31 October 2013
Explanation of Vote of the Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran
On Draft Resolution:
“Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East”
At the 68th Session of the First Committee
New York, 31 October 2013
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
I would like to explain the position of my delegation regarding draft resolution on the “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East”, contained in document: A/C.1/68/L.1.
As it is well known, establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East was proposed by Iran in 1974. Since then, the General Assembly has uninterruptedly adopted resolutions endorsing this proposal. Through such resolutions, the GA has recognized that the establishment of this zone would greatly enhance regional as well as international peace and security.
Likewise, the Assembly, in its historic Final Document of the SSOD-I, reaffirmed that “Pending the establishment of such a zone in the region, States of the region should solemnly declare that they will refrain on a reciprocal basis from producing, acquiring or in any other way possessing nuclear weapons and nuclear explosive devices and from permitting the stationing of nuclear weapons on their territory by any third party, and agree to place all their nuclear activities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.”
However, it is a source of grave concern that despite repeated calls by the international community, in particular the IAEA, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, Review Conferences of the NPT, as well as successive Summit and Ministerial Conferences of the Non-Aligned Movement, Israeli regime has not acceded to the NPT. Consequently, no progress has been made so far in the establishment of such a zone in the Middle East.
Possession of a large arsenal of nuclear weapons, clandestine nuclear weapons program and unsafeguarded nuclear facilities of Israeli regime is the only obstacle for the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in this volatile region.
Therefore, in order to pave the way for the establishment of that zone, as a first step, Israel should eliminate all its nuclear weapons, accede, as a non-nuclear-weapon party, to the NPT without any further delay and precondition, and place all its nuclear facilities under the IAEA comprehensive safeguards.
I should stress in this regard that the full and prompt implementation of the 1995 Resolution and the 2010 NPT decision to hold a conference in 2012 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East are clear commitments undertaken in particular by the cosponsors of that Resolution.
Neglecting this commitment can only embolden Israel to continue to remain a source of threat and instability by flouting the aspirations of the international community.
The failure to convene the 2012 conference, due only to Israel’s objection, is the product of longstanding inaction in regard to these commitments.
This unwelcome development seriously challenged the integrity and credibility of non-proliferation regime and the consensus agreements of successive NPT Revcons.
At the same time, 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 enjoys continued strong international support.
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 co-conveners of the Conference must exert utmost pressure on Israeli regime to participate in the Conference without any precondition.
Iran was among the first countries announcing its readiness to participate in the 2012 Conference. We will continue this policy. However, what we are expecting from such a conference is not merely a gathering of the countries in the region. An agreed plan of action and timetable for universality of the NPT in the Middle East should be the highest priority at that Conference.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.