1 April 2013
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Golamhossein Dehghani
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Before the 2013 Substantive Session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission
New York, April 1, 2013
In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
I would like to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election and assure you of the full cooperation of my delegation in having a successful meeting.
I also fully associate myself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Although nuclear sciences is among humanity’s greatest achievements and can and should be used to serve the well-being of all human societies, it is equally associated with the most appalling event in history and the greatest genocide and misuse of humanity’s scientific achievements.
Since the horrendous nuclear attacks to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, nuclear disarmament has always been the highest global priority and the very first resolution adopted unanimously by the General Assembly at its first session on January 24, 1946 called for the total elimination of atomic bomb.
Unfortunately, the continued existence of thousands of deployed and non-deployed strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons around the world seriously threaten the international peace and security and the very survival of human civilization.
While considering agenda item on “Recommendations for achieving the objective of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons”, Disarmament Commission should set this as a principle that “there is no legal, political or security reason to justify the possession of nuclear weapons by any country and their total elimination is the only absolute grantee against the threat posed by such weapons”.
As Secretary-General has recently put it, “There are no right hands for wrong weapons”.
We need to make every effort to materialize the commitment made by the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to undertake effective measures to achieve nuclear disarmament.
It is a source of grave concern that certain Nuclear-Weapon-States still continue to allocate billions of dollars to conduct nuclear weapon tests — no matter which means they choose for such tests — to develop new types of nuclear weapons, build new nuclear weapons production facilities and modernize and replace such weapons.
Equally, those countries, in contravention with their obligations under Article VI of the NPT, continue to resort to obsolete nuclear deterrence policy and promote the role and status of nuclear weapons in their security doctrines.
This is also applicable to the Strategic Concept for the Security of the NATO members, which justifies the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, and maintains unjustifiable concepts on international security based on promoting and developing military alliances and nuclear deterrence policies.
We strongly call upon all those States to comply with their explicit legal obligations under the NPT and to exclude completely the possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons from their military and security doctrines.
It is worth mentioning in this context that despite repeated claims of certain Nuclear-Weapon States in regard to compliance with their legal obligations on nuclear disarmament, the latest facts and figures totally question the validity and credibility of such claims.
In this regard we strongly believe that limited bilateral and unilateral arms reductions and merely decommissioning of nuclear weapons are far below the real and effective steps for the total elimination of nuclear weapons and can never be a substitute for the obligation of Nuclear-Weapon-States for complete elimination of all their nuclear weapons in an irreversible, transparent and internationally verifiable manner.
We also believe that the lack of progress in nuclear disarmament is not the only challenge, as some Nuclear-Weapon-States, in clear non-compliance with their legal obligations, are proliferating nuclear weapons horizontally and vertically, including by continuing Nuclear-Weapon-Sharing arrangements with Non-Nuclear-Weapon-States and other Nuclear-Weapon-States as well.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, along with the overwhelming majority of States, maintains its principled position that the total elimination of nuclear weapons, as the highest priority, is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of such weapons.
In this regard, we emphasize the high priority and urgency of starting negotiations on Nuclear Weapons Convention to prohibit their possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use, and to provide for their destruction.
Likewise, we call for starting negotiations, without any further delay, on a universal legally binding instrument on effective, unconditional, non-discriminatory and irrevocable security assurances by all Nuclear-Weapon States to all Non-Nuclear-Weapon States Parties to the NPT against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the best way to guarantee the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, in addition to the full and non-selective implementation of all NPT provisions, is to assure its universality, in particular in the Middle East, where the nuclear weapons program of the only non-party to this Treaty, assisted by certain Nuclear-Weapon States, seriously threatens regional and international peace and security.
To overcome this problem, Iran proposed the establishment of a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East in 1974. Nevertheless, despite the adoption of numerous resolution by the General Assembly and also adoption of the Resolution on the Middle East by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, efforts to establish such a zone have not yet succeeded due to the persistent refusal of the Israeli regime to join the NPT and to place all its nuclear facilities under the IAEA comprehensive safeguards.
In this regard and as an important development, I should refer to the cancellation of the 2012 Conference on the Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East.
Although, in its relevant statement, the United States claimed that “States in the region have not reached agreement on acceptable conditions for a conference”, the truth is that the Islamic Republic of Iran and all Arab countries had already announced their readiness to participate in the Conference, and the Israeli regime was the only one who rejected to take part in that Conference; a fact that even the United States itself could not cover it up and stated in its statement that the United States “would not support a conference in which any regional state would be subject to pressure or isolation.”
We continue to strongly reject any precondition regarding the Conference, whatsoever and by whomsoever, including for the participation therein, and stresses that there should be strong pressure on that regime, to participate in the Conference without any precondition.
We fully associate ourselves with the relevant statement issued then by the Non-Aligned Movement in which NAM strongly rejected the alleged impediments presented by the Conveners for not convening the Conference on schedule, and urged them all to convene the Conference in accordance with the mandate entrusted to them by the Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference in order to avoid any negative repercussions on the relevance and credibility of the NPT, its 2015 Review process and the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime as a whole.
The Islamic Republic of Iran once again would like to make it clear that the decision on the 2012 Conference was adopted consensually by the NPT States Parties and accordingly, not only any decision on that shall be made by the NPT Review Conference itself, but also the Rules of Procedures of the NPT Review Conferences shall fully apply to the Middle East Conference, including its preparatory process.
In the Final Document of the SSOD-I, the General Assembly has highly emphasized the need for removal of the threat of nuclear weapons and their total elimination, as well as prevention of proliferation of such weapons, and by identifying nuclear disarmament as the highest priority, mandated the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC) to follow up the relevant decisions and recommendations of that Session, including on nuclear disarmament.
Despite many achievements by the Commission, it is regrettable that during its lifetime, this body has not been able to formulate an exclusive set of recommendations on Nuclear Disarmament and total elimination of nuclear weapons.
The Commission therefore is highly expected to accord priority to and focus on nuclear disarmament and total elimination of nuclear weapons as the long-delayed part of its mandate.
For such an obvious reason, the UNDC agenda item on nuclear disarmament, as decided by the General Assembly, is of outmost relevance and importance.
In conclusion, my delegation reaffirms the important role and function of the UNDC, as the deliberative body of the General Assembly mandated to consider and make recommendations on major disarmament issues.
Indeed, the formulation of more than a dozen of principles, guidelines and recommendations by the UNDC in the past is indicative of its important role and relevance.
The Islamic Republic of Iran stands ready to fully cooperate with other delegations during the current cycle of the Commission to overcome the existing stalemate in the Commission, which in our view, is rooted in the lack of genuine political will on the part of certain countries.
We are also looking forward, Mr. Chairman, to working with you and all delegations to have a successful session of the Commission.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.