1 May 2014
Statement by H.E. Mr. Reza Najafi Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
to the United Nations and other International Organizations – Vienna
At the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference
of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
On Cluster II Specific Issues:
Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East
1 May 2014 , New York
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
Please Check Against Delivery.
I would like to associate my delegation with the statement made by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The important role that nuclear-weapon-free zones can play in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons has been recognized under Article VII of the Treaty. Accordingly, the Preparatory Committee and the Review Conference should urge redoubling all efforts to strengthen existing nuclear-weapon-free-zones, and to establish such zones in the regions where they do not exist.
In this context, the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free-zone in the Middle East, which was proposed in 1974 by Iran as the original owner of this noble idea, is of utmost importance. This fact was recognized in 1978 by the First Special Session of the General Assembly on Disarmament when it urged the practical and urgent steps to establish a nuclear-weapon-free-zone in this region where the danger of nuclear-weapon proliferation exists. It also stressed that the establishment of such a zone “Would greatly enhance international peace and security” and “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.”
Likewise, annual adoption of a consensus resolution on this subject by the General Assembly, demonstrates that how strongly this idea is supported by the international community. Strong support of the Non-Aligned Movement, Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, General Conference of the IAEA, as well as other international and regional organizations, are other indicatives of the continued serious demand of the international community for the establishment of this zone.
In this meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference, where almost all delegates, in their statements from the beginning of this week, strongly stressed the importance of the prompt implementation of the 1995 Resolution and the 2010 Plan of Action on the Middle East, and urged the convening, in 2014, of the conference on the establishment of such a zone, I do not see a necessity to stress the importance of the issue. As it has been repeatedly reaffirmed by the Review Conferences and also underscored by political groups and participants in this meeting, the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, as an essential element of the outcome of the 1995 Review Conference and of the basis on which the Treaty was indefinitely extended without a vote in 1995, remains valid until its objective is achieved.
Despite all regional and international calls and efforts in support of the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, it is a source of grave concern that there has been no progress in the implementation of the 1995 Resolution due to Israeli intransigent policy. Those who have been deadly silent on the Israeli clandestine nuclear weapon program are not eligible to talk about non-proliferation concern in such an august body.
Adoption of the 2010 plan of action for the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, including to convene in 2012 a conference on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in this region, was indeed a step forward after a long delay in the implementation of this resolution. However, despite the readiness of all countries of the region to participate in that conference, the refusal of Israel to participate in the conference, in total defiance of NPT unanimous decision and the calls by the international community, seriously challenged the implementation of this Resolution. This of course in no way exonerates the cosponsors of the 1995 Resolution from their responsibility in full implementation of the Resolution and the responsibility of conveners in exerting all efforts, in strict accordance with the 2010 plan of action, to ensure convening of the conference as soon as possible in 2014.
As it is well-known and stated by many delegates here, the only obstacle for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East is the nuclear weapons and unsafeguarded nuclear activities of the Israeli regime, and its persistent refusal to join the international treaties banning weapons of mass destruction, in particular the NPT and to place all its nuclear facilities under the IAEA comprehensive safeguards.
In conclusion, I should stress that Iran has positively been engaged in consultations conducted by the Facilitator of the conference and officially declared its readiness to participate in the Conference in 2012, which still remains valid. Iran calls upon the Conveners and the facilitator to convene the conference at the earliest possible time in 2014, strictly based on the 2010 plan of action.
In our view, an agreed plan of action and timetable for the universality of the Treaty in the Middle East should be one of the main priorities of the upcoming Review Conference. Likewise, the Preparatory Committee and the Review Conference should seriously consider establishing a mechanism to ensure the universality of the Treaty in the Middle East. This is extremely important as there is no prospect for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East without immediate and unconditional accession of the Israeli regime to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon party, and placing all its nuclear facilities under the IAEA comprehensive safeguards.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.