2286th MEETING: 17 JUNE 1981




Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2286) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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

2286th MEETING

Held in New York on Wednesday, 17 June 1981, at 11 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 Ireland, United States of America.

Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2286)

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 12.05 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

Complaint by Iraq:

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

1. PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): accordance with decisions taken at previous meetings [2280th to 2285th 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, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Viet Nam, 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 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.  Halim  (Malaysia), Mr. Erdenechuluun (Mongolia), Mr. Mrani Zentar (Morocco), Mr. Chamorro Mora (Nicaragua), Mr. Ahmad (Pakistan),  Mr. Freyberg (Poland),  Mr. Marinescu (Romania), Mr. Koroma (Sierra Leone), Mr. Adan (Somalia), Mr. Fonseka (Sri Lanka), 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 the members of the Council that I have received a letter dated 16 June 1981 from the Chargé d'affaires ad interim of the Permanent Mission of Tunisia to the United Nations [S/14545], which reads as follows:

"I have the honor to request that the Security Council extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Mr. Clovis Maksoud, Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States to the United Nations, to participate in the Council's consideration of the item entitled 'Complaint by Iraq'."

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

It was so decided.

3. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): I wish to draw the attention of members of the Council to the following documents: S/14542, letter dated 15 June 1981, from the representative of  Poland  to  the  Secretary-General; S/14543, letter dated 16 June, from the representative of Guyana to the Secretary-General; and S/14544, a note, verbal dated 16 June, from the Mission of Cuba to the President of the Council.

4. Mr. ARCILLA (Philippines): I have been instructed by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the countries members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations, who are now having their annual meeting at Manila, to read before the Council their statement, on the question before us. It is as follows:

"The Foreign Ministers condemn the recent unwarranted Israeli air attack on Iraqi nuclear installations near Baghdad and regard it as a serious violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law. They express grave concern that this dangerous and irresponsible act would escalate existing tension in the area and pose a serious threat to international peace and security." [S/14551]

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

6. Mr. SINCLAIR (Guyana) (interpretation from Spanish): When I assure you, Sir, of the satisfaction and pride with which my delegation sees you presiding over the Council in this month of June, I do much more than show deference to a tradition. More importantly, I give expression to the bonds of solidarity and friendship which unite the Governments and peoples of Mexico and Guyana. I also voice the Guyanese Government's recognition and appreciation of Mexico's proud history and its historic contribution to the cause of peace and the strengthening of the political and economic independence of States. I am confident that during your presidency, the influence of your wisdom, your resourcefulness and your forceful insistence on and defense of what you know to be correct and what you know to be just, will have a positive impact on the decisions of this body.

[The speaker continued in English.]

7. At the same time as I express to Mr. Nisibori of Japan my delegation's great appreciation for his skilful and efficient conduct of the business of the Council during the month of May, I also wish to express my sincere gratitude to you, Sir, and the other members of the Council for providing my delegation with the opportunity to address this body on the item of which it is currently seized.

8. It was with a feeling of deepest outrage and indignation that Guyana learned of the unprovoked attack by Israeli aircraft against the nuclear reactor installations of the Republic of Iraq two Sundays ago. This act, unprecedented in its arrogance, is clearly a grave violation of the national sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of the State of Iraq, and one which dangerously heightens the tension and instability existing in the Middle East area, with negative consequences for peace and security not only in the region itself but beyond it.

9. The Middle East region has experienced two costly wars in the past two decades, wars which had their root causes precisely in the intransigence and lack and sensitivity of one State in the area: I refer to Israel. Despite the fact that the prescription for a just and lasting peace in the area has long been identified and enjoys almost unanimous acceptance, the search for a comprehensive solution is frustrated and undermined at every turn by the continuing manifestation of intransigence by that State–more recently by its purported annexation of East Jerusalem, for example, its frequent forays into Lebanon, in complete disregard of that country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and by its continuing refusal to give and recognition to the rights of the Palestinians. Israel’s recent attack against installations inside the Republic of Iraq only serves to complicate further the Middle East peace process and to confirm beyond doubt its blatant contempt for, and defiance of, the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of peaceful and friendly relations among States, in the same way as the aggressive acts and arrogance of the racist Pretoria régime complicate the process of finding a peaceful solution to the question of Namibia.

