4 May 2009
Statement by H.E. Mr. Mohammad Ali Hosseini
Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Before the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee
Of 2010 NPT Review Conference
New York, 4-15 May 2009
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
At the outset allow me to congratulate you on your election as the chairman of the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference. I am sure that under your skillful chairmanship this session would lead to a successful result.
I would also like to associate my delegation with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Cuba on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Our present world is suffering from important challenges, namely injustices and double-standard policies and practices. Unfortunately, certain States, which deem themselves as the guarantors for peace and security and protectors of international treaties, let themselves take illegal measures, disregard their obligations and continue to weaken international bodiesbodies that their main task is to serve nations and countries of the world.
40 years ago, the international community was informed of one of its significant achievements towards establishing peace and security throughout the world, namely the conclusion of the NPT as a cornerstone of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. In spite of its shortcomings, specifically its inherent discrimination between haves and have-nots, it was expected that the treaty would make a fundamental change towards
disarmament of nuclear weapons and enhancing prosperity for the mankind.
Based on this Treaty, non-nuclear weapon States committed to forgo the nuclear weapon option, and nuclear weapon States undertook to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. Moreover, these two pillars of the NPT were complemented by the third pillar namely Article IV on the inalienable right of all parties to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for
peaceful purposes and promote the nuclear cooperation in this regard.
Today, after four decades, we have to ask ourselves where we stand now. A review of the past decades and the current status of the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty could lead us to have a full picture of, and a better judgment on, the achievements of the international community under this Treaty.
Regretfully, such a review shows a continued unbalanced, discriminatory and double-standard approach in implementing the Treaty.
The non-compliance of Nuclear Weapon States with their obligations of nuclear disarmament, stipulated in article VI, is still threatening international peace and security. The international community has serious concerns regarding the policies and actions of some nuclear weapon States, particularly the US, UK and France, because of the continued existence of thousands of nuclear weapons in the hands of these States. The international
community has, also, serious concerns on vertical and horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons, transfer and commissioning nuclear weapons in the territory of non-nuclear weapon States, lowering the threshold of resorting to nuclear weapons, and the risk of using these inhumane weapons against non nuclear weapon States. These facts have seriously questioned the delicate balance envisaged between rights and obligations of haves and have-nots in the Treaty. This situation is more alarming when we note the trend to resort to the threat of use of these brutal weapons as a means to achieve political objectives.
This is a very legitimate question among non-nuclear weapon States that what they have achieved through joining this Treaty. And, how long should they wait to witness the noble goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, as enshrined in the NPT, to come into reality? The international community has the right to be assured that a similar nightmare and human tragedy which was imposed on innocent peoples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never happen again.
In spite of failure of the nuclear weapon States to fulfill their obligations under the Treaty, the non-nuclear weapon States, for the sake of mankind and hoping to achieve the lofty objectives of NPT, accepted at 1995 Conference to extend the Treaty indefinitely. Thus, the International community gave another chance to nuclear weapon States to demonstrate their goodwill. The 2000 NPT Review Conference was a hope to salvage the Treaty which could no longer stand only on its unbalanced and shaky pillars.
But what happened afterwards?
The developments after the year 2000 not only were frustrating but made a great setback to the objectives of the NPT. The adoption of a policy of negation, denial and refusal by certain nuclear weapon States of their unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the elimination of their nuclear arsenals jeopardized the future of the Treaty and endangered the prospect of peace and security in the world. Unfortunately after the progress made in the 2000 NPT Review Conference, the US first rejected “the unequivocal undertakings by the nuclear weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament,” and later on, even one of its senior officials claimed that “obligations under Article VI do not exist” at all. As a result of such a policy, the 2005 NPT Review Conference failed to have any substantive outcome.
