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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

UN 'instrument of deception for Israel'

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution takes world powers to task, saying they use their privileges at the UN to cover up Israeli crimes.

"The United Nations has perhaps confronted few tests such as the problem of Palestine, wherein it has been exposed and earned a bad name," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said during the opening speech of an international conference in support of Palestinians in Tehran on Wednesday.

According to Iran's most senior official, the United Nations had played a basic role in the birth of "injustice" by recognizing "the occupation of Palestine by acquisitive terrorist groups" in the 1950s.

"After that, for several decades, it [the United Nations] maintained a satisfied silence with regard to the cases of genocide, expulsion of refugees, war crimes and various atrocities committed by that regime (Israel)," Ayatollah Khamenei added.

Iran has refused to recognize Israel for its occupation of Palestinian lands as well as the numerous crimes committed against the people of Palestine -- which have been condemned by even close Israeli allies.

Several UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israeli actions against Palestinians have been defied by Israel. The US, Israel's number one ally, has also exercised its veto powers to prevent the adoption of nearly 45 anti-Israeli resolutions sought by the council since 1972.

"The oppressive world powers, which enjoy permanent membership in the Security Council, use this world body as an instrument. As a result, the Security Council not only does not help the cause of world security, but also rallies to the assistance of these powers," the Leader continued.

Ayatollah Khamenei also touched upon the 1975 UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 that "determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination".

Resolution 3379 was revoked in 1991 under pressure from the administration of the then US president, George H. W. Bush, after Israel made it a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference.

The 1991 resolution, one of the shortest in UN history, simply reads, 'The General Assembly decides to revoke the determination contained in its resolution 3379 (XXX) of 10 November 1975'.

During Israel's recent military campaign in the Gaza Strip (December 2008-January 2009), the UN passed only a single non-binding resolution, calling on Tel Aviv to stop the bloody offensive.

During the three-week operation, the Israeli military killed nearly 1,350 Palestinians by targeting schools, mosques, hospitals, UN buildings, journalists and medics with all forms of artillery, including prohibited phosphorous bombs.

At the conference in Tehran, criticism was particularly directed at US President Barack Obama, whom Ayatollah Khamenei said is a follower of the same "crooked ways of the Bush administration" in his support for Israel.

"Even the new American president, who came to office with the slogan of bringing change… avows unconditional commitment to Israel's security, which means defending state terrorism, defending injustice and oppression, and defending a 22-day-long massacre of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children," said the Leader.

Ayatollah Khamenei's comments came as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama's Secretary of State, began her first official Middle East visit in Tel Aviv by repeating the commitment of the US in maintaining Israeli interests.

"It is important that the United States always underscore our unshakeable durable and fundamental support for the state of Israel" and "our unrelenting commitment to Israel's security," Secretary Clinton said.

During her Wednesday meetings with senior Israeli officials, Clinton failed to mention the nearly 1,350 Palestinian deaths caused in the war on Gaza and stressed mainly on the need to stop to the launch of home-made rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

Palestinian rocket fire claimed the lives of three Israeli civilians during the conflict.