1 November 2012
Statement by Mr. Reza Najafi
Director for Disarmament and International Security
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
On “Regional Disarmament and Security”
At the Thematic Discussion of the 67th Session of the First Committee
New York, 1 November 2012
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
I would like to associate myself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The establishment of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZ), to ensure that such zones are genuinely free from nuclear weapons, and pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, all Nuclear-Weapon-States are legally committed to accord unconditional permanent negative security assurances to all of the States of such regions, is among the effective measures towards the realization of a world free from nuclear weapons. For that reason, establishment of a NWFZ in the Middle East continues to remain a strategic approach of my country for promoting peace, security and stability in this volatile region. Indeed Iran was the first initiator of the establishment of such a zone in the Middle East in 1974, and based on that initiative, since then, the UN General Assembly has annually adopted the relevant resolution.
However, it is a grave concern and disappointment that despite all international efforts, and the repeated calls by the UN, the Zionist Regime, as the only non-NPT party in the region which is confident of the full support of its stubborn ally, the US, has neither acceded to the NPT, nor placed its un-safeguarded secret nuclear facilities under the full-scope safeguards of the IAEA, and worst, not even denounces nuclear weapons. Consequently, no progress has been made so far in the establishment of a NWFZ in the Middle East.
Given the dark track records of the Zionist regime in aggression, occupation, expansionism and terrorization, the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons is extremely important. The prospect for establishment of such a zone in the Middle East can be enhanced only when few nuclear weapon States abandon their long-standing policy of exempting the Zionist regime of Israel from international law and norms. While the Zionist Regime, by secret development and possession of all types of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear warheads and explicit acknowledgement by its high officials of the ownership of nuclear weapons, is the only source of threat and the single obstacle for the establishment of a NWFZ in the Middle East, we stress that peace and stability cannot be achieved in the Middle East inasmuch as such an irresponsible outlawed regime is outside the NPT continues underground nuclear weapon activities and threaten the peace in the region and beyond.
The Zionist regime’s history is replete with hostilities and threats against countries of the region and the 33-day war with Lebanon and 22-day barbaric attack on Gaza by using prohibited weapons are just two patterns of this regime’s atrocities. Such vicious actions prove that how much nuclear weapon in the hands of such an irresponsible regime could endanger regional as well as international peace and security.
The NPT Review Conferences reaffirmed “the importance of Israel’s accession to the NPT and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards, in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East”. Neglecting the commitments undertaken by States Parties to NPT can only embolden that reckless regime to continue to remain a source of threat and instability in the Middle East by flouting the aspirations of the international community and remaining outside the NPT and the full-scope safeguards regime.
Iran has spared no efforts in supporting meaningful steps aimed at making progress towards the establishment of such a zone. In this connection, in addition to the NPT, Iran has ratified and fully implemented other major treaties banning weapons of mass destruction, namely the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention.
Based on its principled position, the Islamic Republic of Iran actively participated in the 2010 NPT Review Conference and fully supported its consensus “conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions” which includes, inter alia, measures for the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is of the firm belief that an agreed plan of action and timetable for universality of the NPT in the Middle East should be the highest priority at the 2012 Conference on the establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free zone in the Middle East.
We firmly believe that at the 2012 Conference, there should be strong pressure on the Zionist regime, by all parties to the Treaty, in particular Nuclear-Weapon-States, to force this regime to eliminate all its nuclear weapons, to promptly accede to the NPT without any condition as a non-nuclear-weapon party, and place all its nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that the 2012 Helsinki Conference is an NPT conference which has been decided by the States Parties to the NPT and the facilitator should also report only to the 2015 NPT Review Conference and its meetings. It was not a decision by the UN and cannot be considered an UN meeting. There is no UN resolution on this conference. Therefore, the 2012 Conference should be considered as a subsidiary forum of the NPT Review Conference. Consequently, all the rules applicable to the NPT Review Conference should be applied to the 2012 Conference and the basis of any decision must be the decisions already taken consensually by the States Parties to the NPT.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.