At the UN, the ambassador highlighted Iran’s responsible behavior with strategic patience that could preserve the agreement. As the envoy announced, Islamic Republic has held talks “in good-will” since April 2021.
Below is the full text of the ambassador remarks:
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I congratulate you on your election as the President of this important conference. My delegation aligns itself with the NAM statement delivered by Azerbaijan.
This Review Conference provides an opportunity to scrutinize the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s strengths and weaknesses.
NPT consists of three pillars, namely, disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use. Under Article VI of the NPT, nuclear-weapon States have explicitly committed to negotiating to achieve nuclear disarmament. In the 2000 NPT Review Conference, nuclear-weapon States agreed to “13 Practical Steps” to implement Article VI, which included in Step 6 “an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament.” In the “2010 Action Plan”, nuclear-weapon States committed to reducing and ultimately eliminating all types of their nuclear weapons. However, half a century after entry into force of the NPT, there are still thousands of nuclear weapons, deployed and stocked, hundreds of billions of dollars spent to replace and upgrade nuclear arsenals, and a quantitative and qualitative nuclear arms race is taking place.
Since the last Review Conference in 2015, no negotiation has begun among nuclear-weapon States on the reduction or elimination of their nuclear weapons and no new reduction in nuclear forces has occurred.
This frustrating status in nuclear disarmament emanates from the blatant non-compliance of nuclear-weapon States with their legal obligations under Article VI of the Treaty. The existence of this legal obligation was affirmed by the International Court of Justice in 1996. It appears from the actions and policies of certain nuclear-weapon States that, in practice, they have put aside their nuclear disarmament obligations.
For instance, the United States has recently increased the role and number of its nuclear weapons and this modernization costs around $1.2 trillion. The United Kingdom has announced its intention to develop and build 80 new nuclear warheads. France is spending billions of euros to gradually augment and upgrade its nuclear weapons and their launch platforms.
We believe that this crisis has seriously undermined confidence in the Treaty. Let’s not forget that the NPT strikes a delicate balance between disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful use. Article VI is the central part of the bargain on which the NPT is based, i.e., nonproliferation in exchange for nuclear disarmament. It will not be possible to indefinitely maintain the current unbalanced implementation of the NPT.
The proposals to manage the nuclear risks instead of nuclear disarmament, in our view, seek to legitimize, maintain and manage the status quo. The top priority and objective of this Review Conference should be to define a path forward to change the status quo and eliminate the risks of nuclear weapons. The urgent commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons leading to their total elimination within a specified timeframe will provide a real path to change the status quo.
Mr. President, ladies, and gentlemen,
The non-nuclear-weapon States are adhering to their nonproliferation undertakings, except for a few European Parties including Germany which host many nuclear weapons in their territory in breach of the spirit and letter of the Treaty.
The Islamic Republic of Iran as a steadfast supporter of nuclear disarmament is equally committed to nuclear nonproliferation. We support the non-discriminatory and impartial implementation of the safeguards system by the IAEA. It is crucial that the IAEA should carry out its professional duties free from interference by third parties, particularly the intelligence services that provide unsubstantiated allegations.
Non-proliferation provisions should be applied globally and without exception. Unfortunately, as a result of the application of double standards in enforcing non-proliferation provisions, the Zionist regime’s nuclear weapons, developed with the support and assistance of the US, continue to pose a serious threat to the security of Middle Eastern States Parties to the Treaty. Since its inception, this regime has committed all international core crimes, including aggression against all its neighbors, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and occupation of the territories of several neighboring countries.
This terrorist regime has assassinated several innocent nuclear scientists and has, time and again, threatened to attack safeguarded peaceful nuclear facilities of my country. In addition to condemnation of such threat to use force, States Parties need to take appropriate deterrent action against this law-breaking regime. If this regime commits such foolish aggression, it will pay a heavy price. Furthermore, the supreme interests of our country, as a state party to the Treaty, will be jeopardized. The Review Conference should promptly address this threat of Israeli regime.
The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly supports the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and expresses its deep concern over the long delay in the implementation of the 1995 Resolution and the 2010 Plan of Action on the Middle East.
Before concluding, I would like to make a few points regarding the nuclear negotiations. While Iran was implementing its nuclear commitments under the nuclear deal as certified by the 15 IAEA reports, the US withdrew from it in May 2018 and subsequently re-imposed US sanctions on Iran and launched a maximum pressure campaign against Iran to prevent Iran’s enjoyment of the economic benefits promised in the agreement. The Islamic Republic of Iran acted responsibly and with strategic patience and maximum resistance preserved the agreement. Since April 2021, Iran has negotiated in good-will with other participants for resuming the full implementation of the deal. Achieving this objective has been delayed because the United States is yet to decide to give assurance that Iran will enjoy the promised economic benefits in the agreement. When the US makes the right decision, Iran, in turn, will cease its remedial actions and resume the full implementation of its nuclear-related measures in accordance with the 2015 agreement.
I thank you, Mr. President.