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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iranian Statement on Article IV, May 12, 1999

Statement from Mr Gholamhossein Dehghani

New York, 12 May, 1999

In the name of God the Compassionate the Merciful

Mr Chairman,

Total elimination of nuclear weapons is an objective to which all members of the NPT have committed themselves. This objective is clearly formulated in Art VI of the NPT and in a more concrete form in the Principles and Objectives that accompanied the decision to extend the NPT

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indefinitely.

As spelled out in the preamble and Article VI, The Non-proliferation Treaty legalizes the existence of nuclear weapons only for a transitory period. Therefore, the 1995 Principles & Objectives decision document specified a program of action which contained an immediate objective of a CTBT by 1996; a longer term objective of a FMCT; and an objective of the determined pursuit by the NWSs of a systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate goal of eliminating those weapons. the first objective CTBT in spite of its shortcomings, has been achieved. some limited progress has been made on the second through the establishment in 1998 of an ad hoc committee to negotiate a fissile materials ban in the CD. However, the work of this committee appears to be stalled in 1999, and now serious efforts are underway to establish ad-hoc committee during the second session of the CD this year. This treaty should be of course comprehensive enough to promote nuclear disarmament. But, the third objective remains unattainable due to the serious objections of NWSs. Regrettably, NWSs continue to refuse to engage in a process of genuine nuclear disarmament.

Mr Chairman,

The non-proliferation regime is facing new challenges due to recent developments including the development in South Asia. The un-safeguarded nuclear facilities in the Middle East are a real threat to the non-proliferation regime. Israel, in defiance of numerous calls from the international community, has rejected to place its nuclear program and facilities under the IAEA safeguards and continues with its clandestine programs. This is an alarming policy that threatens global and regional peace and security.

It was evident that in 1995, the NPT was indefinitely extended to prepare the ground for nuclear disarmament. We must all ensure that this shall happen. And we all, in particular the nuclear weapon states have the responsibility to ensure the success of the non-proliferation regime in all its aspects, which also include the eventual total elimination of these weapons. Nuclear disarmament, in our view, would preserve the treaty's integrity and credibility.

The Non-Nuclear NPT members have demonstrated their will on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament through the agreement on indefinite extension of the NPT and the conclusion of the CTBT. After the conclusion of the CTBT, they expected this flexibility to be reciprocated by others through their agreement on the establishment of an ad-hoc committee on nuclear disarmament by the CD. To that end, various propositions were made but positive and proper response is yet to emerge. On the contrary, the recent Declaration of NATO Summit raises some concerns with regard to the fulfilment of obligation of NWSs under Article VI as well as I of the NPT. This is a setback that will put the non-proliferation regime in a perils. The NWSs should demonstrate their determination on this vital issue through securing a clear and unequivocal commitment to the speedy pursuit of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. The 2000 N.P.T Review Conference should seriously and unambiguously address this concern and offer practical solutions.

To this end The state parties to the NPT should call upon the Conference on Disarmament to establish an ad-hoc committee on nuclear disarmament, taking in to account all proposals which have been submitted by member states including proposals made by the Group of 21 and to commence negotiations on a phased program of nuclear disarmament and for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified framework of time, including a nuclear weapon convention prohibiting the development , production, testing, employment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination.

Mr Chairman,

As our deputy foreign minister expressed in his statement to the current years session of the Conference on Disarmament , we believe that nuclear disarmament needs to be pursued within a practical approach structured in three phases: short, medium and long term.

Promotion of confidence is at the heart of short-term initiatives, which would be pursued by the Nuclear Weapon States bilaterally and multilaterally. Vigorous reduction of nuclear weapons, coupled with certain specific measures, including de-alerting of nuclear forces and separating launcher and warhead, ratification of START-2 as well as finalization and implementation of START-3 should be accorded priority.

For medium term, the main focus should be on multilateral agreements, codifying legal restrains for the use of nuclear weapons. In this area, an agreement to assure Non-Nuclear Weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons which, in our view, can best be pursued within the N.P.T. context, a treaty to ban the first-use of nuclear weapons and finally a convention on prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons should all be worked out.

At the same time, we should continue to strengthen the non- proliferation regime and continue vigorously initiatives to establish nuclear-weapon free zones in various parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East.

The first two phases inch us closer to the ultimate goal of comprehensive nuclear disarmament. And at last, the final state would offer negotiations on a global treaty banning nuclear weapons and providing for their destruction under an effective international control.

The proposed ad-hoc committee of the CD on nuclear disarmament should provide a consensus plan of action for realizing the lofty goal of complete elimination of nuclear weapons.