10. My delegation vehemently condemns the recent Israeli act of aggression against the Republic of Iraq, and insists that the security of the State of Israel cannot be built on a policy that promotes insecurity and fear in its neighbors or in other States 0 of the region. It is only in a climate of trust and confidence that Israel can enjoy the security it seeks; a necessary first step in the creation of such a climate would be for Israel to desist from acts such as the one which made this meeting necessary –acts which themselves create and compound the distrust among States of the region.

11. My delegation likewise categorically rejects the notion that one State in any region can arrogate to itself the right of a power of veto over the development plans or projects of any other State of the region on the grounds that they are not consistent with its own interests or its own security. Such a notion flies in the face of the sovereign equality of States and violates the political independence of those States and their sovereign right to organize their economic affairs in the manner that they themselves determine, and without any form of external interference. The right of States, including the Republic of Iraq, to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, has been sustained by numerous resolutions of the General Assembly and decisions of the non-aligned movement, including the sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Havana in September 1979.

12. Reliable sources have indicated that the Zionist State has been in possession of nuclear weapons for some time now. Members of the Council do not need to be reminded of some of the clandestine, irregular means used to obtain the raw materials for the development of these weapons. We also know of earlier Israeli attempts, some executed even inside the territory of other States, to prevent Iraq from developing nuclear technology. It is clear that Israel will shrink from no aggression, from no act of terrorism, in order to maintain a nuclear monopoly in the Middle East region. The Zionist Prime Minister confirmed this attitude as recently as last Sunday, when in a televised interview he declared that if Iraq should rebuild the reactor, Israel would destroy it again–not necessarily through the use of planes, but by any of a number of means.

13. It is a fact that the Republic of Iraq is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [General Assembly resolution 2373 (XXII), annex]. It is also a fact that Israel has refused to sign that Treaty. The Government of Iraq itself has declared that its nuclear reactor was to be used for peaceful purposes and has accepted international safeguards on all its nuclear facilities. The Iraqi nuclear installation at Osirak had been inspected as recently as January 1981 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and found to be in conformity with the Agency's requirements. Israel, on the contrary, has never opened its nuclear installation at Dimona to such international inspection.

14. We heard the lucid and categorical statement of the representative of France two days ago [2282nd meeting] in which he asserted that the only purpose of the Tamuz reactor was scientific research. The relevant agreements concluded between France and Iraq specifically exclude its application to military purposes. Yet the Israelis, using their sophisticated military hardware and setting themselves above and beyond the very IAEA, took upon themselves to launch their so-called pre-emptive strike in order to destroy the Iraq facility in the interest, they say, of Israeli security.

15. While Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations does confer upon Member States the right of individual self-defense if an armed attack occurs against them, nowhere does it provide for the use of the pre-emptive strike, which is contrary to the spirit of the Charter and to the purposes and principles of the Organization. In addition, it is contrary to the spirit and the letter of several important declarations and decisions of the General Assembly, including the resolution on the non-use of force in international relations [resolution 2936 (XXVII)] and the Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty [resolution 2131 (XX)].

16. Israel's much-vaunted policy of the "pre-emptive strike", instead of enhancing the security of the State, is slowly eating away at the very entrails of that State, producing insecurity from within and making the Israelis themselves their own worst enemies and the foremost enemies of peace in the Middle East. The policy of the pre-emptive strike fosters arrogance and disrespect; it fears everything and trusts nothing. It makes good-neighborliness and peaceful coexistence impossible; underlying it is the assumption that the activities and energies of other States have no significance whatsoever, except in relation to the existence of the State of Israel or the people of Israel. This series of meetings concerns precisely the most recent of the sinister consequences that flow from acts based on that assumption.

17. The desire for a régime of peace and I security and an atmosphere in which economic development can be pursued is not the monopoly of the Zionists, even if we were to believe their professions of a commitment to it. There are men and women of peace and good will everywhere but who, fortunately, seek their promotion in more positive and constructive ways. In fact, the policy of the pre-emptive strike leaves no room for peace and good will. What peace can there be, what good will can a State feel towards others, when at any moment death and destruction can come roaring out of the skies or creeping in like a thief in the night, simply because of a purely subjective assessment made outside its borders that this or that project is a threat to someone else's security?

