28 October 2013

 Statement by Mr. Mostafa Shishechiha Deputy Director of Disarmament and International Security Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran

On: Outer Space (Disarmament Aspects)

At the Thematic Debate of the 68th Session of the First Committee

New York, 28 October 2013

بسم الله

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

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Mr. Chairman,

The Islamic Republic of Iran associates itself with the statement made by Indonesia on behalf of the Non- Aligned Movement.
My delegations strongly reaffirms this universally agreed principle that outer space is the common heritage and province of all mankind and must be explored and utilized exclusively for peaceful purposes and for the benefit of present and future generations of all peoples.
Iran also underlines the full observance of the principles of non-ownership of the outer space and the freedom of all States and their sovereign equality in discovery of and research in outer space. In this context, we stress the need for promoting non-discriminatory cooperation and mutual assistance in these areas.
Furthermore, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the principle of non-intervention in the program of other States for exploring and utilizing outer space for peaceful purposes should also be fully respected.
Likewise, the principle of non-interference in the activities of States for using the space-related technology needs to be fully observed.
In this regard, we would like to stress that space science and technology should be utilized in accordance with the international law and the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, in particular promotion of international peace and security.
In our view, space science and technology and their applications, such as satellite communications, earth observation systems and satellite navigation technologies are indispensable tools for sustainable development.
In fact, such technologies can contribute effectively to development efforts in different regions of the world, to improve lives of the peoples, to conserve natural resources, and to enhance the preparedness for disasters and alleviation of their consequences.
Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran stresses that access to outer space through space science, techniques, and technologies should be available to all countries without any restriction or discrimination.
Iran strongly opposes any measure aimed at turning the space and space technology into a monopoly of a few countries. In our view, monopolization of outer space is neither a legitimate option nor achievable.
Relying on its own indigenous space technology, the Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to continue its long-term plan to explore and utilize space for peaceful purposes. These include the establishment of monitoring and prediction system of rice yields using satellite imagery, continuing satellite monitoring and control of environment and natural resources, modeling and prediction of drought, tele-medicine project based on space technology, and remote sensing laboratory.

Mr. Chairman,

The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly underlines the significance of prevention of arms race in outer space and is deeply concerned over the negative implications of weaponization of space.
In our view, the development of projects under the pretext of missile defense systems, as well as the pursuit of advanced military technology capable of being deployed in outer space contribute to the further erosion of an international climate conducive to strengthening of disarmament and international security.
Given the inadequacy of existing legal instruments to deter an arms race in outer space, and taking into account the attempts aimed at the weaponization of outer space, in order to seek military and strategic superiority therein, which would endanger international peace and security, Iran shares the view that the prevention of an arms race in outer space requires greater urgency.
Anti-missiles system development by the U.S. under the pretext of so-call missiles threat is only aiming to get the supremacy over other nuclear-weapon States in Europe neighborhood and Far East.
It is extremely difficult for the international disarmament observers to get convinced that the main reason for spending billions of dollars for the development of an anti-missiles system, origin of which comes from the so-called “Star War” in 1980s, is against purely defensive missile programs of a couple of other countries.
Definitely, hosting this missile system will not add to the security of the host countries in east of Europe and elsewhere or the security of the country operating such system. It would be only a trigger of a new arms race.
In regard to some new initiatives on outer space, we fully support the position of the Non- Aligned Movement in underlining the importance of adopting a universal, non-discriminatory, and comprehensive approach, and stressing that any proposal or initiative on outer space should be pursued within the competent United Nations bodies and any possible decision thereon should be made by consensus.
Before concluding, Mr. Chairman, I would also like to introduce, on behalf of Egypt, Indonesia and my own delegation, the draft decision contained in document A/C.1/68/L.8 entitled “Missiles”, submitted by our delegations to the First Committee. In line with the position of the Non-Aligned Movement for addressing the important issue of missiles in all its aspects within the framework of the UN, Iran has already initiated the resolution on missiles which has regularly been adopted by the General Assembly since 1999. We will continue this initiative and hope that it would be adopted again by consensus.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.

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