Oct 14, 2020, 9:35 PM
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Iran warns against return of cold war era to world

Tehran, IRNA - Iranian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi on Wednesday said that the tensions of the cold war era have returned to the world that has grown more complex.

He made the remarks at the United Nations General Assembly.

The full text of the speech is as follows:

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

Mr. Chair,

I would like to express my warmest congratulations on your election to the Chairmanship of this Committee. My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Indonesia on behalf of the NAM.

Mr. Chair,

During the last decade, the nature of threats to international security has changed significantly. With protracted conflicts causing large-scale human suffering, the international security environment, unfortunately, continues to deteriorate. The use and the threat of use of force arise in different parts of the world. Global military spending and arms competition are increasing, and the tensions of the cold war era have returned to the world that has grown more complex. Besides the continued threat of WMDs as well as the offensive policies of specific states, new threats including the possible weaponization of artificial intelligence, cyberspace, and outer space are emerging. In today’s multipolar environment, the mechanisms for dialogue between great powers that once helped to defuse tensions are eroding.

Mr. Chair,

Nuclear disarmament faces some impediments such as a new nuclear arms modernization race and a lack of political will of nuclear-weapon states to reject a nuclear weapon option. Over 14,000 nuclear weapons, costing $100 billion annually to modernize, maintain and deploy, remain in the arsenals of the nuclear-armed states, and the possibility of their use can result in a catastrophic impact on humanity and the planet. 50 years after entry into force of the NPT and against the clear obligation of NWS on nuclear disarmament, that nominal commitment is yet to be implemented.  On the eve of the 10th NPT Review Conference, we should bear in mind that upholding the integrity and credibility of the NPT depends on the full implementation of all the obligations therein, in particular on nuclear disarmament.

In this context, the U.S., the largest holder of nuclear weapons globally, continues to modernize its tremendous arsenal. Just in 2019, the U.S. spent $36 billion on its nuclear arsenal and confirmed that the latest variant of a low-yield warhead- has been "fielded". It uses this arsenal to threaten other non-nuclear-weapon states and irresponsibly lowers the threshold of the use of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, its withdrawal from the INF and the JCPOA and the apparent lack of the will to extend the New Start Treaty have caused immense damage to international efforts towards non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

Supported by the U.S., the Israeli regime is threatening other regional countries in the Middle East with nuclear annihilation. This regime is the only regional obstacle to the establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear weapons, a first-ever proposal initiated by Iran in 1974. The international community must utilize every opportunity to compel Israel to promptly accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon party without any precondition and place all of its nuclear facilities under the IAEA full-scope safeguards.

I should also highlight another emerging threat in our region which is the incomplete implementation of the Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement by KSA. It must rescind its current Small Quantities Protocol, as was requested many times by the IAEA Secretariat. Failure to implement the IAEA’s safeguards could allow the Saudi Arabia to hide certain nuclear activities without being subject to IAEA inspections. However, Washington has reportedly given green light to seven U.S. firms to engage with Riyadh in preliminary work on nuclear power ahead of any deal, without any prior-agreement for enforcing non-proliferation norms.

Iran is of the view that 75 years after the use of nuclear weapons by the USA, there is no guarantee that such weapons will not be used again, therefore, a binding norm should be adopted by the GA confirming that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. This should be followed by time-bound nuclear disarmament through concrete measures by the Nuclear Weapon States. Furthermore, pending realization of this goal, provision of NSA to non-nuclear-weapon states and starting negotiations in the CD on a comprehensive convention on a total ban of nuclear weapons are imperative.

Mr. Chair,

Iran condemns any use of CWs by anyone, anytime and under any circumstances. We attach great importance to full implementation of the CWC and urge the U.S. as the only possessor of CWs to comply with its obligations to destroy its chemical arsenal and to withdraw its reservation to the Geneva Protocol without any further delay. Furthermore, the politicized approach of some MPs of the OPCW is a matter of concern.

We are deeply concerned about the clandestine biological weapon programs pursued by some countries. Iran continues to strongly support upholding the authority and full, effective, and non-discriminatory implementation of the BWC. While the Use of Biological Weapons is contrary to the object and purpose of this Convention, nevertheless, regrettably the Convention does not explicitly prohibit it. This, indeed, is a major legal loophole and deficiency that needs to be rectified.

Mr. Chair,

The recent attempts by the USA to establish a space force as the sixth branch of its armed forces are alarming and triggering an arms race and causing severe insecurity in outer space. This must be stopped. Iran supports all international efforts within the competent bodies of the UN including the CD, with the equal participation of all States, openly and transparently, based on consensus, and taking duly into account the concerns and interests of all States, for the prevention of militarization and weaponization of outer space.

Iran strongly advocates retaining cyberspace exclusively peaceful. Fortunately, the establishment of the OEWG on ICTs in the context of international security was the right choice and we hope that its extension will allude to the incomplete work of the GGEs.

Mr. Chair,

Iran reaffirms the sovereign inherent right of any State to acquire, manufacture, import, and retain conventional arms for its self-defense and legitimate security needs. It is in this context that Iran has developed, based on international law, its home-grown defensive missile capability to deter any threat against our country. However, we are deeply concerned about the continuous flow of sophisticated offensive conventional weapons into the volatile region of the Middle East including the Persian Gulf area.

In this context, the U.S. is by far the world’s biggest exporter of arms to th e region and Saudi Arabia has become the world’s largest arms importer in the last five years, with an increase of 192 percent compared with 2009–13.  Arms imports by Israel also rose (354 percent) in the same period.

Last, not the least, Iran underlines the right of all States to enjoy peaceful applications of related technologies enshrined in the disarmament instruments. Additionally, it is necessary to observe the principle of equitable geographical representation in selecting experts to any GGE as well as fellowship programs.

Mr. Chair,

In conclusion, Iran as a penholder will present a draft decision on “Missiles”, and we hope that, it will be adopted without a vote.

Thank you

7129**2050

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