28 September 2012
H. E. Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
At the High Level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism
(New York, 28 September 2012)
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
I associating myself with NAM statement, and wish to begin by paying tribute to the soul of more than 17,000 Iranian citizens, from high ranking officials to the ordinary people, in particular some of my beloved colleagues, the nuclear scientists, who have been martyred by terrorist groups.
As a country that not only whose nationals have been targeted by terrorist groups, but also its nuclear facilities have been subject to cyber attacks and foreign backed sabotage, we attach special importance to the need to prevent nuclear terrorism.
In our view, nuclear terrorism, regardless of its perpetrators, to be an individual, a group or a State, is any act by any means against any facility where radioactive materials are present or the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons or radiological weapons or material with the intent to cause death or serious injury to people or substantial damage to property or to the environment, or sabotage in nuclear facilities or to compel a nation to do or refrain from doing an act.
Therefore, any such act committed by a State, as certain countries continue to commit such crimes in my country, is a manifestation of nuclear terrorism and consequently a grave violation of the principles of UN Charter and international law.
My delegation stresses that inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities as a fundamental principle must be fully respected. All States have legal obligation to refrain from any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities, whether operational or under construction, or involvement, directly or indirectly, in acts of sabotage in such facilities.
We also reaffirm that the promotion of nuclear security is exclusively the responsibility of State. Security Council must end using such issues as a pretext to act as a legislative body. Instead, it should stick to its charter-based responsibilities and utilize its authority to act against those States undertaking cyber attacks and sabotage in the peaceful nuclear facilities and kill nuclear scientists of other countries.
In our view, issues such as nuclear terrorism should neither be used as a pretext to violate the inalienable right to peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, nor to undermine the urgency and high importance of concrete measures for total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Finally, let’s agree on one principle that any use of a nuclear weapon, whether by States or terrorists, would be catastrophic and the only absolute grantee to prevent its occurrence is total elimination of nuclear weapons.
I thank you Messrs. Co-chairs