 land, United States of America.

Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2284)

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 12 noon.

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 decisions taken at previous [2280th to 2283rd meetings], I invite the representatives of Iraq and Israel to take places at the Council table, and I invite the representatives of Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mongolia, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Sierra Leone, Somalia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen, 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 (Czechoslovakia), Mr. Abdel Meguid (Egypt), Mr. Sinclair (Guyana), Mr. Racz (Hungary), Mr. Krishnan (India), Mr. Suwondo (Indonesia), Mr. La Rocca (Italy), Mr. Nuseibeh (Jordan), Mr. Al-Sabah (Kuwait),  Mr. Tuéni (Lebanon), Mr. Erdenechuluun (Mongolia), Mr. Mrahi Zentar (Morocco), Mr. Ahmad (Pakistan), Mr. Freyberg (Poland), 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.  Alaini  (Yemen),  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 Nicaragua and Sri Lanka, 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. Chamorro Mora (Nicaragua) and Mr. Fonseka (Sri Lanka) took the places reserved for them at the side of the Council chamber.

3. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): I should like to inform members of the Council that I have received a letter dated 16 June 1981 from the representative of Uganda [S/14540], which reads as follows:

"I have the honour to request you to invite, under rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Council, Mr. Sigvard Eklund, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to participate in the present debate in the Security Council entitled 'Complaint by Iraq'."

4. If I hear no objection, I shall take it that the Council agrees to that request.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Sigvard Eklund, (Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency) took the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber.

5. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): I should like to draw the attention of members of the Council to the following documents: S/14534, letter dated 15 June 1981 from the representative of Israel to the President of the Council; S/14535, letter dated 12 June from the representative of Qatar to the Secretary-General; and S/14536, letter dated 15 June from the representative of Indonesia to the President of the Council.

6. Mr. OUMAROU (Niger) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, my delegation is already aware of your devotion to justice and peace. It knows with what conviction you defend noble causes that are in accordance with law and the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. It knows also with what devotion you have been working for nearly two years now at the head of your delegation to ensure that Mexico's activities in the United Nations do full justice to its prestige and its place in the concert of nations. Thus we have no concern at seeing you once again acting as President of the Council to steer our debates to the appropriate conclusion. It will suffice therefore if I present my warmest and most friendly congratulations to you on your assumption of the post of President.

7. My compliments go also to your predecessor, Mr. Nisibori of Japan, for the notable wisdom and tact with which he conducted the Council's work during the month of May.

8. I shall now add my voice, the voice of the Niger, to those of the very large number of previous speakers to continue and perhaps strengthen what Mr. Blum has, without batting an eyelid, at this same table called "The sham and charade [which] will not add to the stature of the Council" [2280th meeting, para. 61].  We shall thus take our place within the league castigated by the representative of Israel, welcoming the fact, however, that that speaker added his own humbug to the sham and charade which he is denouncing.

9. But we do this not out of spite nor from opportunism. And if we were to shed tears over this tragic affair they would certainly not be crocodile tears, but rather a simple and sincere manifestation of our condemnation of this crime and this wretched waste of human lives.

10. Thus, we take part in this debate because the Niger cannot remain silent when law is so spectacularly flouted; when the sovereignty of a State Member of the Organization is so blatantly violated and trampled on; when peace and stability in an entire region of the world are so gravely threatened; and when open attempts are made to take us back to the times–long gone, we thought–when force and war-like adventurism ruled the day.

11. Our intention, therefore, is a perfectly clear one. By conceiving, calculating, organizing, carrying out and then reveling publicly in the attack of 7 June 1981 against the Tamuz atomic reactor, Israel committed a premeditated military act which neither what it calls the preservation of its security nor its avowed fear of a supposedly forthcoming Iraqi atomic bomb suffices to justify today. And its reference to Article 51 of the Charter is not merely abusive but also misleading. In this case, there was no legitimate self-defense; there was aggression, because, Israel was in no way facing an imminent attack, irrefutably proved and demonstrated. As regards the Iraqi bomb, it existed only in the imagination of the Israeli leaders. The French Government which provided the reactor and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have formally and categorically gone on record on that point.

12. The Israeli act of 7 June thus stems from a clear will to dominate and an unacceptable propensity for constantly humiliating the adversary and thus to contribute to perpetuating the crisis. Viewed in the light of an already explosive situation, and in relation to a region in which there is already incalculable suffering, such an attitude could only lead to extremely grave consequences. It is in that context that we condemn it.

13. But there is also the serious effect that this act will have on the future of international relations. Claiming that it is ensuring its survival, citing alarmist and, in any case, biased and slanted information, Israel challenges the right of Iraq, or of any State in the  region, to equip itself with installations of its choice, particularly nuclear installations, in order to promote its technological progress and to work for the development of its people. For above and beyond today’s target, Osirak, that is what we are actually dealing with. Hence our grave concern over the idea that, despite the rules of international law, any sovereignty can be thus brutally curtailed, and that any State can set about in the future attacking another State, merely invoking its instinct for preservation. Hence our call upon the Security Council to take up this precedent-setting action with the care and seriousness it deserves. For the stability of the world is truly in danger. The law of the jungle is making new converts. The Charter, in the name of which the United Nation is striving to discipline the world, runs the risk of losing out in terms of its essence and credibility.