18. It is with a sense of grim despair that my delegation contemplates the future of humanity if acts similar to that recently committed by the Israelis were to become accepted international behavior. Their criminal, aggressive nature is the very negation of the idea of international co-operation for international peace. As the President of Guyana, Comrade Forbes Burnham, has declared in his message addressed to the President of the Republic of Iraq, Saddam Hussein: "such lawless behavior cannot be allowed to become a precedent in the Middle East, Africa or elsewhere." [S/14543]  This manifestation of the logic of power, this recklessness, if pursued, can lead only to a complete erosion of the basis of inter-State relations that underlies the Charter and to a dangerous situation of insecurity and chaos in international relations. This is why my delegation believes that the Council must respond decisively and unequivocally to this most recent act of aggression by Israel against the Republic of Iraq and take measures that would restrain that outlaw State from committing such acts in future. The Council can do no less than issue a categorical condemnation of this Israeli aggression and oblige the Israeli Government to make reparation to the Government and people of the Republic of Iraq. To do any less would be to desert the Charter and to render a disservice to the causes of peace and the strengthening of international security.

19. Israel's record of open contempt for the independence and territorial integrity of States is a long one, an attitude that has been buttressed and sustained over the years by the encouragement given it by both the Governments and the media of some of its influential friends. My delegation could not but notice with disgust, indignation and a measure of sadness the indulgence with which this recent Israeli act of aggression is being treated, or the hardly restrained exultation with which the event is viewed in certain official circles and is being reported in their media; or the pro forma noises being made, which, while seeking to make a gesture to Arab sentiment, actually insult Arab pride and nationalism.

20. The solution to the complex Middle East question does not lie in automatic and uncalculating support for the exaggerated definition by any one State in the Middle East region of its security interests; nor does it lie in the preponderance of sophisticated arms. Encouraging Israeli intransigence is a decidedly negative policy, which will redound only to the creation of greater instability and lead to more war in the Middle East, To be sure no one wants another holocaust. But the Arab nations will certainly not allow themselves to be today's victims of a State which sees itself as the hegemonic Power and regional gendarme of the Middle East. The use of force in the Middle East will only perpetuate the use of force, and its effects will be felt well beyond the confines of the region concerned.

21. States Members of the United Nations, be they big or small, rich or poor, have committed themselves to abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the Organization; to refrain, in their international relations, from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State; to respect the sovereign equality of all States and the right of each State to chart its own development path, free from outside intervention or interference, whatever its form or the pretext for it. My delegation remains firmly committed to those principles. That is why we are prepared to support any action which this body may take to ensure that they are respected in the Middle East.

22. Meanwhile, the incident of 7 June must certainly serve to underscore the urgency of finding an early and just solution to the Middle East problem, the core and centrepiece of which is the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to their own independent State.

23. In conclusion, I reiterate the Government and people of Guyana's continuing support for and solidarity with the Government and people of the Republic of Iraq.

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

25. Mr. ADAN (Somalia): First of all, permit me to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of this most important organ of the United Nations for this month.

26. I wish also to thank you and the other members of the Council for permitting my delegation to participate in this debate. We believe it is important that as many voices as possible should be raised in condemnation of Israel's unprovoked attack on an Iraqi facility for nuclear energy research–an attack described by the Secretary-General as being in clear violation of international law.

27. This action not only raised Zionist aggression to a now level, but has also created a precedent with alarming implications for world peace and security. If its aggression has taken a new form, Israel’s contempt for international law is quite familiar, and indeed has been in evidence ever since Israel gained statehood at the expense of the Palestinian people Israel’s membership in the United Nations, should indicate, at the very least, a commitment to the principle of collective security and to the building of a structure of international law in accordance with the provisions of the Charter. But Israel, acting with its customary arrogance and illegality, has once again seriously impeded the task of securing and strengthening international peace.

28. My delegation welcomes the fact that condemnation of Israel's aggression has been widespread and has come even from its most powerful supporters. It could hardly have been otherwise in the face of so flagrant a breach of international peace and so direct a blow to the objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. If signatories to the Treaty such as Iraq, which have complied with its requirements, are still not protected by its provisions, then this international instrument once hailed as an essential measure for nuclear arms control becomes meaningless. Certainly the world community cannot tolerate a situation where the development of nuclear alternatives to non-renewable sources of energy in the Middle East is threatened by Zionist chauvinism and where the 30 or so countries engaged in developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes would be left open to the militarist designs of unfriendly States. In our view, Israel's action makes it imperative that the Council strongly reaffirm the right of all States to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, under the appropriate safeguards.