The above mentioned developments were not the only reasons for growing concerns of non-nuclear weapon States. Many other cases of noncompliance and violation of the provisions of the NPT have seriously challenged its principles and objectives. In this context, I only review some examples of non-compliance cases occurred by US, France and UK which are fully reflected in our presented Working Papers, in order that this committee finds concrete solutions to address those concerns and gives tangible recommendations to the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The examples are as follows:
- Persistent refusal by the nuclear weapon States to fulfill 13 practical steps as a part of their unequivocal undertaking, agreed upon by consensus in 2000, to accomplish nuclear disarmament;
- The continuation of nuclear weapon-sharing arrangements with nonnuclear-weapon States in contravention of Article I and II of the NPT, particularly through the deployment of nuclear weapons in the NATO European countries, as recently acknowledged by Germany’s Foreign Minister;
- Vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons through development of
new types of nuclear weapons and modernization of the old nuclear arsenals;
- Rejection of any commitment to grant NSAs (Negative Security Assurances) to the non-nuclear-weapon States, and even threatening to use nuclear weapons against them;
- Advancing new doctrines to justify the reliance on nuclear weapons, especially by stressing their essential role as an effective tool for achieving security goals and foreign policy objectives, and targeting non-nuclear weapon States parties to the Treaty;
- Horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons through providing nuclear equipment, material and technology to non-parties to the NPT in violation of Article III- Paragraph 2 and jeopardizing the universality of the Treaty;
In this context, continuous nuclear cooperation of United States, UK and France with the Zionist Regime is a total disregard with the obligations under the Treaty and commitments undertaken in 1995 and 2000, and a source of real concern for the international community specially the parties to the Treaty in the Middle East. The Zionist Regime’s nuclear weapon facilities and arsenals are real threats to all countries of the region and to the international peace and security. The defiance of this regime to international calls to accede to the Treaty has been the main obstacle in realizing a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East.
It is noteworthy that the recent brutal attacks by the Zionist Regime against its neighbors under absurd excuses, and its massacre of civilians, including women and children in Gaza through using internationally prohibited and devastating weapons, such as those containing phosphor and depleted uranium, and defying any call by the international community to stop the bloodshed of the innocent peoples, all show how serious the threat of such a racist and aggressive regime is. Needless to say how much nuclear weapons in the hands of such a regime could endanger the regional as well as international peace and security and would lead to a catastrophe.
While non-compliance of nuclear weapon States with their nuclear disarmament obligations has frustrated non-nuclear weapon States, developing countries also suffer from other discriminatory and doublestandard approaches towards implementation of Article IV, aimed at depriving them from exercising their legitimate and inalienable rights.
Certain States are constantly violating the provisions of Article IV of the NPT which provides for the international cooperation and transfer of peaceful nuclear technologies to the NPT States parties. Contrary to such obligations, few nuclear weapon States are imposing unilateral restrictions against the NPT States parties, in particular developing countries. Gross violations of Article IV obligations by certain States in depriving the States parties from exercising their inalienable right, instrumental use of international organizations and imposing illegal and unilateral sanctions are matters of great concern for the developing countries, and indeed undermine the credibility and the future of the Treaty.
This issue should seriously be followed in the upcoming Review Conference. Full implementation of article IV of the Treaty and compliance with obligations including facilitating international cooperation in this regard should be verified by the IAEA and violators should compensate damages to the State Parties.
In this context, the recent unprecedented decision of NSG, an exclusive and non-transparent Group which claims to have been established to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, has also severely damaged the NPT. The recent decision of this group is another clear violation of paragraph 2 of Article III. This decision, taken under US political pressure, represents a clear violation of nuclear weapon States commitment under the Decision on Principles and Objectives of 1995 and the Final Document of 2000 Review Conferences to promote the universality of the NPT. Therefore the NSG decision has seriously damaged the credibility and integrity of the Treaty. Such a decision is another manifestation of double-standard and discrimination in implementing the provisions of the Treaty and gives wrong signal that being outside the NPT is more privileged and even awarded.
Let me touch upon another important issue. Today, non-proliferation like the other two pillars of the NPT faces serious challenges mostly originating from the non-compliance of some nuclear weapon States with their obligations under article I and VI of the NPT. Some nuclear weapon States in contravention to their commitments under Article VI, by continuing to resort to nuclear deterrence as their defense and security doctrine, instead of taking practical steps towards nuclear disarmament, have accelerated the nuclear arms race. By maintaining and modernizing their nuclear arsenals and their horizontal proliferation through transfer of nuclear technologies and weapon grade materials to non-parties, these nuclear weapon States have also contributed to the emergence of new nuclear weapon possessors, in clear violation of their obligations under Article I.
The NPT Review Conference and its Preparatory Committee can not easily overlook that certain nuclear weapon States, in contravention to their legal undertakings, promote the role and status of nuclear weapons in their defense and security doctrines and spread these weapons to the others. Nonimplementation of Article I by these States and lack of any guarantee for verification of obligations of such violators have created serious challenges towards principles and purposes of the Treaty. While these States have undertaken under the NPT to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, not only they are not fulfilling this commitment, but they are further developing these weapons or transferring them to others.
