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Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East

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2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Report submitted by the Islamic Republic of Iran

1. In order to achieve the goal of the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the important region of the Middle East and the realization of the goals and objectives of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East that were supported in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference and generally referred to in article VII of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Islamic Republic of Iran reports the following.

2. The Islamic Republic of Iran first initiated the idea of the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone as an important disarmament measure in the region of the Middle East in 1974, followed by the resolution of the General Assembly. Since 1980, the Assembly has annually adopted, by consensus, a resolution on this issue. Continuous adoption of this resolution by the Assembly is the manifestation of the global support for the promotion of peace, security and stability in the Middle East through the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region.

Israeli nuclear weapon programme as the main obstacle to the nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region

3. As a State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully committed to its international undertakings and believes that this international instrument is the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Universal adherence to this Treaty, in particular in the region of the Middle East, would effectively ensure the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region. Currently, the Zionist regime is the only non-party to NPT in the region. Despite repeated calls by the international community, demonstrated in the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the parties to NPT, related resolutions of the General Assembly and those of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Zionist regime, confident of the political and military support of the United States of America, has neither acceded to NPT, nor placed its unwarranted nuclear facilities under IAEA full-scope safeguards. It has continued to refuse to even declare its intention to accede to the Treaty. Its nuclear weapon activities, with the support of the United States of America, seriously threaten both regional and international peace and security, and endanger the non-proliferation regime.

4. The 2000 Review Conference of the parties to NPT reaffirmed the importance of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East. Owing to the significant provisions of that resolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran and other States in the region truly expect that the resolution should be swiftly implemented, especially by its sponsors, the Russian Federation, the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as depositories of NPT. Based on the package agreed to by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, they have the main responsibility to take concrete steps to implement their commitments under this resolution.

5. The 2000 Review Conference of the parties to NPT reaffirmed “the importance of Israel’s accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East”. Unconditional adherence by the Zionist regime to NPT and the conclusion of a full-scope safeguards agreement with IAEA would, undoubtedly, lead to the early realization of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Neglecting the commitments undertaken by States parties to NPT with the adoption of this important resolution can only embolden that regime to continue to remain a source of threat and instability in the Middle East by flouting the aspirations of the international community and remaining outside the fold of NPT and the full-scope safeguards regime. In this context, we believe that some of the submitted national reports do not address the negative implications of the Zionist regime’s intransigence to join NPT and are not as effective as they ought to be with regard to the 1995 resolution on the Middle East.

6. The Islamic Republic of Iran, in implementing its obligations under NPT, specifically articles II and III of the Treaty, reaffirms that all its nuclear facilities are devoted to peaceful purposes and are under the full-scope safeguards of IAEA. Furthermore, contributing to the realization of a world free from weapons of mass destruction, in particular in the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran has signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention and the 1925 Geneva Protocol. Its high record of accession, among the Middle East countries, to the non-proliferation and disarmament instruments is not only a clear manifestation of its firm commitment to the cause of disarmament and non-proliferation, but is also evidence of its dedicated efforts towards the noble goal of the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

7. The Islamic Republic of Iran, in its bilateral and multilateral dialogues with other States parties to the Treaty, has always urged their active contribution towards the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. In order to promote the cause of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the Islamic Republic of Iran also held an International Conference on Disarmament and Non Proliferation in Tehran on 17 and 18 April 2010, which, inter alia, examined ways and means to realize the nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and the existing challenges and obstacles, in particular the nuclear weapons programme of the Zionist regime in the region.

8. The Islamic Republic of Iran is of the firm belief that an agreed plan of action and timetable for the universality of NPT, especially in the Middle East, should be a top priority on the agenda of all parties to NPT, in particular nuclear weapon States. There should be greater pressure on the Zionist regime to accede to NPT, promptly and without conditions, and to place all of its nuclear facilities under the IAEA full-scope safeguards to pave the way for the long-sought goal of the establishment of the nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

9. Unfortunately, the inaction imposed upon the Security Council over the past several decades in addressing the well-documented nuclear weapons programme implemented by the Zionist regime, has given the audacity to this regime to explicitly acknowledge possession of nuclear weapons, as has been divulged by its Prime Minister in an interview with German television on 12 December 2006, in contradiction to the long-sought idea of the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Moreover, this regime’s development and possession of nuclear weapons not only violate basic principles of international law, the Charter of the United Nations, NPT and numerous General Assembly, Security Council and IAEA General Conference resolutions, but also clearly defy the demands and concerns of the overwhelming majority of the States Members of the United Nations, and constantly and obstinately disregard the international community, which has, time and again, called upon this regime to renounce nuclear weapons and accede to NPT. Over and above the foregoing, the Non-Aligned Movement, in New York, in its statement dated 5 February 2007, expressed its great concern over the acquisition of nuclear capability by the Zionist regime, which poses a serious and continuing threat to the security of neighbouring and other States, and condemned that regime on its action and the said statement in this regard, and for continuing to develop and stockpile nuclear arsenals.

10. The brutal attacks and aggressions by the Israeli regime against its neighbours under absurd excuses, killing civilians, including women and children, in Gaza by prohibited and devastating weapons and defying any call by the international community to stop the bloodshed of innocent people, are all evidence of the grave threat posed by such an aggressive regime. Needless to say, nuclear weapons in the hands of such a regime could significantly endanger regional and international peace and security. This regime is the only one with the dark record of attacking nuclear facilities of NPT States parties and continues to threaten to attack the IAEA-safeguarded peaceful nuclear facilities of other States in the region.

11. The Security Council should fulfil its Charter-based responsibility to address such a clear and serious threat to international peace and security, and take prompt and appropriate actions accordingly. The Zionist regime is the only obstacle to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Peace and stability cannot be achieved in the Middle East while the massive nuclear arsenal of this regime continues to threaten the region and beyond. In this context the recent resolutions of the IAEA General Conference on the nuclear capabilities of the Zionist regime (GC(53)/RES/17) and the application of IAEA safeguards in the Middle East (GC(53)/RES/16) could be recalled. These resolutions are another manifestation of the international concern about the threat posed by the nuclear weapons programme of this regime to regional and international peace and security, and the main obstacle to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

12. The Islamic Republic of Iran is of the opinion that, pending the realization of the nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region, no country of the region must acquire nuclear weapons or permit the stationing of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices on its territory or under its jurisdiction or control, and countries should refrain from actions that run counter to both the letter and the spirit of NPT and other international resolutions and documents relating to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

13. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the conferences to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons have a significant role in the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. The Review Conference of 2010 should establish a subsidiary body under Main Committee II to consider this issue and make concrete recommendations on urgent and practical steps for the implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, as well as the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference. In this context, proposals such as those suggesting to convene a conference of all members of the region are not in line with the 1995 resolution and, as the futile experience of IAEA to convene a forum in this regard shows, such initiatives could not be fruitful, but are a setback to previous agreements and undermine the achievement of this aim. Instead, the Review Conference should also make recommendations on the tangible measures to compel the Zionist regime to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and place its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under the full scope of IAEA safeguards to pave the way for the establishment of the nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East region.

14. Owing to the importance of the Middle East region and in order to strengthen the realization of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East as well as the agreements contained in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference and article VII of NPT, the Islamic Republic of Iran is of the view that all States parties to the Treaty, in particular the nuclear weapon States, as sponsors of the 1995 Middle East resolution, should continue to report on the implementation of the resolution through the United Nations Secretariat to the President of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty, as agreed in the 2000 Final Document.

15. The Review Conference should also establish a standing committee to monitor the implementation of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East and the agreements of the 2000 NPT Review Conference in this regard, and to report to the States parties to the Treaty.

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