29. The arrogance, the irresponsibility and the egocentric nature of the Israeli aggression is underscored by the resolution adopted on 12 June by the Board of Governors of IAEA–a resolution which reaffirmed Iraq's status as a Treaty member in good standing, attested to the peaceful nature of Iraq's nuclear research and strongly condemned Israel for its premeditated and unjustified attack on the Iraqi research centre [S/14532].

30. My delegation notes also that the French Government, which supplied nuclear technology and experts to Iraq, has stated that controls on Iraq’s research and training plant were so strict that it would have been impossible for an atomic bomb to be built.

31. The threat to an important aspect of non-proliferation régime is of course only one of the damaging effects of Israel's aggression. My delegation is also deeply concerned because the Zionist inclination towards pre-emptive strikes has in the past led to regional conflicts and seriously endangered world peace and security. The same results could well follow Israel's latest act of international gangsterism. Israel’s attempt to elevate the pre-emptive strike to a new principle of international law must not be given the slightest credence or support. Indeed, this stratagem could not be supported by anyone who understands and values the Charter of the United Nations.

32. If any State can decide that it has a right to indulge in military aggression simply because it considers that there is a possibility of some future hypothetical threat to it, then the United Nations might as well consider itself irrelevant and its Member States should resign themselves to international chaos.

33. Israel claims to have acted in self-defense in launching its carefully planned assault on Iraq's nuclear energy research centre, supposedly in order to pre-empt the making of an atomic bomb. Yet Israel itself has refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and has, as the world knows, developed its own atomic weapons, using all means, fair or foul, for this purpose.

34. Israel also continues steadily with its illegal occupation and annexation of Arab territory; it is engaged in genocidal attempts to exterminate the Palestinian people; it routinely mounts large-scale military aggressions in Lebanon, and it has exacerbated and prolonged the tragic conflict in that country through mischievous intervention in its internal affairs.

35. One of the most baleful after-effects of the Nazi Holocaust was the opportunity it gave the Zionists to exploit the guilt of the Western world and to portray themselves as perpetual victims, forever unaccountable for any action, however illegal, however contemptuous of human rights, and however dangerous to world peace an security it might be.

36. The Zionists' portrayal of themselves as the heroes of the Middle East drama, and of their Arab victims as its villains, has served to obscure the issues and has ensured that conflict would be endemic in the area. Today we are seeing a repetition of this historic pattern, but it is long past time for the true nature of Israel's role in the Middle East to be clearly understood by all. Israel, a State engaged in blatant expansionism, showing unrelieved contempt for international law, is once again expecting the world community to accept its intolerable aggression as a natural and justifiable prerogative. It must not succeed in this attempt. There can be no mitigating circumstances for Israel's aggression. My delegation hopes that the Council will be able to identify with objectivity the real villains and the real victims of the Middle East conflict.

37. Certainly Israel's unprovoked violation of Iraq's sovereignty and its wanton and destructive military action must not go unpunished. It is pertinent to note that the General Assembly has repeatedly called on all States to desist from supplying arms, and nuclear technology to Israel in view of its long-standing violations of international law. The validity of this call has undoubtedly been substantiated by recent events, and the relevant General Assembly resolutions point to the courses of action open to the Security Council.

38. In that context, my delegation welcomes the decision of the United States to suspend its planned delivery of four fighter-bombers to Israel. We hope that this is not a temporary measure but the beginning of a reassessment by the United States of the dangers of its open-ended supply of arms to Israel–arms which have been used for military aggression against Lebanon and now against Iraq, in violation of the agreement under which they were supplied. The United States Government has a grave responsibility, in view of its special relations with Israel, to exert a restraining influence on Zionist aggression, and expansionism.

39. My delegation also welcomes the forthright approach of the Board of Governors of IAEA to the Israeli action. The recommendations of the Board with regard to the suspension of technical assistance to Israel and of its membership of the Agency, coming as they do from an expert and objective body, serve to emphasize the seriousness of Israel's offence.

40. However, it is the Security Council which has the primary responsibility for dealing with Israel's violation of international law. My delegation believes that Israel's breach of the peace is of such gravity, and has such far-reaching implications, that the matter calls for the Council to use the specific powers granted to it under the Charter for maintaining international peace and security.