14. The Iraqi project had the merit of openness, since it was carried out in the full light of day, within the appropriately restricted framework of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [General Assembly resolution 2373 (XXII), annex] and under the strict umbrella of the IAEA safeguards system. Furthermore, it had the benefit of international co-operation, which we for our part do not believe is capable of complacency or complicity. The fact that Israel ignored so many pre-conditions and precautions clearly demonstrates that country's insatiable determination to flout the international community constantly, to act in a headstrong manner, mindful only of its policy of defiance, power and expansion. And all that in order to attempt to avoid indefinitely a crucial problem, a problem at the very centre of its own concerns and at the heart of the entire Middle East problem–that is, the burning problem of Palestine.

15. For 33 years the Middle East region has been unlike other regions. Instability reigns there, because law is no longer respected. Tragedies take place there because justice is flouted. Wars take place there one after the other because brutal force has the key to the city. An entire people is living the life of refugees, and the usurper has sworn to attack any neighboring country which, out of duty or solidarity, aids and supports that people. Lebanon, for example, is currently paying a tragic price, in full view of the United Nations and, indeed, the Security Council.

16. I tend to believe, therefore, that the raid on Osirak had, all things considered, no other motive than this: to prevent the Arab nations that are protecting the Palestinians from rapidly acquiring a mastery of the technology by which Israel dominates the region, equips itself with an armour of invincibility and selfishly undertakes to profit by that. For a technologically and technically advanced Arab world would mean Palestinian's more able to reconquer their rights. But that disregards the fact that the international context is changing radically, that the fact of Palestine is making itself felt, that the Palestine Liberation Organization now has credentials in all parts of the world, that the détente of recent years has been replaced by a new period of cold war–and the Council must not be alone in underrating the symptoms or disregarding the dangers.

17. Another raid of the same kind or significance could therefore quickly set fire to this Middle East powder-keg if, by misfortune–by weakness or by obstruction–the Council were to conclude the present series of meetings without taking the measures necessary to ensure that the aggression against Osirak can never be used as an example or a precedent.

18. My delegation is ready to subscribe to any resolution condemning the Israeli military action and ordering sanctions, any resolution that would solemnly warn Israel against repeating such acts and would call for just compensation for the destruction and damage caused by Israel in its sordid raid.

19. Mr. ARCILLA (Philippines): At the risk of stating the obvious, I wish to say that the subject of which the Council is seized at the moment is of a very delicate and precarious nature. However, we are confident that under your stewardship, Mr. President, and given your experience and keen sense of political judgement, this august body will be able to act expeditiously and decisively on this subject, as well as on others that may come before it this month. That you represent a great country, which shares with mine a long history of common values and traditions dating back to the days of the galleon trade in the seventeenth century, is also of particular significance to us.

20. We wish also at this time to pay special tribute to your predecessor, Mr. Nisibori of Japan, for the excellent manner in which he discharged the duties of President of the Council. His leadership qualities and sensitivity to the nuances of international diplomacy are highly remarkable.

21. A noted political scientist once calculated that if the period between creation and now were to be compressed into a single year, the advent of homo sapiens would comprise the last one minute of that year–and modern civilization, as we know it, would be the last eight seconds of that minute.

22. The so-called pre-emptive strike by Israel against the Iraqi nuclear installation might well have pre-empted all of us from ever reaching the ninth second of that last minute. Thanks, however, to the admirable restraint with which the Government and people of Iraq, and the other Arab nations in the area, have reacted to the Israeli aggression, and to their decision to take their case to the Council instead of resorting to military retaliation, we shall yet see that ninth second behind us.

23. My Government, in deploring Israel's act of aggression, has weighed carefully the reasons Israel has given for its precipitous act. Apart from merely saying [S/14510] that Israel learned from "sources whose reliability is beyond … doubt" that the Iraq reactor was designed to produce atomic bombs–a reason which, in itself, holds no water–there was nothing else to justify Israel's rash action.

24. On the other hand, we rind the report of IAEA highly illuminating: Iraq has satisfactorily applied the safeguards required by the Agency, which has inspected the reactors and has not found evidence of any activity not in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

25. Granting, for the sake of argument, that the Iraqi reactor was designed to produce atomic bombs and that it was about to go "hot", we would still find it extremely difficult to accept Israel's reasons for the armed attack. It was against the basic tenets of international law and the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

26. If Israel was so sure that Iraq was on the verge of manufacturing nuclear weapons, it could have raised the matter before the appropriate international bodies for verification. Perhaps it did not do so because it is not a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which leads one to wonder why it is not.