In recent years, efforts have been made to turn the multi-faceted NPT into a single-goal Treaty. In this context, unfortunately the nuclear disarmament obligations have been totally overlooked, and access to peaceful nuclear materials and technologies has been denied. At the same time, obligations of the non-nuclear weapon States on non-proliferation have been overemphasized. A revisionist approach has tried to impose deeper and more extreme restrictions on access to peaceful nuclear technology. This revisionist approach towards non-proliferation, has sought to monopolize nuclear technology only to nuclear weapon States and their few stanch allies.
Additionally, these countries, who themselves have developed nuclear weapons, imposed restrictions on the NPT States parties that believe nuclear energy should not be turned into weapons. Furthermore, it seems that, in their view, clandestine development of nuclear weapons by those outside the NPT is justifiable, and worse, the nuclear programs of these countries are supported through cooperation and transferring nuclear technology, materials and equipments. It is a matter of great concern that such an approach has been applied to the Israeli regime’s nuclear weapon program that is a stanch ally of certain nuclear weapon States. Under the current trend, it is quite predictable that unlawful possession of nuclear weapons by the Israeli regime, which was publicly acknowledged by its former Prime Minister, is even awarded.
The Review Conference and its Preparatory Committee should address the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons by nuclear weapon States in a clear-cut manner to demonstrate that the current approach of these States has created a dangerous future for the international community. It is essential that all proliferation cases occurred by certain nuclear weapon States be identified and examined. The NPT could only last and be widely supported by States Parties, as long as nuclear weapon States fulfill their obligations under the Treaty.
It should be reaffirmed that total elimination of nuclear weapons is the sole firm and objective guarantee against use or threat to use of these weapons. In this context, taking practical measures specially starting negotiations on a convention on prohibition of production, development, acquiring, stockpiling, transfer and use of nuclear weapons once forever and within a limited timeframe as was emphasized in the NAM statement is vital to materialize this noble goal.
The US officials have recently pledged to change their approach toward nuclear weapons and have expressed their intention to move towards nuclear disarmament. Given the facts of the past 40 years, the international community has noticed that such pledges have never been materialized. It is, therefore, essential that the words be translated into actions and
implementation in a transparent, verifiable and irreversible manner. On the top of the list of measures that the US could take to reverse its noncompliances with the Treaty, is to forgo its aggressive Nuclear Posture Review and old doctrine of nuclear deterrence.
They should also reaffirm their obligations under the 1995 and 2000 NPT Review Conferences and to promptly implement those commitments in a transparent and irreversible manner. Continued nuclear cooperation with the Zionist regime is in clear contradiction with the recent announced position of the US towards the NPT. In this context they have to stop any nuclear cooperation with the Zionist regime, and to implement the resolution on the Middle East adopted at 1995 NPT Extension and Review Conference and urge it to immediately accede to the NPT and eliminate its nuclear arsenals. Only through implementing these measures and taking prompt steps in this regard, the international community could then judge about their goodwill, seriousness and determination towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
In Conclusion, the above-mentioned cases of non-compliance and violations of the NPT, the non-compliance of certain nuclear weapon States with their obligations particularly the provisions of Article I, IV and VI of the NPT has put the future of the Treaty at stake. Now the major task of this Committee and upcoming Review Conference should be consideration and adoption of practical measures to prevent such violations in order to preserve the credibility and integrity of the NPT.
Since there were some references in today’s meeting to Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities, I wish to make some comments in this regard. We express concern on some premature statements made in this regard, specifically that of the EU, which selectively referred to a specific party to the NPT whose nuclear programs is under the IAEA Safeguards and has been exclusively for peaceful purposes, while the said statements totally ignored the serious
security threats posed by non-parties possessing nuclear weapons. Such attitudes and approaches, which tend to challenge parties to the same treaty, undoubtedly jeopardize the cooperative environment desperately needed for successful Preparatory Committee and consequently the Review Conference. By the same token, the reference made to a State Party and a nonparty in equal footing by the Secretary General was also discouraging.
At the end, I would like to reiterate that the Iranian nation as a peaceloving nation spares no efforts towards achieving the world’s stability and peace and a world free of nuclear weapons.
Thank you Mr. Chairman