Israel’s nukes ‘serious threat’ to ME’s peace, security
Iran’s Permanent Representative to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo on Friday said the existence of nuclear weapons in the hands of Israel continues to pose a serious threat to the peace and security of the NPT States parties in the Middle East.
In a speech delivered on Friday at the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, the Disarmament and International Security Committee, Iran’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo drew the attention of the international community to the “existence of nuclear weapons in the hands of the Israeli regime” and their “failing to abide by the very non-proliferation norm that they helped set and are legally committed to comply with.”
Stressing that Israel continues to be the only “impediment in way towards realizing a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East,” Khoshroo called on the UN to abandon the application of double standards.
He further added that the Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to engage actively in all international diplomatic and legal efforts to save humanity from the menace of nuclear weapons and their proliferation.
Here is the full text of his speech:
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 the First Committee. I am confident that your able leadership and diplomatic experience will lead the Committee towards a successful conclusion. I assure you of the full cooperation of my delegation and wish you success.
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished Vice- Minister of foreign affairs of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
International community is facing a difficult situation in the field of international security and disarmament.
The successful conclusion of painstaking negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and 5+1 countries and EU resulting in the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA) which was immediately endorsed by the Security Council in July, proved that with serious and sustained negotiations based on a win-win approach, peaceful solution to the most technically and politically complex issues is within reach even at a difficult time of international security.
The conduct of Security Council in the past in relation to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program was unjust and illegal. Iran was and has been committed to its legal obligations under the NPT and determined to exercise its full nuclear rights, including enrichment, for peaceful purposes within the framework of the NPT. Iran never had the intention of producing a nuclear weapon and, therefore, sanctions resolutions against Iran were unjust and illegal. Sanctions by the Security Council and unilateral sanctions by some countries were based on illusive and baseless allegations and created difficult conditions for Iranian nation. But these sanctions never in any way changed Iran’s firm and consistent policy in observing its NPT obligations and exercising its right to enrichment for peaceful purposes. Iran proved in the negotiations that there is nothing on Iran’s table other than logic, reason and ethic.
The JCPOA is premised on reciprocal commitments by Iran and its negotiating partners. It ensures that Iran’s nuclear program which has always been peaceful be recognized as such, on the one hand, and provides for the termination of all provisions of relevant Security Council resolutions adopted in the past decade and comprehensive lifting of all United Nations Security Council sanctions, on the other. The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to implement its voluntary undertakings in good faith contingent upon the same good faith implementation of all undertakings, including those involving the removal of sanctions and restrictive measures, by other participants of the JCPOA.
The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines the imperative of total elimination of nuclear weapons, as a requirement of international security and an obligation under the NPT. The complete lack of progress can best characterize the state of affairs with respect to the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments under the NPT. It is true that some reductions have taken place. It is, however, limited and reversible and, worse, it is accompanied by extensive efforts to modernize nuclear weapons. Large budget devoted to nuclear forces modernization suggests that the nuclear weapon States contemplate the indefinite possession of their nuclear arsenals, rather than complying with their treaty obligations to nuclear disarmament.
While the mere reaffirmation by the nuclear-weapon States of their commitment to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons is welcome, but it is obviously quite insufficient and does not equate to compliance with their nuclear disarmament obligations under the NPT. There is no escaping from judging them on the basis of their deeds and not their words. Persistent non-compliance with nuclear disarmament commitments could have extensive ramifications: The wider the gap between the nominal commitment to nuclear disarmament and the implementation thereof, the greater the danger of the unraveling of the progress achieved and the possibility of the ultimate defeat of the purposes of the Treaty.
Regrettably, as a result of the opposition by a small minority, the 2015 NPT Review Conference could not conclude with a substantive final document. We do not want to dwell upon this point. We should not let the disappointing conclusion of the 2015 NPT RevCon prevents us from moving forward on nuclear disarmament front. Now it is not a time for recrimination, but a time to re-engage positively and together in an open and inclusive process, within the General Assembly, to identify and elaborate effective measures on nuclear disarmament for the full implementation of article VI, including legal provisions or other arrangements that contribute to and are required for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons. My delegation will soon present a draft resolution to this end and will work and consult with all delegations.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to engage actively in all international diplomatic and legal efforts to save humanity from the menace of nuclear weapons and their proliferation, including through the establishment of Nuclear Weapons Free Zones, particularly in the Middle East. The establishment of such a zone in the region of the Middle East has been an important objective and priority for Iran as well as all other peace-loving nations in our region.
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 obviously the result of the application of double standards by certain nuclear weapon States and their failing to abide by the very non-proliferation norm that they helped set and are legally committed to comply with and invariably enforce.
This continues to pose a serious threat to the peace and security of the NPT States parties in the Middle East. Aggression, occupation and committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity have constituted the characteristics of a regime which is armed with nuclear weapons.
Israel continues to be the only impediment in way towards realizing a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East. Israel continues to block all international and regional efforts to fulfill this goal. In its latest obstructive act, Israel, in defiance of the will of solid majority of international community, foiled the convening of a conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, which was mandated by the 2010 NPT Review Conference under the United Nations auspices.
I would like to conclude by saying that where there is a will, there is a way to overcome the challenges and move towards the established goals and priorities of the international community in the field of disarmament. We hope that our deliberations in this Committee will contribute to upholding internationally agreed norms and principles and to the advancement of our common objectives.