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Statement On all disarmament and international security agenda items

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Eshagh Al-Habib,

Deputy Permanent Representative of

the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations

Before the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly

On all disarmament and international security agenda items

New York, 15 October, 2018

____________

 

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

 

Mr. Chairman,

I congratulate you and other bureau members on your election and assure you of our full cooperation.

I also sincerely commend the leadership of the Committee’s outgoing Chair, the distinguished Ambassador Bahrololoum of Iraq.

My delegation associates itself with the NAM statement delivered by Indonesia.

Following the Committee’s meeting held last year, the world has become less safe and less stable. We have witnessed systematic attempts to undermine the value, significance and efficacy of multilateralism; to demonize multilateral institutions and agreements; and to disregard global rules and norms.

One clear example is the illegal U.S withdrawal from the JCPOA: the outcome of long and intensive multilateral diplomatic efforts to resolve a manufactured crisis and to build trust.

In 12 reports, the IAEA has confirmed Iran’s full compliance with its commitments. However, the current U.S administration, in violation of its international commitments, withdrew from the JCPOA.

The U.S. continues to systematically violate its commitments under the JCPOA and resolution 2231. Now, it brazenly forces others either to violate that resolution or face punishment.

Under such circumstances, doing nothing is not an option. We have to defend multilateralism because it is the foundation of the rules-based international system. We must defend multilateral agreements and institutions. We should protect their credibility. We must enhance their effectiveness.

Therefore, as part of our mandate in this Committee, let us consider how we can advance multilateral cooperation on disarmament and non-proliferation. We agree with the Secretary-General that the existing realities of the international security environment demand that disarmament and non-proliferation are put at the center of the UN’s work. We commend him for presenting his agenda for disarmament.

Mr. Chairman,

The existence of nuclear weapons continues to pose an existential threat to humanity.

Thanks to the strong determination of the non-nuclear-weapons States, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted. This is a historic accomplishment complementing the NPT.

Despite this, the achievement of nuclear disarmament appears as inaccessible today as it was in the 1970s.

The nuclear-weapons States have a special responsibility in the realization of nuclear disarmament. However, there is no meaningful effort put forth by them to implement their obligations to totally eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

The core problem of nuclear disarmament is unilateralism; in particular, the unilateral nuclear actions and policies of the United States. This presents the gravest threat to the objective of nuclear disarmament. As long as this U.S. nuclear policy remains, there will be no progress towards nuclear disarmament.

Non-implementation of the NPT’s article VI threatens the Treaty’s future. The best way to protect the NPT’s credibility is to implement it fully. Therefore, the main focus of the 2020 NPT Review Conference should be the full implementation of obligations and commitments on nuclear disarmament.

The lack of progress in the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East continues to be a matter of deep concern. Peace and stability cannot be achieved in this volatile region as long as the Israeli nuclear arsenal exists.

Indeed, nuclear weapons in the hands of Israel with a long and dark record of crimes, such as occupation, aggression, state terrorism and crimes against humanity, poses a uniquely grave threat to regional as well as international peace and security.

On 29 August 2018, Israel’s Prime Minister, speaking at the regime's underground nuclear weapons development center, Dimona, explicitly threatened Iran with nuclear annihilation. The threat to use nuclear weapons should not be condoned. The Security Council should fulfill its Charter-based responsibility as well as its commitment under resolution 984 to strongly condemn the Israeli regime's threat to use nuclear weapons against Iran.

Mr. Chairman,

The Chemical Weapons Convention has been a successful multilateral disarmament instrument. The global norm against the use of chemical weapons must be fully upheld. We categorically condemn the use of chemical weapons anywhere and by anyone.

We call for ensuring the CWC’s full implementation and universalization.

The divisions regarding the OPCW’s mandate must be settled. Otherwise, it would further polarize the OPCW and inflict lasting damage on the Convention, which should be avoided. We must work hard to ensure the success of CWC’s Review Conference in November.

The Biological Weapons Convention, as a crucial multilateral disarmament instrument, is also facing old and new challenges. To address them, the Convention needs to be strengthened in all its aspects. To that end, the most effective approach is to resume the negotiations on a multilateral legally binding protocol for the Convention. We call on the U.S to withdraw its objection to such negotiations.

Taking effective measures to prevent an arms race in outer space is also an imperative. The announcement by the U.S to create a new military force for outer space is an alarming development. As U.S officials have stated, they seek dominance in space; view space as a war-fighting domain; and also plan to work on the development of a space-based weapon systems. Such policies and measures increase the possibility of the occurrence of an arms race or even conflict in outer space. To avoid it, Iran supports the negotiation of a legally binding instrument on PAROS in the CD.

In conclusion, my delegation stands ready to cooperate constructively towards addressing the challenges to disarmament and non-proliferation and in making our world safer and more stable.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 
 
 
 
 


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