41. Israel has never been deterred by mere condemnation from its drive to achieve regional hegemony by all available means. The imposition of mandatory sanctions under Chapter V11 of the Charter is therefore the only practical response and the only measure consonant with Israel's act of State terrorism. Unless significant action of that kind is taken, the Zionist threat to regional and international peace will continue. No one can doubt the reality of that threat in view of the bellicose and typically arrogant promise of the Israeli Prime Minister to repeat Israel's act, of international terrorism in the future against any State whose nuclear-energy facilities and programmes do not meet with, Israel's approval.

42. In the circumstances, my delegation sincerely hopes that the Council will not fail in its duty to take the only measures which are likely to avert an escalation of the Middle East conflict and to remove a grave threat to international peace and security.

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

44. Mr. KIRCA (Turkey) (interpretation from French): Mr. President, first of all, I should like to express my gratitude to you and the other members of the Council for having granted Turkey the opportunity to participate in this highly important meeting. I should also like to share with you the conviction of the Turkish delegation that the  deliberations of the Council on the problem before us will be successfully conducted thanks to your wise leadership, as has been the case on other occasions in the course of your presidency.

45. It was with profound concern and indignation that my Government learned of the Israeli attack on 7 June against the Iraqi nuclear installations.

46. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey made the following statement about the act of aggression committed by Israel:

"The destruction of the Iraqi nuclear reactor by Israeli aircraft is an act that seriously imperils peace in the area. We are faced here with a grave violation of international law. We condemn that act, which was, incidentally, greeted with indignation by the international community. We hope that the Security Council, before which the matter has just been placed by Iraq, will adopt on the subject a resolution compatible with the gravity of the situation."

That was the official reaction of the Turkish Government.

47. I  listened  with  great  attention  to  the  statement made to the Council by Mr. Hammadi, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq [2280th meeting], and also to that of the representative of Israel [ibid.], as well as statements made on behalf of other Governments.

48. The Turkish delegation has taken due note of the report of the Director General of IAEA and the resolution adopted by the executive organ of that institution, which alone has technical competence on the subject in the international arena. From those documents it emerges very clearly that the nuclear programme of Iraq is entirely peaceful. My delegation was also careful to take note that Iraq, a member of that Agency, and a, party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, subscribes to and fully accepts all the obligations, including submission to inspection, provided for in the Statute, whereas Israel, which is relentlessly developing its own nuclear programme, has not even signed the Treaty in question and remains outside the international system of safeguards.

49. In the light of those undeniable facts, the Turkish delegation believes that to invoke the idea of self-defense in order to justify this act of aggression against Iraq, in particular within the framework of Article 51 of the Charter, as that idea was presented and developed by the representative of Israel, is inadmissible. In the case of the armed action we are, discussing, the exception on the grounds of self-defense cannot be based either on the general concept set forth in Article 51 of the Charter or on any special provision of international law. In our view it is clear that Israel used that idea as a pretext in order unilaterally and arbitrarily to lay claim to an alleged right of intervention, which could well become a constant threat to the Arab States that have already started developing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes in their own countries in accordance with the prevailing rules of international law, or that may do so in the future. For those States, and indeed for all other States, that is a sovereign right, and it is not the business of any other State to make judgements as to whether or not that right is to be exercised.

50. Israel has committed an act of flagrant aggression, and it must therefore make prompt and adequate reparation, in particular to Iraq, for the damage caused by the air raid.

51. That act of Israeli aggression was committed at a time when serious efforts were under way in the area with regard to certain aspects of the Middle East question in order to halt and prevent hostilities. The Israeli occupation of Arab territories since 1967 and the growing threat to the very existence of Lebanon have once again brought the area to the brink of war. Israeli aggression against Iraq has, as the Secretary- General has said, added further dimensions to the conflict already existing in the region and has aggravated an already highly precarious situation.

52. Israel can hardly ensure its own security by threatening the security of the Arab States in the area or persisting in its refusal to concede the legitimate fights of the Palestinian Arab people. It is the sincere conviction of the Turkish Government that Israel’s security can be truly ensured only by means of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, that peace which the international community has desired for so many years. It is the responsibility of all parties in the area, and indeed of the international community, to spare no effort to achieve that end. One cannot, on the one hand, be involved in a peace process while, at the same time, organizing "preventive" armed attacks against other States in the area. So a basic choice has to be made: one must either try to live in peace and harmony with others in the same area, or continue indefinitely to involve oneself in an escalation of conflict and tension which, in the long term, will undoubtedly be extremely prejudicial to the national interests of every party in this hot spot on our planet.

