Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal
Kharrazi's address to the Seventh Review Conference of the Treaty on Nonproliferation
of Nuclear Weapons was a diplomatic masterpiece – in sharp contrast to the undiplomatic
badgering of the Conferees about alleged "loopholes" in the Treaty
by the head of our delegation, Stephen Rademaker.
Kharrazi focused on how to strengthen the "pillars" of the Treaty:
(a) nonproliferation, (b) peaceful use of nuclear energy, and (c) disarmament.
Excerpts on nuke disarmament:
"Despite the difficulties that the nonproliferation regime has historically
faced, we can generally assess that the NPT has been successful in containing
the number of nuclear-weapon states.
"On the other hand, the treaty has not been successful in attaining
the objective of nuclear disarmament as it has been called for in its Article
"Following the major efforts by states parties to strengthen the treaty,
the 2000 NPT Review Conference welcomed enthusiastically 'the unequivocal undertakings
by the nuclear-weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear
arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament, to which all States Parties are committed
under Article VI.'
"Therefore, we propose that the Conference would establish an ad hoc
committee to work on a draft legally binding instrument, on providing security
assurances by the five nuclear-weapon states to non-nuclear-weapon states parties
to the treaty, and to submit the draft of the legal instrument to the next review
conference for its consideration and adoption."
Excerpts on the peaceful use of nuclear energy:
"Mr. President, the 'inalienable right' of the states to develop nuclear
technology for peaceful purposes emanates from the universally accepted proposition
that scientific and technological achievements are the common heritage of mankind.
"The promotion of the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes
has been, therefore, one of the main pillars of the NPT and the main statutory
objective of the IAEA.
"It is unacceptable that 'some' intend to limit the access to peaceful
nuclear technology to an exclusive club of technologically advanced states under
the pretext of 'nonproliferation.' This attitude is in clear violation of the
letter and spirit of the treaty and destroys the fundamental balance which exists
between the rights and obligations in the treaty.
"The treaty itself has clearly rejected this attempt in its Article
IV by emphasizing that 'nothing in the treaty shall be interpreted as affecting
the inalienable right of all parties to the treaty to develop, research, produce,
and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.'
"Let me make it absolutely clear that arbitrary and self-serving criteria
and thresholds regarding proliferation-proof and proliferation-prone technologies
and countries can and will only undermine the treaty.
"Iran, for its part, is determined to pursue all legal areas of nuclear
technology, including enrichment, exclusively for peaceful purposes and has
been eager to offer assurances and guarantees that they remain permanently peaceful."
Excerpts on nonproliferation:
"The IAEA full-scope safeguard system provides the main foundation
and basis for preventing the diversion of peaceful nuclear technology to nuclear
weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
"The IAEA has been recognized by the previous NPT Conferences as 'the
competent authority to verify and assure compliance with the safeguards agreements'
and to consider and investigate concerns regarding noncompliance.
"Nonproliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use are the pillars
of the treaty.
"The international community has lent this responsibility to each of
us to preserve the integrity of the Treaty and promote its implementation.
"This would be achieved if we take appropriate decisions on:
Concrete steps toward ensuring universality of the NPT;
Realization of the commitment by nuclear weapons states not to use or
threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states parties
to the treaty through concluding a legally binding instrument;
Ensure and promote the basic rights of states parties to unhindered
access to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes without discrimination;
Reconfirm the undertakings by nuclear weapon states to implement 13
practical steps toward nuclear disarmament.
"Today, the credibility of the NPT is at stake. The treaty faces new
challenges which we need to effectively address. However, the fact [is] this
treaty – with whatever shortcomings it may have and the deficiencies in its
implementation process – provides the only internationally viable foundation
for curbing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and attaining the goal of nuclear
"I sincerely hope that the deliberations of this conference could assist
us to consolidate the foundations of this treaty in the circumstances that global
security, more than ever, requires wise and brave decisions to salvage the credibility
of the treaty."