27. We also find Israel's dismissal of world public opinion against the attack particularly disturbing.

28. The Israeli assertion that the act was carried out in accordance with its inherent right to self-defense is both morally and legally indefensible. Such a dangerous precedent would leave us faced with a situation in which every State, on mere suspicion of bellicose intent, could arrogate unto itself the doubtful right to launch an armed attack against another.

29. For the Philippines and other developing countries, the development of nuclear energy for peaceful uses is essential in their drive for modernization. That inalienable right must remain inviolable.

30. As a founding Member of the United Nations, the Philippines has faithfully abided by and supported the noble aims and purposes for which it was created. We have firmly upheld the view that aggression, with whatever excuse or on whatever pretext, is intolerable and reprehensible. For that reason, we have given our support to the efforts to resolve the larger dimensions of the Middle East conflict in a comprehensive, just and durable framework that would take into account Israel's right to exist as a sovereign State, on the one hand, and the recognition of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to a homeland of their own, on the other.

31. We around this table are only too aware of the serious implications of this act of Israel. The world watches closely to see what we will do in the face of this perilous situation. Now more than ever we should give meaning to our resolve, made at San Francisco 35 years ago, "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war", "to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights", and for these ends "to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security".

32. Mr. OZORES TYPALDOS (Panama) (interpretation from Spanish): Mr. President, first of all, I should like to say that my delegation is particularly pleased to see you performing the delicate tasks of the President of the Security Council during this month, not merely because you are a worthy representative of the noble Mexican people, with which Panama has fraternal relations, but also because of your excellent personal qualities as an able and experienced diplomat. You may be sure that you can look to us for whole-hearted co-operation.

33. At the same time I should like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Nisibori of Japan for performing the same task during the month of May with great tact and ability.

34. Rarely has the Security Council been convened to consider a situation as serious as the one we are considering now. The Tel Aviv Government has not merely committed an inexcusable act of aggression against a State Member of the United Nations, but it is taking pride in having violated fundamental principles of international law–that is, in having used force in international relations and having violated the airspace of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. As if that were not enough, Minister Begin has on a number of occasions himself said that Israel would act similarly whenever it considered it necessary and that it cared nothing for what friends or foes might think.

35. The Government of Panama has constantly defended the Jewish State's right to live within secure frontiers in peace with the other countries of the region and the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to exercise sovereignty over territory illegally occupied by Israel. But we are concerned at the fact that the party that has most strongly expressed the desire to live within secure frontiers is the one that ignores not merely the frontiers of neighbors but frontiers hundreds of kilometers away and then gives us an outrageous and dangerous interpretation of self-defense.

36. The Israeli Government ridicules the officials of a responsible organization, IAEA, giving credence to more convenient "home-made" information. But this also forcefully draws our attention to the fact that at this stage there are officials from another country who are still inclined to take that information seriously and who have still not decided whether Israel as acting in its own defense or not.

37. We hope that they will realize the gravity of what has occurred, since my Government wishes to believe that the efforts currently being made by the United States Government in the Middle East through direct negotiations are aimed at finding formulas that will make possible a lasting peace in the region. Unfortunately, that will never come to pass until Washington understands that Israel is abusing its friendship and misinterpreting an alliance.

38. As a developing country, Panama wishes to make it very clear that all States, and particularly those that are technologically disadvantaged, have the right to make progress through the peaceful use of atomic energy without there being objections from any party much less from one that does not hide the desire to have a nuclear monopoly in the area and has never permitted international inspection.

39. We wish to conclude this brief statement by expressing the condolences of the Government people of Panama to the relatives of the Iraqi citizens and the French technician who died as a result of the Israeli bombardment. We would add that my delegation is prepared to vote for a draft resolution that would not merely condemn Israel for the aggression it has committed but also ensure that acts of this nature do not happen again. If the State of Israel, or any other State, were the victim of a similar action, we should call for the same thing. What is most important is to ensure that there are no further inexcusable acts that dramatically aggravate the already difficult situation in the Middle East and endanger world peace–to use the words of the final part of the statement of the Government of Panama of 11 June [S/14515].

40. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Yemen. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

41. Mr. ALAINI (Yemen): Mr. President, my delegation is pleased to see you presiding over this very important body. The objectivity and sense of responsibility and justice with which you have guided the work of the Council on previous occasions reflected the wise foreign policy of your country, Mexico, with which my country has friendly relations. Your knowledge, skill and experience will contribute to the successful conclusion of the current debate.

42. For 20 years the Security Council has been dealing with Israeli atrocities and aggressions against Palestinian people in their own homeland and in the refugee camps. For the last 14 years we have had also the problems of the occupied Arab territories. Today, with the latest act of aggression against Iraq, it has become clear to everyone that what is going on in the Middle East is a deep, real struggle between the Arab nation as a whole and the Zionist invaders.

