30 March 2010
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Eshagh Al Habib
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
before the United Nations Disarmament Commission
2010 Substantive Session
(30 March 2010)
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I would like to begin by congratulating you on your election as the Chairman of the Disarmament Commission. I am confident that under your able leadership coupled with the professional assistance from the Secretariat, the Commission will have a fruitful session this year.
My delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Substantive agenda item one, dealing with the issue of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, is of great relevance to international security. The greatest threat to international and regional security and human civilization arises from the continued existence of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapon States in 21st century continue to believe in doctrines which justify achieving security by reliance on nuclear arsenals and threatening the lives of millions of men, women, and children.
The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly believes that the most effective way to remove the nuclear threat is the total elimination of nuclear weapons. At the time of its conclusion, the NPT was seen as a genuine promise to rid the world from the nuclear nightmare. However, after forty years since the entry into force of the NPT, the nuclear threat has persisted until now, and a real progress towards nuclear disarmament has yet to be achieved. Still, more than 25,000 nuclear weapons continue to exist. The public opinion around the world is extremely weary of the continuation of this situation, and rightly expects the nuclear weapons states to take expeditious and concrete actions to fulfill their contractual obligations with regard to nuclear disarmament.
Against this backdrop, the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with the overwhelming majority of member states, maintains its position that elimination of nuclear weapons remains the highest priority for the international community.
In the recent decade, there have been certain developments that have given rise to the pervasive concern that some nuclear weapon States have no genuine intention of accomplishing their disarmament obligations under the NPT bargain. If the NPT is to endure, it is essential that the nuclear weapon States prove that they are serious about their commitments.
We look forward to the fulfillment by some nuclear weapon States of their stated intention to come into full compliance with their nuclear disarmament obligations under the NPT. While the recent movement is a necessary step in the right direction, however, neither the speed nor the scope of such movement is sufficient in implementing the nuclear disarmament part of the NPT. Limited bilateral and unilateral arms reductions are far below the international expectations for real and effective steps towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons and can never be a substitute for the obligation of nuclear weapon States, namely the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Such reductions should go beyond the decommissioning of nuclear weapons. To be effective, reductions in nuclear weapons must be irreversible, internationally verifiable and transparent.
Our efforts in this Commission should be aimed at reinforcing the interrelated pillars of the NPT, a treaty that is the foundation of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the best way to guarantee the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is the full and non-selective implementation of the NPT, and assuring its universality. In this context, failure in implementation of effective measures of nuclear disarmament increases the danger of proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The lack of implementation of the nuclear disarmament obligations is not the only challenge facing the NPT. Some nuclear weapon States are proliferating nuclear weapons horizontally and vertically by transferring nuclear weapons technology and materials to non-parties to the NPT, by developing new types of nuclear weapons or modernizing them, and by continuing nuclear weapon-sharing arrangements with non-nuclear-weapons states, particularly through the deployment of nuclear weapons in the NATO European countries. The Commission needs to reflect on these challenges and to recommend ways and means to address them.
Nuclear weapon States are sending conflicting signals on the non-proliferation. For instance, on the one hand, they say they want to prevent proliferation by strengthening the NPT. On the other hand, by allocating and spending billions of dollars to improve their arsenals, they send very strong signals that they want to retain nuclear weapons, and continue to view them as vital for their security. If further proliferation is to be prevented, the nuclear weapon States have to take serious and systematic steps in de-emphasizing the role and importance of nuclear weapons.
The universality of the NPT, in particular in the regions of tension should be vigorously promoted. In this context, the implementation of 1995 Resolution on the Middle East as a zone free from nuclear weapons is an essential measure. The Israeli regime is the only non-party to the NPT in the Middle East region. Its unlawful nuclear weapons program, which has been assisted by France, seriously threatens both regional and international peace and security, and has blocked the achievement of universality of non-proliferation treaty in the Middle East region.
The right of all NPT States parties to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes without discrimination constitutes one of the basic pillars of the Treaty. The balance between rights and obligations, which is the basis of any sound legal instrument, guarantees the longevity of the NPT by providing incentives for membership and compliance. Non-proliferation measures or further progress in strengthening safeguards must not prejudice national development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy or cooperation among NPT States parties for peaceful uses.
The inalienable rights of the States parties extend to all aspects of peaceful technologies, and are not limited to specific areas. The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to pursue all legal aspects of nuclear technology, including fuel cycle, exclusively for peaceful purposes. No one should cherish the illusion that any proposals or measures, which amount to cessation or even suspension of a lawful activity under the IAEA supervision, will be accepted.
In this context, while I have the floor I would like to address Spain’s statements made yesterday on behalf of the European Union regarding Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. I place on record that Iran’s commitment to the NPT is steadfast. I do not dignify the rest of comments made by the EU representative other than to reject them. We urge the EU members to abandon their false assumptions and rhetoric about Iran’s nuclear program and to respect the right of Iranian nation to nuclear technology under the NPT. The EU members should focus on addressing the real threats emanating from hundreds of nuclear weapons deployed in their continent rather than concentrating on imaginary proliferation risks and obfuscation of IAEA reports.
I now turn to substantive agenda item on draft declaration of forth disarmament decade. In the last year session, the Working Group had a good start and engaged in serious deliberations. Apart from the counterproductive positions taken by France, there was a general agreement that the declaration should be a reflection of agreed principles, priorities and objectives of international community in the field of disarmament. In this year session, Iran’s delegation is looking forward to working with other delegations and the Chair of the Working Group to conclude the deliberations and adopt a balanced declaration. Such a result will enable the Commission in its next year session to devote sufficient time to the issue of CBMs in the field of conventional weapons.