16 October, 2013
Statement by H.E. Ambassador G.Hossein Dehghani Deputy Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Before the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly
On all disarmament and international security agenda items
New York, 16 October, 2013
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
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I would like to begin by expressing my sincere felicitation to you and other members of the bureau on your well-deserved election. I am confident that your able leadership and diplomatic experience will lead the Committee towards a successful conclusion. I assure you of the fullest cooperation of my delegation and wish you all success.
I wish also to thank the outgoing chair for his efforts in steering the work of the First Committee during its previous session.
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
A short look at disarmament events and developments during the past one year indicates that we had both successes and failures.
Large participation of the heads of State and government and other dignitaries in the first ever UNGA high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament was indeed a success in further consolidating the efforts of international community towards advancing the noble objective of nuclear disarmament.
Strong expressions of support for nuclear disarmament, voiced at the HLM, indicated that it continues to remain the highest priority of international community.
Similarly, strong calls for action at the HLM confirmed, once again, the necessity and urgency of investing further political will by all States to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world at the earliest date.
We are glad that the 3-point action-oriented proposal, presented by President Roohani on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, gained wide support both at the HLM and here in the First Committee.
While the very existence of nuclear weapons continues to pose the gravest threat to the international peace and security, we need to take advantage of the momentum created by the HLM to take forward multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
Recent increased focus on the humanitarian aspects of the use of nuclear weapons is yet another indication that these inhumane weapons should be abolished completely, which is indeed the only absolute guarantee against the threat or use of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear disarmament is not an option, but an imperative. It is both a right and a responsibility. It is a right, since, as proclaimed in the Declaration on the Right to Peace, “the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace”, the realization of which demands the elimination of the threats to peace, the greatest of which is the existence of nuclear weapons, as identified in the SSOD-I Final Document.
It is a responsibility too, because, creating conditions conducive to the enjoyment of the right to peace, particularly nuclear disarmament, is thus the responsibility of all States.
Non-nuclear-weapon States, by giving up nuclear weapon option, have already fulfilled their responsibility, and what they can do in practice, is to render maximum political support for the realization of nuclear disarmament.
On the contrary, since nuclear-weapon States have failed so far in fulfilling their legal obligations and unequivocal commitments for the total elimination of their nuclear arsenal, they have the primary responsibility in nuclear disarmament as reaffirmed in the Final Documents of the SSOD-I and several NPT Review Conferences, in particular in 1995, 2000 and 2010.
Nuclear disarmament is a long overdue legal obligation of the nuclear-weapon States and should be fulfilled without any further delay in an irreversible, transparent and internationally verifiable manner.
Reduction of nuclear weapons is not a substitute for their total elimination. Actual nuclear disarmament can be realized only through dismantling nuclear weapons, their related facilities and means of delivery.
Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, all cases of non-compliance with the nuclear disarmament obligations and unequivocal commitments, such as military and security doctrines justifying the use or threat of use of such weapons, their modernization, sharing nuclear weapons with other States and deploying them in other territories have to come to an end.
Moreover, nuclear-weapon States shall seriously refrain, under any circumstances, from the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State party to the NPT. Any such use or threat of use would be a grave violation of the UN Charter and international law.
After almost seven decades of constant calls by all nations for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, responded merely by some symbolic measures, the world have lost their patience and call for stopping rhetoric and euphemistic remarks, and instead, starting practical nuclear disarmament measures.
NAM draft resolution on follow-up to the HLM is an appropriate action-oriented package in support of all nuclear disarmament initiatives and action plans.
During recent CTBT Article 14 Conference, strong calls for ratification of this instrument by remaining nuclear-weapon States, confirmed once again, that its entry into force is dependent, more than any other factor, on its ratification by these countries.
In the 2012 IAEA ministerial conference on nuclear security, this principle that the primary responsibility for nuclear security rests with individual States is reaffirmed. We stress that measures aimed at strengthening nuclear security must not be used as a pretext or leverage to violate, deny or restrict the inalienable right to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The failure to convene the 2012 conference on establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, due only to Israel’s objection, was an unwelcome development that seriously challenged the integrity and credibility of non-proliferation regime and the consensus agreements of successive NPT Revcons.
Expressions of deep concern over this issue and strong calls for early convening of the Conference, voiced by the overwhelming majority of political groups, States and civil society, during the second NPT prepcom, IAEA general Conference, UNGA HLM, UNGA general debate, CTBT Article 14 Conference, and here in the First Committee, made it crystal clear that the establishment of such a zone, proposed by Iran in 1974, enjoys continued strong international support.
Moreover, strong calls, in all these meetings, for the universality of the NPT in the Middle East, once again proved that the world community is determined to establish a Middle East zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction. This strong call is significant at the time when the clandestine nuclear weapons program of the Israeli regime, as the only non-party to the NPT in the region, seriously threatens regional and international peace and security.
In line with this trend, and in order to avoid further negative consequences of delay in the implementation of the 1995 resolution and the 2010 NPT Revcon plan of action on the Middle East, the conveners of the 2012 Conference must exert utmost pressure on the Israeli regime to compel it to participate in the Conference without any precondition.
While strongly condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria, we believe that its accession to the CWC, is an step towards establishing a WMD-free zone in this volatile region. It provides the world community with an opportunity that should be seized to remove the main impediment in way of establishing such a zone through forcing Israel to accede to all instruments banning WMD, in particular the NPT, and to place all its nuclear activities under the IAEA comprehensive Safeguards.
This bold decision by Syria, based on regional and international initiatives, proved once again that we should always cross the stream where it is shallowest. It also proved that the use of force has lost not only its legitimacy, but also its utility too. It confirmed as well that instead of logic of force, we should resort to the force of logic and diplomacy.
As a party to all instruments banning WMDs, Iran attaches great importance to the inalienable right of all States parties to acquire and have unhindered and non-discriminatory access to material, equipment, technology and know-how for peaceful purposes in all fields, including an inherent right to develop a full national nuclear fuel cycle for peaceful purposes.
The first stage of the new rounds of negotiations between Iran and P5+1 was over today in Geneva on a very positive note, both sides expressing their satisfaction over the progress made at this stage and agreed to convene the next meeting on 7 November. During the first stage, the Iranian delegation led by foreign minister Zarif presented a new proposal to serve as a road map to direct the parties through the negotiations ahead. These negotiations are a serious test for our counterparts specially those western countries present at the table. Except one regime in our region that resorts to every means to have the negotiation failed, the overwhelming number of countries support this process and are looking forward to its success. Seizing this opportunity, I wish to sincerely thank them all.
The Islamic Republic of Iran entered into this negotiations in good faith, hoping that, through a meaningful, time-bound and result-oriented negotiations, the concerns of other parties are removed. In return, we expect that the other parties acknowledge the inherent right of Iran to peaceful use of nuclear energy, including a full national nuclear fuel cycle, and address the Iranian’s concerns, by lifting all multilateral and unilateral sanctions.
Therefore, the other parties should prove their genuine political will by seizing this opportunity to solve this issue.
In conclusion, I would like to stress that to address many important items in the agenda of the First Committee related to old and new problems and emerging challenges in the field of international security and disarmament in our increasingly interconnected world, requires us all to define our goals not by our differences, which only widen the gulf between us, but by our common interests which unites us, and indeed there exists more which unites us than that which divides us. Therefore, let’s safeguard our national interests together with human interests. I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that my delegation will fully cooperate with you and each and every member of the Committee to adopt this approach and make this session of the Committee a success.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.