43. The confrontation is not limited to the military aspect any more. It is not any longer a matter between the Palestinians and the Israelis, or even between the Israelis and the neighboring countries. It has become a matter between the Israelis and the Arab nation from the Ocean to the Gulf.

44. The conflict is no longer limited to military operations, but includes all fields of science, technology progress and development. From now on, every Arab country feels insecure.

45. Today the Israelis attack Baghdad for having a nuclear reactor centre that was described by the Board of Governors of IAEA, in its resolution of 12 June, as “peaceful nuclear facilities" [S/14532].

46. Tomorrow they may attack any other Arab country for having a textile factory or for organizing its police force or its trade unions, and they may say that they are acting in "self-defense".

47. The Begin doctrine, if accepted, would give the green light to any country to attack any other country in “self-defense", Israeli style. The East may attack the West, or the West may attack the East in "self-defense”.

48. Many countries have problems with and suspicions of other countries. Why do they not follow the Begin example and attack each other? Is this not "self-defense”? If the world were to adopt the Begin doctrine, we would find ourselves back in the jungle.

49. Statements and documents published in the United States and many other countries have all made clear long since that the Israelis possess nuclear weapons and the capability to manufacture them. They have already acquired the capability and a stockpile of nuclear weapons. They have refused to be a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. They have refused to receive representatives of IAEA or to allow them to inspect the Dimona nuclear installations. Yet, Israel gives itself the right to attack others; to attack a State that subscribes to the safeguards system of IAEA and that has fulfilled all the obligations under the system.

50. This Israeli attack on the nuclear reactor centre at Baghdad is not an attack only against Iraq, or against the Arabs. It is, in fact, an attack against the safeguards system of IAEA and against the régime of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is part of the Israelis' unchecked behavior in the Middle East.

51. Israel should stop it. It should stop attacking Lebanon and the Palestinians in Lebanon. It should stop threatening Syria and stop its arrogance of power. The Council should deal with these repeated serious violations of international law very seriously and promptly for the benefit of the Middle East and the world as a whole.

52. The big Powers should look beyond their narrow internal considerations and discharge their responsibilities for preserving world peace and security before it is too late.

53. The United States should realize that Israel should not be spoiled too much. Without American advanced weapons, expertise, technology, and financial and political support, Israel would not dare attack the Arab countries, disregard the United Nations and defy world public opinion.

54. Condemnation is not enough. Sanctions are what the whole world is expecting.

55. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.

56. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Syrian Arab Republic): To begin with, Mr. President, allow me to take this opportunity to express to you and, through you, to your great country and countrymen, my congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of June. Close ties of friendship have long bound the Syrian people to the Mexican people and, like all Syrian Arabs, I have been raised to look upon your countrymen and their achievements with admiration and respect.

57. This is my maiden speech in Council. A novice I may be, but I am no novice, nor is any Arab, for that matter, to Israeli atrocities, Israeli arrogance, Israeli expansionism, to the Israeli cancer in our region.

58. What is the world to do with Israel? How is this international community to handle it? How will the Council deal with it?

59. We call ourselves a family of nations but this family, despite its imperfections, has to protect its own members from a maverick creature that has gone mad, and Israel has gone raving mad.

60. But among us is a member of the family, a highly influential member, whose tolerance towards this offspring is beyond human endurance. Mother USA continues to clasp this frenzied child to her bosom. The picture may be touching, but what assurances will this mother-figure extend to the world? What guarantees that her crack-brained child will not destroy the world in its raving deliriums–not merely the Arab Nation, but the entire world? Moreover, with maternal over-protectiveness she blindly refuses to see her offspring's congenital deformities, trying to shield its ugliness from the eyes of the world.

61. We all know that one cannot correct the deep scars in a psychopathic personality by withholding four F-16 lollipops for a few days or by milder forms of admonishment or reprimand.

62. On 7 June Israel committed yet another blatant act of aggression. Secretary of State Alexander Haig wrote on behalf of the President of the United States, in part:

"In these circumstances, I must report on behalf of the President that a substantial violation of the 1952 Agreement may have occurred."

I stress the word "may"–it may have occurred. He continues:

"We are conducting a review of this entire matter and will consider the contention of Israel that this action was necessary for its defense because the reactor was intended to produce atomic bombs . . . "

63. By accepting consideration of this Israeli contention, the United States of America is in fact undermining the Charter, the principle of the non-use of force and thus the very raison d’être of the Security Council, as well as the very purpose for which the Council is meeting. Everyone knows that the most sophisticated warplanes of United States manufacture have for years been sowing death and destruction in our region and that the United States has never denied Israel access to its most advanced war arsenal.

64. The "may" in the letter of the Secretary of State of the United States of America is meant to dilute the gravity of the offence under national legislation. Assuming that the equipment, materials and services used in this aggression were not stamped "made in the USA", would that enable a permanent member of the Security Council to condone Israel's contention that it was "exercising its inherent and natural right to 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.]

