Iran renews call for N. free Middle East

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran warned nations about the major threat posed by Israel’s nuclear arsenals to global peace and security, and once again called for the establishment of a nuclear-free Middle East.

“Given records of the Zionist regime of Israel in aggression and occupation, establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons is extremely important in putting an end to the gravest threat of the nuclear weapons of the said Regime to the stability and security of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) States parties in the region and the world,” Iran’s Permanent Envoy to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Vienna Ali Asqar Soltanieh said in a statement.

Israel is believed to be the sole possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East with over 200 ready-to-launch warheads in its stockpile.

Iran, an NPT-signatory, has also called for the removal of all weapons of mass destruction from across the globe.

The full text of the statement is as follows:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Statement by H.E. Ambassador A.A.Soltanieh

Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Vienna

at the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee of the 2015 NPT Review Conference

Geneva, 23 April 2013

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset and on behalf of the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, allow me add my voice to those delegations that have congratulated you on your election to preside over the second meeting of the Preparatory Committee to lay the groundwork for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. I assure you of my Delegation’s support of your endeavors as well as our contribution to ensure the success of this Committee meeting and, through our work, bring this session to a successful outcome.

I would also like to associate my delegation with the positions stated by the Non-Aligned Movement.

Mr. Chairman,

We are gathered here to review the status of the implementation of the 2010 NPT Action Plan as well as other commitments that the states parties to the NPT are obliged to fulfill in achieving a world free from nuclear weapons, in particular the unequivocal undertaking by Nuclear Weapons States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.

Call for real progress on nuclear disarmament and convening the 2012 Middle East Conference are the most important obligations amongst the actions that the 2010 Review Conference decided upon them by consensus. However, the situations of both of these goals are disappointing. The Islamic Republic of Iran has constantly echoed its concern on the discriminatory and double standard approaches by a few unaccountable States Parties in implementing the provisions of the Treaty. Despite of the agreements in 2010, the trend in nuclear disarmament is worrisome and disappointing. Let us examine few facts in this regard:

– The continued existence of tens of thousands of nuclear warheads in the stockpile of the nuclear-weapon States, most of them on high-trigger alert and their day by day modernization, constitute the most serious threat to the survival of mankind. We, non-nuclear weapon states, do not feel secure living under the blade of using or threat of using of nuclear weapons. Maintaining nuclear weapons stockpiles and strategically rely on them shall not guide the possessors to the resolve that is required for moving toward removing either the risk of their use or their vertical or horizontal proliferation. Having said that, how international community can bear a justification for the possession of nuclear weapons by a small group of States. The most important outcome of the 2010 Conference was reaffirmation of the unequivocal undertaking made by the nuclear-weapon States at the 2000 Review Conference to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenal. However, reaffirmation of commitments in the context of nuclear disarmament does not suffice realization of the goal of nuclear disarmament. Regrettably, declared policies of certain Nuclear Weapon States on nuclear disarmament fall short of practical and measurable steps.

– The Non-Nuclear Weapon States parties to the NPT remains deeply concerned by existing strategic defense doctrines of the nuclear-weapon States that set out the rationales for the use of nuclear weapons. The US Nuclear Posture Review as well as the NATO Strategic Concept which results in broadening justifications for the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in contravention of NPT obligations of the nuclear weapon states and worrying cases of breaching norms of international law.

– We should add the ongoing plan to deploy a global missile defense system that gravelly threatens the nuclear disarmament goal to worrying cases. Such a plan will not increase the security of its sponsor and host countries. It will only prompt countermeasures by the other nuclear-weapon States that are the main target of such a system to build up and rely more on their nuclear forces, thus, brining about a new chain of nuclear arms race. Missile defense system is in clear breach of the Action I of the Action Plan on nuclear disarmament agreed upon in the 2010 Review Conference. Ironically by Action- I all the States parties committed themselves to pursue policies that are fully compatible with the objective of achieving a world without nuclear weapons. Regrettably, there is no indication showing that the nuclear weapon states parties are moving in that direction.

– Furthermore, in flagrant violation of its international obligation, On December 5, 2012 U.S. has conducted its 27th sub critical nuclear experiment involving a scale model nuclear warhead primary, a first-of-its-kind sub critical test since signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Such nuclear experiment that’s supportive for advancing nuclear weapons designs and, worse, conducted in an underground area of a nuclear test site which the other Nuclear Weapon States would follow suit, is a recipe for global destabilization. Such sub-critical tests and computer simulations to design new weapons, a case of non-compliance by the United Sates with its international obligations under the NPT could be a resumption of the nuclear arms race and a revival risk of global disaster.