53. It is from this standpoint that the Turkish Government wishes to express the hope that the deliberations of the Council on this important problem I will lead to a resolution commensurate with the gravity of the situation.

54. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Hungary. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table.

55. Mr. RACZ (Hungary) (interpretation from French): I would like first of all to thank you, Mr. President, and the other members of the Council for having given me this opportunity to express our views on a question which concerns my country as well.

56. I should at the same time like to convey our congratulations to you on your assumption of the presidency of the Council. You have taken office at a time when this body has before it a very grave question. I am convinced that your competence and far-sightedness and your personal qualities will play their part in our success in the performance of the task of this important body, in keeping with the expectation Member States and of the international community.

57. I should also like to pay a tribute to the work of Mr. Nisibori, President of the Council last month.

58. The Council is meeting to discuss once again a further aggressive action undertaken by Israel. All people of good sense throughout the world learned with profound indignation the news of the unjustifiable and unprecedented attack carried out by the Israeli Air Force against a nuclear installation near the Iraqi capital. This terrorist act served only to increase tension in a part of the world which for so long now has been one of the most dangerous hotbeds of tension on the international scene.

59. Beyond the fact of the act of intimidation itself, committed so cold-bloodedly, we also cannot help but note the cynicism with which Israel is trying to justify its successive actions, which constitute a flagrant violation of international law. How can we accept the reference to national security if we find that, on this pretext, the fundamental rights of neighboring countries are being flouted and their sovereignty is being openly infringed? How can we, talk of humanitarian considerations when we find that an installation whose purpose was to promote progress for peaceful purposes, and which had not even been completely constructed, has been razed to the ground? According to this upside-down argument, any country would have the right to eliminate by force, now and in the future, any progress achieved in the field of nuclear technology by other States.

60. We should note in this context that the terrorist attack was committed by Israel, a country which, for reasons and considerations obvious to everyone, has not hitherto acceded to the international Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and has, refused stubbornly to place its nuclear programme under effective international control within the framework of IAEA.

61. The world has had further proof of the fact that it is the aggressive and expansionist policy of Israel which is imperiling peace and security in the countries of the Middle East. The acts of aggression committed one after the other demonstrate that the Israeli Government has elevated terrorism to the status of official State policy and that it will stop at nothing in order to carry out this policy.

62. Israel can continue this expansionist policy only in the knowledge that it can be sure of the support of the United States as it thus obstructs a just, global and lasting settlement by peaceful means of the whole question of the Middle East. Until a solution formulated in such a spirit is brought about, the peoples of the area will continue to be exposed to such aggressive attacks on the part of Israel. In these circumstances, it is ever more urgent and imperative to convene an international conference, as the Soviet Union has proposed, with the participation of all the parties concerned–including the Palestine Liberation Organization–since notwithstanding the separate agreements, such a conference alone can produce a solution which would ensure the security of all the States in the region.

63. The international community cannot remain indifferent to the actions of the Israeli Government which, in the pursuit of its own selfish interests, is acting according to the law of the jungle and is unscrupulously flouting fundamental norms of international law stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations and other international agreements and continuing to violate the basic principles governing relations among States.

64. I should like to recall the statement of the Government of the People's Republic of Hungary, which condemned this terrorist attack and I would like to stress that the people of Hungary and its Government energetically repudiate this new action on the part of Israel. We should like to express our solidarity with the Iraqi Republic and the people of that country, and we extend our support to the Arab peoples struggling against the aggressive policy of Israel.

65. The Hungarian delegation sincerely hopes that as a result of the debate which is being held here on this subject, the Council will adopt a I resolution which will not only severely condemn Israel, but if fully put into effect, effectively prevent Israel from embarking once again on adventuristic acts, which violate international law, threaten the security of the region and imperil peace throughout the world.

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

67. Mr. LA ROCCA (Italy): Sir, it is, with particular pleasure that my delegation welcomes your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of June. You represent a country with which mine is linked by long-standing and very close ties of friendship and co-operation. We are confident that your well-known diplomatic skill, sagacity and experience will greatly contribute to bringing the work of the Council to a positive conclusion. We wish you the best in your important task.

