Open Letter – Reaction to President Raisi’s speech at the United Nations General Assemblee 77
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Dr. Ebrahim Raisi
Bussum, 25 September 2022
Greetings from the Netherlands in Europe! The press section of the Iranian embassy in the Netherlands sent us your speech for the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. We are grateful for the opportunity to give our feedback.
But first please allow me to briefly introduce myself and Peace SOS. Thank you for mentioning the pure souls of great prophets, “Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad”. They are also an inspiration to me, May-May Meijer, founder of Peace SOS. I have visited the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem and several mosques in Turkey. At Peace SOS, we cherish life. We strive towards peace via peaceful means, upholding human rights and combatting poverty. Let me now turn to your speech.
Thank you for elaborating in the beginning of your speech upon the importance of justice. Peace and justice go hand in hand. Later in your speech you draw attention to the fact that war is not the solution to crises but that the way to solve crises is through dialogue and understanding. We agree with you totally. You mention the sadness of the killing of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi, Yemeni, Syrian, and Afghan children. We cry for these children too. At Peace SOS, our local partner has provided food and clothes to people in refugee camps in Yemen. We hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran will contribute to facilitate dialogue with these countries and help to contribute to peace via peaceful means. We advocate to release all child soldiers in Yemen and everywhere in the world from their ranks. It would be wonderful if Your Excellency can help with this issue. In addition, we are concerned about the FSO Safer tanker in Yemen before the port of Hodeidah and hope it will be dismantled soon.
We fully agree with you, Your Excellency, that the life of Canadian indigenous communities need to be respected and that it is tragic that the children were buried in mass graves in schoolyards, that the Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live in peace, that their lives need to be respected, that refugees should be cared for, and that refugee children shouldn’t be separated from their parents. At Peace SOS, our local angels on the ground regularly provide vegetables in Gaza.
You also mention nuclear weapons in your speech. From our conversations with the Iranian embassy, we learned that nuclear weapons are haram in Islam. We fully agree with you. It is important to cherish life, and weapons of mass destruction are the opposite of this. We advocate all countries to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons so that they will never be used again. In addition, we hope that the JCPOA will be revived.
We are also very worried about the war in Ukraine. Mass graves have been found. Every day, five children die because of the war in Ukraine. This needs to stop. All lives need to be respected, including the lives of civilians and soldiers. We hope that peace will come via peace negotiations, as was done with the grain exports via the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Threatening to use nuclear weapons is a low point for humanity. Furthermore, we assume that the relations of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the Russian Federation are relatively good. Maybe Your Excellency can help to bring President Putin to the peace negotiation table led by Mr António Guterres, and contribute to end the war in Ukraine via peaceful means?
We hope that you will allow us to also comment on the recent death of Mahsa Amini. We heard that she died because she didn’t want to cover herself, which is tragic. We hope that all women will be free in Iran to choose for themselves if they want to cover themselves or not and that women and men have the same rights by law in Iran.
In addition, at Peace SOS we hope that the death penalty will be abolished; that prisoners of conscience will be released (such as in the Evin prison); that all other prisoners will be treated well and that minorities (people with another religion, people with a different sexual orientation, etc.) will be treated the same as all other people in Iran.
May God bless you and all people in Iran and may we soon see: A World in Which All Children Can Play.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Peace and best wishes,
Dr. May-May Meijer