4 November 2013
Explanation of Vote of the Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran
On Draft Resolution:
“United action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”
At the 68th Session of the First Committee
New York, 4 November 2013
I would like to explain the position of my delegation in regard to draft resolution on the “United action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”, as contained in document: A/C.1/68/ L.43.
Along with the overwhelming majority of States, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against their threat or use.
Accordingly, we share the main objective of this draft resolution which is the call for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
However, this text has been drafted in a manner that diverted its objective, weakened its focus, and made it imbalance, inter alia for the following reasons:
1. This draft resolution highlights issues such as nuclear security in a manner that as if it is much more important than nuclear disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
2. We agree with those parts of the draft highlighting the fact that “further advancement in nuclear disarmament will contribute to consolidating the international regime for nuclear non-proliferation, which is, inter alia, essential to international peace and security”. However, we cannot accept linking the fulfillment of nuclear disarmament obligations to the enhancement of international peace and security, as has been done in this draft, although implicitly.
3. While this draft covers a wide range of areas and for instance in some paragraphs makes references even to issues such as peaceful uses of nuclear energy — that is far from its main trust — and extensively covers certain regional issues, it fell far short of covering some relevant and important issues. For instance, there is even no single reference to the risk of nuclear activities, clandestine nuclear-weapons program, and unsafeguarded nuclear facilities of the only non-party to the NPT in the Middle East, as well as the need for expediting the international efforts for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in this volatile region.
4. At the same time that this draft refers at length to many efforts at the international level, from the high-level meeting on revitalizing the work of the Conference on Disarmament in 2010, and its follow-up in 2011, to the meetings of the Open-ended Working Group held in 2013, and even makes reference to a specific national statement, unfortunately it refers to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament, in a very inappropriate manner. This is while that the HLM was the first-ever meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament and convened with the participation of almost 100 heads of State and Government or Foreign Ministers of the UN Member States.
5. In reference to the work of the Conference on Disarmament, this draft resolution focuses only and in a biased manner on FMCT, while also neglecting in particular its verifiability and scope, it fails to refer to the urgency of negotiations on a nuclear–weapons convention that enjoys the full support of overwhelming majority of the UN Member States and is fully in line with the main trust of the draft resolution that is the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Therefore, my delegation obliged to vote in abstention to this draft resolution as a whole.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.