65. Yet, Article 51 of the Charter clearly define self-defense as an inherent right only if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.

66. Therefore  the  United  States  position,  as  explained  in  Mr. Haig's letter to Mr. O'Neill, Speaker of the House, and to Senator Percy, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is predicated upon the concept of legitimizing pre-emptive strikes, a concept that has been refuted time and again in the Definition of Aggression [General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX), annex] and dismissed as unacceptable, since it usurps the powers of the Security Council as set forth in Article 39 of the Charter and curtails the Council's authority. This body is surely not meeting in order to determine the origins of the means of delivery. We are here to declare the existence of a threat to peace, a breach of the peace or an act of aggression.

67. The Council, in its collective capacity, is called upon to meet a situation whereby an act of aggression has been committed officially, openly, defiantly by the aggressor. Moreover, this same aggressor unabashedly vows to repeat the aggression in the future, whether against Iraq or elsewhere.

68. During the generous coverage allotted by the United States news media to Israel after this vile attack, we all heard a bloodthirsty Begin justifying this aggression as "a morally supreme act of nationals self-defense" or raving hysterically: "Never again…. We shall not allow any enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction against us…. should the Iraqis try again to build a reactor through which they can produce atomic weapons, Israel will use … the possibilities at its disposal to destroy this reactor.”

69. It is quite clear that the spiraling military aggression and the accompanying threats, as well as the slogans designed to rationalize the irrational, are meant to deceive both Jews and gentiles during an election campaign in which the main political parties do not differ on the principles of Zionist racist expansionism, but only on the timing of acts of aggression.

70. Besides, what means and whose means is Begin talking so confidently about, and what possibilities? That question is addressed to Secretary of State Haig, if only to refresh the memory of the members of the Council. In his letter, which I have mentioned, Mr. Haig did not even refer to the United States Administration's early condemnation of the raid. Instead, the letter politely and simply took note of criticism expressed by Begin and his Israeli supporters to the effect that the United States Administration had attacked Israel without taking into account the latter's contention that the raid was carried out in its own defense.

71. Mr. Alexander Haig's letter is far subtler than we think, hiding more than the complexities of a deep and organic United States-Israeli relationship. Secretary of State Haig mentions in his letter, as reported by The New York Times of 11 June, that sales to Israel fall under the Foreign Military Sales programme, and are governed by a Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement of 23 July 1952, 1/ which provides in the pertinent part 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 [or] its legitimate self-defense, [or to permit it to participate in the defense] of the area of which it is a part."

The last short phrase should not go unheeded, for it extends the concept of self-defense to envelop an undetermined area, whether contiguous or remote, leaving it to Israel to reach out its ever-lengthening lethal arms to grab at the Nile and strike at the Tigris and the Euphrates.

72. Thus, the mere consideration of Israel's contention, as mentioned in the Haig letter, is per se an admission that the United States Administration condones the doctrine of the legitimacy of pre-emptive strike's carried out under the guise of legitimate self-defense. But we knew beforehand that the United States could not but bless this new Israeli act of lawlessness, whether it assumed the guise of hot pursuit, was christened a pre-emptive strike, or was renamed preventive self-defense. In all cases, that Israeli terminology has become familiar to us whose lives and property have, since 1948, been at the mercy of those twentieth-century vandals.

73. Israel's fantasy of security is but a cover for its war crimes and expansionist practices. At all stages of the unfolding of the Zionist stratagem, fear for its security has remained the deceitful slogan of Israeli leaders, used to cover up any aggression or expansion. Colonial settlements in the occupied Arab territories are built on t at false pretence; southern Lebanon has been subjected to a scorched-earth policy and repeatedly invaded on the pretext of security, pre-emptive or preventive; thousands of Arabs have been evicted from home and property, and the excuse is Israeli security; the Israeli collusion in the 1956 tripartite aggression occurred under the banner of preventive security; and the 1967 blitzkrieg and Israel’s consequent expansion to six times its original size were also justified as a pre-emptive imperative. Arrests, assassinations, collective punishments, deportations, the maiming of the Palestinian mayors, the poisoning of Arab crops, and the diversion of Arab waters are systematically perpetrated as acts necessary for the security of Israel.

74. Israel's doctrine of security, whether applied inside or outside the occupied territories, is but a fabrication meant to impose on the Arab people conditions of destruction and destitution. That one-sided fantasy of security has been constantly used to deflect attention from the ruthless reality of the Zionist entity, whose exclusivist and exclusionist nature is the raison d’être of that racist entity, that enclave of international terrorism.

75. The Israeli air strike of 7 June against the Iraqi centre for generating nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is but one link in the Israeli chain of aggression against the Arab nation, yet it denotes two new dimensions: the first is the unprecedented geographic expansion of the long-arm policy of Israel, made possible by the sophisticated, lethal United States arsenal, and the second is Israel's determination to prevent the Arabs, irrespective of their geographic location, from enjoying the benefits of their inalienable right to scientific and technological progress, in much the same spirit as its denial to the Palestinians of their inalienable right to self-determination.