68. I should like also to pay a tribute to your predecessor, Mr. Nisibori of Japan, for the most skilful way in which he conducted the Council's proceedings during the month of May.

69. As is well known, Italy has been consistently opposed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and, in accordance with this position, it was among the initiators of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and made a significant contribution to the drafting of its text. In that endeavor, my government from the start pursued a double objective: to set up, an effective system to prevent the spread of nuclear armaments through the establishment of a strict set of international controls on nuclear installations and at the same time to enhance the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by facilitating the transfer, of nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes.

70. Since it came into force in 1970, the Non-Proliferation Treaty has been signed and ratified by 115 States and has been universally considered as a fully adequate instrument for the promotion and achievement of the goals I have just mentioned. The effectiveness of the system of controls directed at ensuring the implementation of the Treaty by the States parties has never been challenged. On the contrary, international pressure has been brought to bear particularly on those States that are not parties to the Treaty and are assumed to have acquired or to be on the verge of acquiring a nuclear-weapons capability to convince them to adhere to the Treaty as the most effective means of containing the development of that capability.

71. My Government therefore considers that, until clear evidence is brought forward as to the need for even stricter safeguards than those provided for in the Treaty to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the Non-Proliferation Treaty represents the accepted framework for the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful uses. The sale to Iraq of research laboratories for the application of nuclear energy to fields such as medicine, industry and agriculture was agreed to in full accordance with the letter and the purposes of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and article 4 thereof, which are to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy While preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Iraq has been a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty since it came into force in 1970 and has opened its nuclear installations, including therefore the laboratories, supplied by Italy, to inspection by IAEA. In fact, the Iraqi Government has voluntarily accepted the even stricter controls provided for in the guidelines agreed in London between the members of the nuclear-suppliers group. The nuclear fuel supplied by Italy for use in the laboratories cannot, from the point of view of either quantity or quality be use or purposes other than those for which it was ceded. Iraq's compliance with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty was confirmed by the Director General of IAEA in a statement issued on 9 June. 1/

72. All this is very well known both in Israel and elsewhere. If old arguments, which have been provided unfounded in the past, continue to be raised, as they have been in these last days, by the Israeli authorities even at the highest political level, the reason can only be traced to the need to confer legitimacy, for both internal and external consumption, on an action which remains inadmissible. For our part we reject the allegations which have been made in Israel and in the Council in regard to our relationship with Iraq and in the nuclear field. My Government views the Israeli military action against the Tamuz nuclear centre with the utmost concern and firmly condemns it as an unacceptable breach of international law.

73. The conclusions of the work of the Council should convey to Israel a clear signal that such behavior cannot be condoned by the international community. Moreover, we believe that the Government of Iraq is entitled to compensation for the damage inflicted on the nuclear installations. The renunciation of violence is the prerequisite for the achievement of a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East question.

74. Italy, for its part, together with the other members of the European Community, remains fully committed to the search for such a settlement along the lines of the declaration of the European Council, issued at Venice on 13 June 1980 [S/14009].

75. Our concerns extend not only to the Israeli actions per se and its implications for the situation in the Middle East as a whole and for the orderly development of international relations. They relate also more specifically to the potential harm thus done to the credibility and effectiveness of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. I should like in that regard to refer once again to the statement of the Director General of IAEA that I mentioned earlier. He stated:

"This attack on the Iraqi nuclear centre is a serious development with far-reaching implications. The Agency's safeguards system is a basic element of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. During my long time here, I do not think we: have been faced with a more serious question than the implications of this development. The Agency has inspected the Iraqi reactors and has not found evidence of any activity not in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. A non-NPT country has evidently not felt assured by our findings and about our ability to continue to discharge our safeguarding responsibilities effectively. In the interest of its national security, it has felt motivated to take military action. From a point of principle, one can only conclude that it is the Agency's safeguards régime which has also been attacked. Where will this lead us in the future? This is a matter of grave concern which should be pondered well." 1/

76. My Government is in full agreement with the considerations of the Director General and shares in his grave concern as to the far-reaching and destabilizing implications of the Israeli armed attack for the future of the non-proliferation system.

The meeting rose at 1.10 p.m.



1/ 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.2286
Document Type: Meeting record, Meeting records, Provisional verbatim record
Document Sources: Security Council
Subject: Agenda Item, Incidents
Publication Date: 17/06/1981