– According to the public sources, nuclear weapons spending have sharply increased from the 2010 till now and it is “conservatively estimated, that will reach at least one trillion dollars on nuclear weapons and their direct support systems over the next decade”. Most of it allocated to decisions to upgrade and replace aging nuclear production factories, missiles, submarine s, and bombers. The United States itself will spend untold billions of dollars to operate its nuclear armada during its 50-year planned lifespan (2030 until 2080!). This figure is not included the secret spending of nuclear aspirants such as plutonium re-processing and uranium enrichment facilities or the missiles, planes, and submarines that nuclear aspirants are procuring with a secret dual -use purpose of someday accommodating a nuclear payload.

– In addition to the above, nuclear sharing among the nuclear-weapon States or with non-nuclear weapon States whether under military alliances or any other framework continues to be another source of concern and proliferation in all its aspects. Deployed nuclear weapons in Europe, specifically in non-nuclear weapon state parties, is a matter of serous security concern and is tantamount to the flagrant violation of the NPT undertakings. Iran has requested the Director General of the IAEA to report to all Member States whether these countries have informed the amount, locations and specification of weapon grade nuclear material, high enriched uranium and plutonium or not. If yes the United States has violated Article -I of the treaty and those European non-weapon states have violated Article -II of the Treaty. If the European non-weapon states have not reported to the Agency then they have non-compliance with their IAEA’s Safeguards obligation, including Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement as well the Additional Protocol. Needless to say that the distribution of nuclear weapons in Europe has increased nuclear security risk due to the increase of potential access of terrorist. The recent agreement between France and UK is also another clear example of disregard to nuclear disarmament. The Trident nuclear submarine project of UK and its decision to upgrade with anticipated 100 billions of pounds is clear breach of Article VI of NPT and the commitments during the NPT Review Conference in 2010. Germany sold a number of Dolphin submarines to a non-party to the NPT, i.e. the Israeli regime. Since these submarines are capable of being equipped with nuclear cruise missiles thus it is an unconcealed case of proliferation and non-compliance. One could not neglect the fact that such measures are in contrary to resolution of NPT in 1995 for establishment nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East and put all attempt in serious jeopardy.

Mr. Chairman,

International community cannot wait till the horrors of the nuclear weapons happens and must set a deadline and a target date for the total elimination of nuclear arsenals. Such a cutoff date could enable the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations on Nuclear Weapons Convention and concluding it as soon as possible as the highest priority. The NAM States parties to the NPT did propose, in 2010 Review Conference, 2025 as a target date for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. This way forward shall render effective and systematic progress towards implementing nuclear disarmament obligations under article VI of the NPT and would fill the gap between sincerity and hypocrisy of certain Nuclear Weapon States.

Recalling that under action (5) of the 2010 Review Conference “action plan on nuclear disarmament”, the nuclear-weapon States committed to accelerate concrete progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament, Iran as non-nuclear weapon state is seriously concerned that no substantive progress report about their undertakings under action (5) of the aforesaid action plan was submitted after 3 years. Patience of international community is limited. They got to submit factual comprehensive progress report to the Preparatory Committee in 2014, facilitating consideration of next steps for the full implementation of Article VI of the Treaty in realization of the objective of the total elimination of nuclear weapons; otherwise the 2015 Review Conference shall turn into a challenging decision- making forum for the future NPT. Any factual reporting mechanism shall systematically reflect, inter alia, principles and measures of transparency, irreversibility, verifiability, ban on use, time frame, budget reduction on nuclear weapon, qualitative and quantitative disarmament measures, and nuclear doctrines. Such reports would disclose hypocrisy of certain Nuclear Weapon States that apparently are supportive of “a nuclear free world.”

Mr. Chairman,

It is unacceptable, illegitimate, injustice and in contravention of the terms of the NPT that a large number of States have been subject to discriminatory restrictive control regimes by some developed States Parties. Article IV of the NPT is crystal clear that “‘nothing shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all parties to the NPT to develop and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in accordance with Article I and II of the NPT.” Hence my country along with the other non- nuclear weapon states of the NPT is demanding actual respect for exercise of their right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Imposition of restrictions as a cover for implementation of the foreign policy objectives of certain States is a clear violation of Article IV obligations, and challenges both the integrity and credibility of the Treaty.

Consistent with Action 51 of the 2010 NPT Action Plan, undue restrictions on the transfer of nuclear materials, equipment and technologies for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be swiftly removed. Unfortunately no practical step has been taken to this end. The Islamic Republic of Iran, for its part, is determined to pursue all legal areas of nuclear technology, including fuel cycle and enrichment technology, exclusively for peaceful purposes, a legal activity that has been and will continue to be carried out under the IAEA supervision. In this connection, the outcome documents of the 2000 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences have reiterated that each country’s choices and decisions in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be respected without jeopardizing its policies or international cooperation agreements and arrangements for peaceful uses of nuclear energy and its fuel-cycle policies including enrichment..
I am obliged to put on record the appreciation of the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the continuous indispensible support of the NAM during last decade, based on the principle of movement.

