In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly this week, Islamic Republic of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi took a tough stance on the United States and Israel while staunchly defending the regime’s nuclear agenda. Leading up to his visit to New York, many opposed allowing him to enter the U.S. and even advocated for denying him a visa. This comes as Iranian citizens are currently protesting the Islamic government for the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Islamic morality police over her improper hijab.
In his opening, Raisi praised the 1979 Islamic Revolution led by former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who succeeded the Shah after he was toppled.
He praised his regime for practicing “justice” while governments around the world were purveyors of “injustice.”
Raisi stated that countries like the U.S. and other Western nations have a “double standard” in talking about human rights and criticism of the Islamic government. Raisi offered the example of “mass graves discovered in Canada and the Palestinian’s right to life” arguing they have not been addressed by the international community and claiming that Iran has been “falsely accused” by many nations over its handling of human rights.
The Iranian President then attacked the U.S. and its hegemonic presence in the world, claiming that the American foreign policy has resulted in numerous human rights violations through military intervention and coups, leading to the deaths of thousands of “Iraqis, Syrian, Afghanis, and Yemenis.” He then stated that the Islamic Republic only seeks its “fair and logical right” to become strong against what he described as the “oppressors of the world.” Raisi concluded his opening remarks by stating that the Islamic Revolution was to “seek her own place in the world,” arguing that the Islamic government stands against “terrorism” from countries trying to overthrow the regime.
The Iranian President then directed his ire toward former President Donald Trump and his administration, arguing that he had behaved in a “criminal manner,” referring to the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds-force General Qasem Soleimani. Raisi then pulled out a large photograph of the general calling him a “beloved freedom seeking man who became a martyr.” Raisi claimed that President Trump had engaged in a “savage and murderous crime” against Iranians, declaring that the Islamic regime seeks a “fair tribunal to bring to justice” members of the U.S. government who engaged in killing the “beloved martyr.”
“Our wish is only one thing: observance of commitments,” Raisi said when talking about the pullout by the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. The Iranian President questioned whether Iran could “truly trust without guarantees and assurances” that the U.S. will live up to its commitments under a new nuclear agreement. Raisi claimed that it was America who “trampled upon the nuclear accord,” blasting what he described as lopsided scrutiny of Iran’s nuclear activities while Israel’s nuclear program remains a secret.
Raisi also told the audience that Iran wants “extensive relations with all our neighbors,” referring to countries like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries that fear the regime’s growing presence in the region. Raisi outlined that the Islamic regime is the “true friend” to many of the neighboring countries in the Middle East, not other nations calling for dialogue and negotiations with Iran.
Regarding Israel, Raisi stated that the “Zionist regime has created one of the worst prisons against the Palestinian people in Gaza.” Raisi denounced what he described as the “savagery of Israel,” blaming the deaths of Palestinian children on Israel and criticizing the expansion of settlements. “The world powers must show why they keep running away and evading the solutions proposed by the Islamic Republic of Iran to resolve the Palestinian crisis,” explained Raisi.
According to the Iranian President, economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S. and other countries have damaged Iran, calling them a “punishment on the people of Iran.” Raisi then argued that nations implementing economic sanctions against Iran are “helping oppression take root.” Raisi then stated that Iran has managed to circumvent the maximum pressure campaign and will continue to do so.
In his closing remarks, Raisi called for a bevy of demands from the international community, like the “respect of peoples and nations by not meddling in their internal affairs, elimination of double standards, standing up against war and standing for independence.”
Outside the U.N. headquarters, Iranian Americans from New York to Los Angeles gathered around federal buildings, streets, and near the U.N., protesting the Iranian President’s speech, standing in solidarity with Iranian citizens protesting the Islamic regime. Many protesters held signs of Mahsa Amini, who was murdered at the hands of the regime, while chanting for the downfall of Raisi and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Many human rights activists and protesters and these events condemned the Biden administration for allowing the Iranian President to give his address at the U.N., calling for the U.S. and other Western countries to unite behind the people of Iran and crackdown on the Islamic government.