Iranian representative to the UN says a step-by-step approach to achieve nuclear disarmament has failed; a comprehensive nuclear convention is needed to reach the desired state of a world free of nuclear weapons. The full text of the statement by Gholamhossein Dehghani, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations before the Substantive Session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission follows.
In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you for your election to the Chairmanship of this Commission and I wish you success in discharging this responsibility.
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Iran, like many other non-nuclear weapon states, is extremely concerned about the trends and developments in the field of nuclear disarmament. There is no tangible progress in fulfilling nuclear disarmament obligations under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). As a result of the opposition by the US and UK who are depositaries of the NPT, the 2015 NPT Review Conference could not conclude with a substantive final document. They blocked the consensus not for national security reasons but rather for the sake of defending the nuclear weapons program of Israel, a non-party to the NPT.
Moreover, there is no promising indication that nuclear weapon States are contemplating the total elimination of their nuclear weapons even in the long term. Huge budgets are being devoted to modernization programs of nuclear arsenals in the United States and the United kingdom. The United States, in an obvious non-compliance with its nuclear disarmament commitments, has begun a $ 1 trillion modernization and replacement plan, through which all its nuclear weapons are being replaced by new nuclear weapons with new capabilities and new missions. By doing so, they risk setting off a new round of nuclear arms race.
It is imperative that nuclear-weapon States comply with their legal obligations under Article VI of the NPT and their unequivocal commitment to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear weapons under all circumstances. We reject attempts to subject compliance with nuclear disarmament commitments to self-defined conditions. Non-compliance with nuclear disarmament obligations, if not stopped, would gradually erode trust in the NPT.
Nuclear weapons States relentlessly insist on a gradual and incremental approach to nuclear disarmament without implementing their nuclear disarmament commitments agreed upon at the 2000 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences. With the exception of a few nuclear umbrella States, the non-nuclear weapon States are deeply frustrated with the consequences of the existing piecemeal approach to nuclear disarmament. The so-called step-by-step approach has failed to deliver its promises and has brought us to the unfortunate circumstances of today, in which there are still thousands of nuclear weapons that threaten annihilation of humanity. These inhumane weapons are associated with war plans that can involve their use under certain circumstances.
Continued lack of the political determination to abandon doctrines and strategies of nuclear deterrence and balance of nuclear terror lies at the core of the predicament that we face in the field of nuclear disarmament today. It is imperative that we change this dangerous and erroneous security paradigm and move toward a better, safer and fairer arrangement. It is time for the “haves” to come to terms with the reality that we live in a globalised security environment.
We believe one of the most effective and practical way to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons and sustain a world free of nuclear weapons is to negotiate a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention. Similar comprehensive approaches were successful in bringing about the elimination of the whole categories of biological and chemical weapons; something that initially looked unfeasible and very ambitious, but finally achieved due to mustered genuine political will. Iran fully supports the Non-Aligned Movement’s proposal to commence negotiation on a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention in the Conference on Disarmament.
Iran has been consistent in its push for the establishment of Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons. However, by blocking all international and regional efforts to fulfill this goal, Israel remains the only impediment in path of realizing a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East. The refusal of Israeli regime to abandon its nuclear weapons and accept the NPT has increased the potential for proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
We have consistently urged that the non-proliferation norm should be applied globally and without exception. Nuclear proliferation is as dangerous in the Middle East as it is in other parts of the world. The application of double standards has to be abandoned. The existence of nuclear weapons in the hands of the Israeli regime is clearly the result of the application of double standards by certain nuclear weapon States and their failing to abide by the very nonproliferation norm that they helped set and are legally committed to comply with and invariably enforce.
The prospect for the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East will be enhanced when certain nuclear weapon States abandon their unconstructive policy of exempting Israel from adhering to the NPT. It is one of the ironies of the history that Israel, which has flouted all international norms and agreements governing weapons of mass destruction, has received not only acquiescence but in fact material support and assistance for its weapons of mass destruction programs from certain nuclear weapon States, including France. This constitutes a real case of proliferation of nuclear weapons with far-reaching implications for the security and stability of the Middle East region.
In conclusion, I hope that our deliberations in this Commission would contribute to the upholding and strengthening of norms, principles, obligations and commitments relating to the nuclear disarmament. My delegation is prepared to constructively work with other delegations to achieve substantive outcomes at the end of this cycle of the Commission. We know very well that fulfilling our mandate successfully will be a challenging task. Along the way, we will probably run into many hurdles raised by the skeptics of peace and diplomacy. But we should keep in mind that the successful conclusion of painstaking negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and P5+1 countries resulting in the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA) in July 2015, proved that with serious and sustained negotiations based on a mutually beneficial approach, diplomatic solution to the most technically and politically complex issues is within reach even at difficult times in international security.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.