In this context I have to draw the kind attention of all to the fact that during the last 10 years, following the most robust inspections unprecedented in the history of the IAEA, over 7000 man-day routine and over 100 snap shut inspection with 2 hours notice, the former and the present director general have declared no evidence of diversion of nuclear material to military purpose is found and the Agency is able to continue its verification activities, without ant obstacles, thus all nuclear material and activities including enrichment remain peaceful. It is a matter of disappointment and is even shameful that the EU and the United States did put, in their statements, Iran and a Non-party to the Treaty having Nuclear weapons, on an equal footing. Such approaches have serious consequences for the universality of the NPT as well as other Treaties, such as the CTBT since it destroys any incentive to join. Iran is paying heavy price for its membership and full commitment to the NPT while others outside the Treaty are exempted from any inspection and sanctions, but receiving full nuclear cooperation of western countries specifically US and Canada.

Mr. Chairman,

The Islamic republic of Iran has spared no efforts with a view to establish a nuclear free zone in the Middle East since 1974 that my country initially proposed it to the United Nations. In this line, while underlining the reaffirmation by the 2010 NPT Review Conference that “the resolution remains valid until its goals and objectives are achieved”, we reemphasize that immediate, full, and unconditional implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East as an essential element on the basis of which the Treaty was indefinitely extended in the 1995 is of vital importance to the credibility of the NPT.

Given records of the Zionist regime of Israel in aggression and occupation, establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons is extremely important in putting an end to the gravest threat of the nuclear weapons of the said Regime to the stability and security of the NPT States parties in the region and the world. The threat posed by possession of nuclear weapons by Israeli regime and its refusal to submit itself to the NPT and placing its nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards has prompted a number of States in the region not to accede to international instruments dealing with weapons of mass destruction, most notably CWC and BWC. With respect to the implementation of measures related to the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, contained in the follow-on actions of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the Islamic Republic of Iran, declared in advance its readiness for active participation in the scheduled 2012 Conference on the Middle East and stressed that an agreed plan of action and timetable for universality of the NPT in the Middle East should be the only top priority at the said Conference. However, all parties to the Treaty witnessed again that the opposition of the United States in support of the Zionist regime impeded convening of the 2012 Conference after decades. The unilateral decision by United States on postponement is disregard of unanimous decision of the 2010 Review Conference, planning and intensive consultation by the facilitator, undermining the determination and cooperation of Iran and Arab state parties, and the last but not the least, a serious setback to NPT. It is a clear indication that the United States pays no heed to the repeated calls by the international community to place clandestine nuclear weapon activities of the Zionist regime of Israel under the non-proliferation regime of the Treaty. The United States is isolating herself by supporting Israeli regime at any price.

Mr. Chairman,

The Islamic republic of Iran as a victim of weapons of mass destruction over the recent decades firmly believe that the international community must find a speedy way towards total elimination of the common threat of deliberate or accidental nuclear detonation. The nature of the nuclear weapons and its immediate catastrophic impacts on the human beings must oblige us to collectively work for the sake of humankind’s survival and the upcoming 2015 NPT Review Conference can create a momentum that results in a process for absolute illegality and illegitimacy of all nuclear weapons as well as their prompt elimination.

Iran has constantly and categorically rejected nuclear weapons and they have no place in its defense doctrine. Iran’s exclusively peaceful nuclear activities are perused in accordance with the rights and obligations enshrined in the NPT. As a demonstration of the fact, Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has reiterated his Fatwa on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. During the NAM Summit in Tehran in 2012, His Eminent declared: “The Islamic Republic of Iran regards the use of nuclear weapons as a cardinal and unforgivable sin.” This religious decree is rooted, amongst others, in the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and founded on the high values of our belief in preserving human safety, security and dignity. The nuclear policy and global vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran is summarized as: Nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for none.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates,

In conclusion, on behalf of my Government, I declare that Islamic Republic of Iran shall never compromise on its inalienable right for peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including the undeniable right for enrichment, and at the same time it shall continue its cooperation with the IAEA in accordance with NPT obligation namely Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement(INFCIRC/214).

Hostile policies of western countries, including dual track, carrot and stick, sanction and talk’s policies are doomed to failure. Sanctions, assignations of nuclear scientist, the ugly phenomena of this century, threat of attack by Zionist regime of Israel supported by its western allies, have and will strengthen the determination of Great Nation of Iran to pursue its right path.

Finally, western countries are advised to change the gear from confrontation to cooperation, the window of opportunity to enter into negotiation for long term strategic cooperation with Iran, the most reliable, strong and stable partner in the region, is still open.

Thank you for your kind attention

By Fars News


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