4 November 2013

Explanation of Vote of the Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran

On Draft Resolution:

“Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities”

At the 68th Session of the First Committee

New York, 4 November 2013

بسم الله

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

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to explain the position of my delegation regarding draft resolution on “Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities” as contained in document: A/C.1/68/L.40*.
The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly believes that outer space is the common heritage of mankind.
Outer space shall be explored and used for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, and the present and future generations.
Any State, irrespective of its degree of economic or scientific development, has an inalienable right to the exploration and use of outer space exclusively for peaceful purposes.
Accordingly, outer space shall be free for exploration and use, for peaceful purposes, by all States without discrimination of any kind, on the basis of equality.
Likewise, there shall be free access by all countries to all areas of outer space.
My delegation fully supports the main trust of the draft resolution that is focused on the exploration and uses of outer space by all States exclusively for peaceful purposes and the promotion of confidence-building measures to that effect.
In line with this principled position, and like previous years, my delegation joined consensus in adopting this draft resolution.
However, I should put on record our understanding in regard to some of the new paragraphs incorporated into the current version of this draft resolution.
First) Preambular paragraph number 8 which refers to the policy of some States in “not being the first State to place weapons in outer space”.
According to relevant international treaties, their States Parties have already undertaken “not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner.” Similarly, the establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies is forbidden.
Therefore, the policy of “not being the first State to place weapons in outer space” by the States Parties to such Treaties shall be pursued only as a complementary measure and without prejudice to their legal obligations under relevant treaties.
To be clear, our understanding is that: States Parties to relevant treaties, in addition to their already undertaken legal obligation for not placing any kind of “weapons of mass destruction” in outer space, unilaterally and voluntarily have decided not to be the first State placing “any other kind of weapons” in outer space.
Second) on operative paragraph number 2 on encouraging Member States to review and implement the proposed transparency and confidence-building measures contained in the report of the relevant Group of Governmental Experts, We have the same view that such measures shall be or carried out in full conformity with the legal obligations undertaken under relevant international treaties.

I thank you Mr, Chairman.

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