IRNA – Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmanent Esmaeil Bagheri Hamaneh slammed the silence of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in face of the hidden nuclear activities of Saudi Arabia as well as Israel’s nuclear arms activities.
In a statement to the conference, he said the dual treatment of the issue by the organization puts its claim of impartiality and professional credit under question.
Excerpts of the statement read as “The international security environment has not only been deteriorating but is also getting increasingly alarming. The rule of law at the international level as well as the purposes and principles of the UN Charter have come under severe attacks from coercive and reckless unilateralism. The credibility and efficacy of the United Nations system and multilateral institutions are badly challenged by the United States. This would cause irreversible fatal damage to the legal and institutional constructs evolved over the past decades. It has put the entire edifice of postwar multilateralism at serious risk.”
The Iranian official further said that “The United States, particularly under the current regime, has engaged in a barrage of outrageous assault against internatonal treaties and multilateral institutions by aggressively violating many international agreements and by recklessly withdrawing from international organizations. The U.S. is the only State that has simultaneously withdrawn from JCPOA, Paris Agreement, WHO, Human Rights Council, INF and Open Skies Treaty. The U.S. has also thickened its criminal records by intensifying its indiscriminate genocidal unilateral sanctions against huge populations across the globe at the cost of violating basic human rights of the targeted people.
The CD is just one long standing victim of this malicious approach. The U.S. has blocked nuclear disarmament and nuclear arms control processes in defiance of its international obligations under the NPT at the international level while developing new generations of nuclear weapons in the meantime. The U.S. regime has not only militarized internet domains and cyber space by turning it into a tool of coercion and sabotage, but also is set to militarize the outer space as well.”
He went on to note that “There is every reason to be concerned about the danger of nuclear weapons in West Asia. While the Israeli regime, the only possessor of nuclear weapons in our region, persists in its blatant defiance of international law by refusing to become committed to relevant international legal regimes and by further enriching its nuclear arsenal, the Saudi Arabia’s nuclear programme is adding another complexity to the already volatile region.”
“We wish distinguished Ambassador of Saudi Arabia addressed this concern in his remarks this morning instead of bothering to fabricate a thick smokescreen by blaming others for all the wrong-doings, mistakes, and atrocities the Saudi stablishment has knowingly been committing with the support and approval of the U.S. across the region.
Saudi Arabia, as a member of the NPT, of course has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and which we fully recognize. However, despite the fact that Saudi Arabia is a party to the NPT and has a Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement with the (IAEA), it has questionably failed to abide by its commitments. Lack of transparency and cooperation with the IAEA’s inspectors has generated real concerns about the objective and dimensions of Saudi nuclear programme. We call upon Saudi authorities to honor their obligations under the NPT and the Safeguards Agreement and extend cooperation with the IAEA inspection regime,” he added.
Bagheri also stressed that “the IAEA and its Board of Governors have the responsibility to carry out their inspection/verification mandate and submit a report on the status of Saudi’s nuclear activities and prevent any misuse of old safeguard loopholes.
It remains to be clarified why the Agency has preferred to be silent in this regard. This, especially in the light of the unjustified haste and prejudices about Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme, which is under the IAEA’s most robust verification/inspection regime, could raise quesstions over the Agency’s impartiality and unbiasedness. The IAEA is best advised to shield its credibility, impartiality, independence and professionalism against any suspeicion to the contrary.
Meanwhile Iran invites Saudi authorities to act like a responsible actor in the region, end carnage and ruthless destruction of Yemen, de-linke from violent extremism and terrorism that has ravaged some Arab countries and let the countries in the rigion re- build collective trust and capitalize on deep – tied bonds of solidarity and good neiborliness to live in peace and harmony.”
He believed “the nuclear weapon States should demonstrate their political will to achieve nuclear
disarmament. The only guarantee to remove the threat of nuclear weapons, is transparent, irreversible and total elimination of all nuclear weapons. Under NPT’s Article VI, as unanimously confirmed by the ICJ, “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control”. This is an explicit legal obligation with no ambiguity or conditionality.
Lack of political will to make progress in nuclear disarmament could not be compensated by an over-emphasis on non-proliferation.”
“In response, partly to the United States’ representative and partly to the Saudi Ambassador that along with the Israeli regime are the only actors* that have maliciously aimed at torpedoing the JCPOA and the relevant UNSC resolution 2231, out of their contempt for international law and the UN Charter, I would rather read out some excerpts from a very recent written opinion published by Minister Zarif, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as following.†
In July 2015, Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany signed a landmark agreement to satisfy any concerns over the exclusively peaceful nature of our nuclear program while relieving the Iranian people of inhumane and unjust sanctions. As part of the JCPOA, the US and other signatories also jointly co-sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which embraces the nuclear deal – and to which its full 90 pages are attached, thus enshrining the accord into international law. However, in May
2018 the US administration declared that it had unilaterally opted for “ceasing participation” in the JCPOA. Since then, Iran and the rest of the international community have been left in the extraordinary position of watching the US become the first government in UN history that not just violates a binding resolution it itself sponsored, but also punishes those governments and companies that uphold international law by implementing its provisions. As I warned the Security Council last month, this status quo is neither desirable nor sustainable. We are thus at a crossroads.
The US administration’s disinformation campaign – including false and forged claims regarding a regional consensus about the consequences of the remaining signatories to the JCPOA upholding the deal’s provisions, including normalizing Iran’s defense cooperation with the world in October – is a ruse to disguise its real, more malevolent motivations: having failed to collapse Resolution 2231 after over two years of the most brutal “maximum pressure” ever imposed on a nation – including depriving ordinary Iranians of access to medicines and medical equipment amid the deadliest pandemic the world has seen in many decades – the US now hopes to abuse its mal-interpretation of the provisions of the same resolution it abandoned in 2018 to finally destroy it. This deeply malicious US behavior is evident throughout the UN, where it seeks to use the UN itself to effectively destroy the world body.
There are several key issues and consequences to consider in this equation.
First and foremost, one may wonder why or how the collapse of a single UN Security Council resolution on a niche subject relates to the bigger picture. It does, for most notably it would be a generational setback for the cause of multilateralism should the Security Council be bullied into torpedoing its own resolution. Unless all powers respect the principles which the Council was created to embody, it cannot perform its duties, nor can any nation acknowledge its authority.
If the US is allowed to continue on this path, the world will slide backwards toward a “might makes right” standard. And while this may sound appealing
to Cold Warriors looking for new targets, even that standard has its limits. For both superpowers of the past century witnessed the unraveling of their international influence in their military defeat in Afghanistan, a country with a GDP that is 14 times smaller than Apple Inc.’s annual revenue.
We have also seen in past years how the US administration has – in parallel with its assault on international institutions and accords – sought to supplant international law with its own domestic laws. In practice, this has meant that it is now the US Treasury and not European national governments which decide with whom European companies can do business – be it under Resolution 2231 or their own North Stream gas lifeline.
While it has so far primarily been the US that has sought to expand the jurisdiction of its domestic laws, there is nothing to suggest that it will retain a monopoly on it.
Thus, the international community in general – and the UN Security Council in particular – face an important decision: do we maintain respect for the rule of law, or do we return to the law of the jungle?
While Iran has proven its resilience and decisive response to coercive bullying, I am confident that – in the next few critical weeks and months – members of the Security Council will refute the campaign struggle of a beleaguered US administration to turn what was the diplomatic achievement of the 21st Century into an exercise in futility, and in the process annihilate what is left of multilateralism and international law.”