Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Image Credit: Reuters

United Nations: Iran’s foreign minister used his speech for the 75th anniversary of the United Nations to accuse the United States of initiating or joining eight wars since 200 that displaced 37 million people and resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and “unprecedented extremism”.

Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a virtual speech to the UN General Assembly that it was time for the 193-member world body “to recommit itself to stand up -- united -- against unilateralism and war” promoted by the United States.

Zarif’s speech had scheduled to be broadcast on September 21 when world leaders commemorated the UN’s 75th anniversary. But there were so many speakers that the speeches of 58 leaders and ministers were carried over and only shown Monday, two days after UN Day, which commemorates the entry into force of the UN Charter that officially established the United Nations on October 24, 1945.

Zarif quoted a study released last month by Brown University’s Costs of War project that estimated the United States’ wars since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 have forced at least 37 million people to flee their homes in the eight most violent conflicts -- Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines.

“How can we counter the unilateralism and disdain for international law by a bully that only knows wielding a big stick and speaking arrogantly?” Zarif asked, also citing US with battles American Indian tribes, the Civil War that ended slavery, and what he called “economic wars’’ resulting from US sanctions.

“In fact, no one wins in a war,” the Iranian minister said. “It’s time to change tack - saving American blood and treasure and sparing the world from further misery.”