76. This recent development clearly reveals Israel's ominous intention to extend its domination and United States hegemony over the Arab homeland, since Israel–this colonial outpost–views any Arab social or economic development as constituting a threat to its security. The irony lies in the fact that Israel, known to be a de facto nuclear Power and a non-party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, could determine that a non-nuclear Power, party to the Treaty–Iraq, in this instance–should be deprived of an inalienable right recognized as belonging to it under the Treaty. This Israeli logic undermines the foundations, the structures, the institutions, the controls and the safeguards of the non-proliferation régime, causing the parties to question the viability of their membership and the non-parties to suffer further alienation. As the Director General of IAEA stated:

"During my long time here, I do not think we have been faced with a more serious question than the implications of this development. . . . From a point of principle, one can only conclude that it is the Agency's safeguards régime which has also been attacked." 2/

77. This Israeli attack has not only affected a peaceful civilian target; it has not only violated the sanctity of the airspace of three sovereign Arab countries, but has created a real concern as to the future security of any industrial, cultural or technological establishment within or beyond the Arab region whenever Israel decides to strike. Ostensibly, Israel has arrogated to itself the right to determine the level of economic, social and technological development allowed to any Arab people. Every industrial complex in the Arab countries is today threatened by a possible Israeli attack–by air, by land or by sea–and in every instance we have to await the United States sentence on whether the Israeli "contention" is justified or not.

78. This is the crux of the problem before us today: can the Council afford to allow Israel, by might and not by right, to dictate to sovereign countries their internal and external policies? Is this attempt at extending dominance and hegemony consonant with the elemental rules of international behavior?  Is this not per se a subversion of our international system of which the Council is the guardian? World public opinion now understands the sinister objectives behind Israeli threats to attack the Arab deterrent forces, whose peaceful purposes and defensive character are internationally recognized. Israel is bent on humiliating, scorning, cowing, dishonouring and disdaining the Arab people to perpetuate and further extend its territorial ambitions. By extending the sphere and identity of its military operations, and by issuing threats against Lebanon, Syria and other Arab countries, Israel aims at distracting attention from the core of the Middle East conflict, namely, the question of Palestine.

79. The Israeli argument that an oil-producing country does not need a different source of energy is as bankrupt and insane as the act itself. Indeed, it is the duty of a developing oil-producing country to invest in research so as to acquire the know-how to generate energy for peaceful purposes–including nuclear energy. This duty arises from commitments undertaken under the programmes for economic co-operation among developing countries, based primarily on self-reliance and mutual co-operation among developing countries. But Israel, which co-operates with South Africa in exploding nuclear devices and in developing nuclear armaments, knows that by destroying Osirak or by threatening to redestroy it, as well as to wreck other peaceful energy plants of its choosing in other parts of the developing world, it is indeed inflicting harm on Africa and on Asia, while acting in the spirit of this unholy alliance with the Pretoria régime.

80. All these hazardous developments come in the wake of the Camp David system, which has temporarily tilted the strategic balance of power, thus favoring Israel's attempts at extending its hegemony and exporting its aggression over and beyond the region.

81. The time has come for all those genuinely concerned with preventing the further deterioration of a situation fraught with danger to world peace and security to take concrete measures against Israel under Chapter VII of the Charter. In addition to a clear-cut condemnation of this recent Israeli attack, the Council is requested in the same resolution to impose mandatory sanctions–in particular, a binding prohibition on all Member States of the United Nations from furnishing Israel with military, economic and technical assistance. Unless the Council stands up to its responsibilities under Chapter VII in a situation where the existence of an act of aggression is universally recognized and condemned, and unless Council decides to impose such concrete compulsory measures as are provided for under Article 41, we perceive no hope that Israel will put an end to its continued aggression against the Arabs and others, of which the Iraqi episode is the most recent manifestation.

82. Failure to act here and now will augur an explosion in the area, the responsibility for which Israel and its supporters will have to bear.

83. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): I now call on the representative of Israel, who has asked to be allowed to exercise his right of reply.

84. Mr. BLUM (Israel): In my statement last Friday [2280th meeting] I submitted well-documented scientific and technical data showing beyond a shadow of doubt that Iraq was bent on developing a nuclear arms option. In all the predictable barrage of abuse heaped upon my country thus far and the flood of distortion and deception unleashed by a procession of repetitive speakers, we have not received answers to the serious questions raised by the technical data that I have presented. So that these questions should not be lost under a heap of abuse and bigotry, let me outline them again. First, why did Iraq first try in 1974 to acquire a nuclear-power reactor of a kind designed primarily to produce large quantities of plutonium for military use? Secondly, why did Iraq insist on receiving a 70-megawatt reactor which has no use as an energy source and which is far too large for its demonstrable research purposes of a peaceful kind? Thirdly, why did Iraq insist on receiving weapons-grade nuclear fuel rather than the alternative of "Caramel" fuel which was offered to it? Fourthly, what is Iraq's need for nuclear energy, given its abundant oil supplies? Fifthly, if it has such a need, why has Iraq not developed a commercial nuclear programme? Why his it not made any transactions relevant to such a programme? Sixthly, why, if it is genuinely interested in nuclear research–say for medical or other peaceful purposes–did it rush to buy plutonium separation technology and equipment? Seventhly, why has Iraq been making frantic efforts to acquire natural uranium wherever and however it can?

