6 October, 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Eshagh Al Habib
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
before the First Committee
on All Disarmament and International Security Agenda Items
(New York, 6 October, 2010)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election. I assure you of the cooperation of Iranian delegation and wish you all success.
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Islamic Republic of Iran considers nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in all its aspects as essential components of international security. In our view, the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the highest priority and the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.
Since the 2009 session of the First Committee, the international community has witnessed both discouraging and encouraging signs in the field of disarmament and international security. Adoption of the Recommendations and Follow-on Actions by the 2010 NPT Review Conference, on the one hand, proved the validity and relevance of this Treaty. On the other hand, such a fragile consensus, reached at the end of that Conference, illustrated the vulnerability of this Treaty to non-compliance and discrimination.
A 40-year old non-compliance with nuclear disarmament by Nuclear-Weapon States Parties to the NPT continues to remain its major challenge. Similarly, development of new types of nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons sharing, imposing restrictions to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, as well as cooperation with non-NPT parties are among other challenges to this Treaty.If the NPT is to continue its role in promoting international peace and security, the Nuclear-Weapon States shall prove that they are serious about their responsibilities and obligations to fully implement article VI of the NPT and all commitments they made in the NPT Review Conferences.
Sixty-four years ago, General Assembly, through its first resolution on disarmament, called for the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons. However, this goal has yet to be materialized. While current heightened attention of international community to nuclear disarmament proves the continuity of the desire of all nations to nuclear-weapon-free world, it is also indicative of unfulfilled nuclear disarmament obligations.
During the last year, many euphemistic statements have been made and a Treaty has been signed to reduce Strategic Offensive Arms. Such a Treaty, if ratified, entered into force and fully implemented, can be considered as a positive step in the field of nuclear disarmament. If not, such act and rhetoric surrounding it, would jeopardize the relevance and credibility of the NPT, and by causing more despair and mistrust among nations, would ultimately increase the vulnerability of the international security environment. We, therefore, call for the full compliance of Nuclear-Weapon States with their nuclear disarmament obligations.
Moreover, Iran strongly supports the early start of negotiations by the CD of a Nuclear Weapons Convention to ban all nuclear weapons. The implementation of such a Convention should lead to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons by 2025. Seizing this opportunity, I would like to emphasize on the need to a more comprehensive and coordinated awareness rising in all parts of the world about the dangers posed to the humanity by the very existence of these inhuman weapons.
A certain Nuclear-Weapon State in its latest Nuclear Posture Review, has threatened to use these weapons against some NPT members. It is, therefore, imperative to start negotiations within the CD, to conclude a Convention to assure all Non-Nuclear-Weapon States against the use or threat of use of these weapons.
In dealing with issues related to disarmament and international security, I would like to stress on the need to promote the rule of law rather than the rule of power and to avoid exclusive and discriminatory approaches. I would also like to emphasize the need for ensuring the universality of the three major instruments on WMDs, in particular the NPT. In this context, this meeting should call for the full implementation of the Resolution of the 1995 NPT Review Conference on the establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East. Yet, the Israeli regime which has flouted all international instruments on weapons of mass destruction continues to be the only impediment in the realization of such a zone. It rejected global demands of acceding to the NPT and continued clandestine nuclear weapons program. The said Zionist regime has repeatedly attacked and openly threatened to attack other countries in the region. Theses measures show the grave threat posed by such an irresponsible regime and prove that how much the nuclear weapons in the hands of such a regime could endanger the regional as well as international peace and security.
Accordingly, pending the establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East, the Zionist regime shall be compelled to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, to accede promptly to the NPT and to place all its nuclear facilities under the IAEA full-scope safeguards.
The idea to establish such a Zone in the Middle East has been proposed by Iran in 1974. The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a peace-loving nation and a responsible State in the region, will continue to play a leading role in the realization of this idea.
In this context and as a contribution towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, the Islamic Republic of Iran convened an International Conference on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation in Tehran, on April 2010, with the participation of Foreign Ministers and high-ranking officials from more than 60 countries and regional and international organizations. The motto of the Conference was “Nuclear Energy for every one, Nuclear Weapon for no one” which has largely been loaded during and after the Conference.
In a message to the Conference, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated that from the time of the first use of an atomic weapon, the security of the entire humankind has been threatened and there has been a global consensus on the need for complete elimination of these weapons. Iranian Supreme Leader maintained that any use of or even threat to use nuclear weapons is a “serious and material violation of indisputable rules of humanitarian law and a cogent example of a war crime. Accordingly, we regard the use of these weapons to be illegal and haram [religiously forbidden] and it is incumbent on all to protect humankind from this grave disaster.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a victim of weapons of mass destruction during the 8-year imposed war – waged by former Iraqi regime with the large support of western countries – is firmly committed to pursuing the realization of a world free from weapons of mass destruction. We are in full compliance with our obligations under three major WMD-related legal instruments, namely the NPT, BWC and CWC.
The inalienable right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technology, including fuel-cycle, is one of the basic foundations of the NPT. In order to meet its growing energy needs, Iran is determined to exercise this right. In doing so, Iran takes its responsibilities seriously and its commitment to non-proliferation remains intact. During recent years, Iran has always demonstrated its firm determination to negotiations without preconditions and based on justice and mutual respect.
Iran’s positive response to the requests made, which lead to Tehran Declaration of 17 May 2010, jointly signed by the Foreign Ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey and Brazil on the exchange of nuclear fuel is the most recent one which was largely welcomed by the international community. Indeed, it is a positive step forward which provides an appropriate ground to move in a right direction. It is now up to the other parties to change their past policies and to demonstrate their goodwill.
As regards the Chemical Weapons Convention, we underline that the remaining possessor States Parties must take every necessary measure to meet the final deadline and to destroy all their chemical weapons by 29 April 2012. Failure to meet this deadline would constitute a clear and serious case of non-compliance.
The Conference on Disarmament affected by the international security climate was in deadlock in the last decade. We have supported the reactivation of the CD based on a balanced and comprehensive program of work, which should be responsive to the priorities of all member States. The momentum created in the CD in 2009 could only be kept if we accommodate the concerns of all member states.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we look forward to cooperate towards the successful conclusion of the work of the First Committee.
I thank you.