85. Given the fact that Iraq has been in a state of war with Israel since 1948–for over three decades–and given its open threats to liquidate my country, is any fair-minded member of the Council prepared to tell Israel to ignore the answers to all the questions that I have just reiterated?

86. What has been going on here is a feverish effort to line up States to speak at length to blur and confound the issues I have raised. What has been going on here only proves that it is impossible for Israel to expect from the Council, and indeed from the Organization, a fair hearing.

87. A clear sign of the unfairness which is rampant in the United Nations and its various agencies was given last week when IAEA discussed Israel's operation against Osirak and denied Israel even its right to speak and to explain its position.

88. But the questions I have raised, as well as other questions raised by experts and concerned people around the world, will not walk away. They require serious attention and serious answers. They will certainly not be answered by suggestions like the one we heard yesterday that Israel should pay reparations to Iraq for destroying Osirak. Did the Allies pay reparations for the Nazis' atomic plants at Peene-muende and elsewhere which they destroyed during the Second World War? Let me assure the Council that Israel will pay precisely the same sum as what those who made this bizarre suggestion paid after the Second World War, and not one brass farthing more.

89. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The representative of Iraq has asked to be allowed to speak in exercise of the right of reply. I call on him.

90. Mr. KITTANI (Iraq): Once again the representative of Israel has demonstrated clearly that he really has no interest in the views of the Council. This is not surprising because Israel has nothing but contempt for the Organization and this principal organ of the United Nations.

91. Listening to the latest audacious statement of the representative of Israel, one would think that it was Iraq which had been brought to account for its actions before the Council. One would think that it was Israel which had rushed to the Council and asked for the convening of this series of meetings in order to take appropriate action for something that Iraq had done. If that is not an insult to the intelligence of the Council, I do not know what is.

92. The real audience of the representative of Israel is not here in this building; we have learned that. It is beyond these walls; it is not very far away, but it is not within the Headquarters compound. Here, as the debates have shown over the last four years, Israel has failed totally and completely to convince any member of the Council of any of its arguments. That much is clear. So the representative of Israel shifts his ground and asks us to account for things that we may or may not have done. I shall ignore that and simply ask one question in answer to all his questions. I shall ask Professor Blum why it is that his Prime Minister and his Government have refused and continue to refuse to put any of its nuclear facilities under any international inspection and safeguards, as Iraq has done with regard to all its nuclear facilities. If he answers that to the Council's satisfaction, perhaps we need no more debate here about why his Government carried out that act of aggression on 7 June.

93. I said that the real intended audience of Israel is not in these chambers and should like to add that, apparently, in this case Israel is having enormous difficulty in convincing even its closest friends. That is why the representative of Israel is in a quandary. I am not just saying that for debating purposes. I respect the Council's time, but to show what I mean I should like to use, just as examples, three quotations to demonstrate, first, the tactics used by Israel in this matter and, secondly, its failure to convince, not the Council–we have seen the results of that–but its closest friends even in the United States.

94. Everyone remembers the statement made on 8 June by Mr. Begin, the Prime Minister of Israel. Indeed, this was an official statement of the Government of Israel. Everyone will recall that Mr. Begin repeated this statement on television, on "Face the Nation". Israel's friends are using it every day in the media. I shall now quote from that statement, as reported in The New York Times on 9 June:

"The goal for these bombs"–Iraqi bombs, presumably–"was Israel. This was explicitly stated by the Iraqi ruler. After the Iranians slightly damaged the reactor, Saddam Hussein remarked that it was pointless for the Iranians to attack the reactor because it was being built against Israel alone".

That official statement by the Government of Israel has been repeated over and over again–and it will continue to be repeated despite what I shall now say.

95. I have before me some articles, not from Iraqi newspapers, but from two Israeli newspapers. The first is Davar. The article is by its correspondent Daniyel Bloch and is datelined Tel Aviv, 14 June. I quote the following from Davar:

"The Foreign Ministry has ordered Israeli representatives abroad to stop using the quotations from remarks made by Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein which were used by Prime Minister Begin and according to which Hussein said that the Iraqi reactor was directed against the Zionist enemy. Following a comprehensive examination carried out by the United States of America, it emerged that there is no proof that this quotation is accurate. Israeli sources have not succeeded in finding any basis for it either".

And if they cannot find a quotation, one wonders how one can trust what they call "unimpeachable information". The article in Davar goes on:

"The quotation the Prime Minister used was based on the Iraqi paper Ath-Thawrah of 4 October 1980. However, as noted, it turned out that this quotation does not appear there at all. The sole source that exists is the report in an Israeli paper by its Arab affairs correspondent, but no basis could be found for this report. Only after lengthy examination was an editorial in the same style found in another Iraqi paper, Al-Junhuriyah, but without any quotation from, or attribution to, the Iraqi leader.

"This revelation has caused considerable embarrassment because Israeli information made, use of the quotation and Israel's United Nations Ambassador based parts of his planned Security Council speech on it."

96. This is the quotation from the second Israeli newspaper:

“Yediot Achronot reported today that the Foreign Ministry has instructed all missions abroad to stop quoting an alleged statement by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that the nuclear reactor was intended to produce bombs for use against Israel. Begin quoted Hussein to that effect in his initial statement of 8 June justifying the Israeli air strike. He apparently got it from Iraqi newspapers but Israeli authorities realized that there was no direct quotation from any Iraqi leaders or proof that Hussein had ever made the statement."

97. Next I shall read out a very short excerpt from a report by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency yesterday:

"Meanwhile Begin and his Cabinet faced unexpected criticism from military sources with respect to Begin's claim that the target of the Israeli raid was a secret underground installation where atomic bombs were being manufactured. Ma'ariv reported today that military experts"–and these are Israeli military experts–"had no information about any such secret facility."

98. My next quotation is from something closer to home: the ABC Network News, 15 June, at 7 p.m. A statement was made by Mr. John Scali, who is no stranger to these halls; some representatives who have been here for a few years will remember that he was the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations and sat in the Council. This is what Mr. Scali said on the ABC News:

"The Reagan Administration is seriously questioning Begin's claim that an immediate life-and-death threat forced Israel to bomb Iraq's nuclear reactor. Key business leaders and Congressmen are being told that the French successfully 'poisoned' the uranium provided the Iraqis so that they could not turn it into nuclear weapons without far more equipment than Iraq possessed. The word 'poisoned' was used by one Cabinet member in telling an audience how, before shipping the uranium, the French treated it in a special way to make it too dangerous to turn into weapons: Secondly, these Administration leaders say United States intelligence has no information whatever to back up Begin's claim that the Iraqis have constructed a special underground chamber to work on the bomb. The third point being made is that information available to United States intelligence indicates it would have taken another five to six years before the Iraqis could develop a bomb, even with all of the outside help they could get.

"Begin has repeatedly asserted that his Government’s information came from 'unimpeachable sources'. United States authorities say that despite the excellence of Israel's intelligence agency, information available to the United States was at least as good as, if not better than, Israel's in this case. No Administration spokesman is accusing Begin, of misrepresenting or distorting the facts"–indeed, no one would today. Mr. Scali went on: "The information is not being volunteered, but in answer to questions from interested parties, top officials are making available the facts as they see them, and they are angry that Israel is presenting a version that is in conflict with what Washington believes to be true."

99. I have only one final word to say; I do not want to take too much of the Council's time.

100. Even Israel's closest friends in this country, and indeed people inside occupied Palestine, are apparently not convinced of the case that the representative of Israel has tried to present to the Council. All the arguments that have been repeated, one after the other, are falling like autumn leaves. The Council must face the fact that everything that we have presented to the Council is concrete, correct, factual material.

101. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The representative of Israel has asked to be allowed once again to exercise his right of reply. I now call on him.

102. Mr. BLUM (Israel): The hour is very late and I shall be very brief.

103. I have put a number of questions to distinguished Iraqi colleague. Not surprisingly, he has chosen not to reply to any of those questions. Instead, he has asked indignantly, "It it Iraq that is being called to account for its activities?"

104. Under normal circumstances, that is precisely what should have happened. Having been confronted with the questions that I raised, Iraq, if it were acting in good faith, should have had no problem in answering them. But, since it did not act in good faith, it does have very serious problems, as is evidenced by the statements of Mr. Kittani.

105. Now, obviously, Iraq can proceed in the Organization with impunity. It will not be censured; it will not be questioned; it will not be interrogated; it will not be condemned, because Iraq and other countries enjoy virtual impunity in the Organization.

106. I do not have to go into the reasons for that. It is idle for them to masquerade here as the protagonists of international law and international justice. The simple fact is that whatever they do and however they do it and whenever they do it they are assured of a built-in majority. The rest is posturing; the rest is bigotry; the rest is hypocrisy.

The meeting rose at 1.35 p.m.



1/ United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, Vol. 3, Part. 4, 1952 (United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1955), p. 4985.

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


Document symbol: S/PV.2284
Document Type: Meeting record, Meeting records, Provisional verbatim record
Document Sources: Security Council
Subject: Agenda Item, Armed conflict, Incidents
Publication Date: 15/06/1981