Alarm Raised Over NPT Loss of Credibility

Alarm Raised Over NPT  Loss of CredibilityAlarm Raised Over NPT  Loss of Credibility

The deputy permanent representative to the United Nations warned of a "crisis of confidence" in the credibility of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty induced by a lack of commitment among its nuclear-armed signatories to its terms.

Addressing a recent meeting of the United Nations Disarmament Commission, Gholam Hossein Dehqani said, "The NPT has succeeded in constraining the spread of nuclear weapons. This remarkable accomplishment has been made possible because non-nuclear weapon states have kept their end of the bargain."

"However, we are facing a deep crisis of confidence in the credibility of the bargain which forms the basis of the NPT because the nuclear weapon states are not honoring their part of the contract."

"Non-compliance with nuclear disarmament obligations, if not stopped, would gradually erode trust in the NPT," he cautioned, according to a transcript of his speech posted on the website of the Islamic Republic of Iran Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

The envoy lamented that words are not backed with action and called for a change of approach on the part of the nuclear-armed states before it is "too late".

"Words and promises are not translated into concrete and effective actions…. It is necessary that the nuclear weapon states prove that they are serious about their nuclear disarmament commitments. Now it is the time to do so not when it is too late."

  Piecemeal Approach to Disarmament Rejected  

He criticized the nuclear-armed countries for their relentless insistence on the adoption of "a gradual and incremental approach to nuclear disarmament without putting forward any specified timeframe or target date for the total elimination of nuclear weapons."

"The results of a piecemeal approach to nuclear disarmament have been disappointing and have brought us to the unfortunate circumstances of today," The diplomat lamented, explaining, "Thousands of nuclear weapons still exist and there is no clear prospects for their elimination within a specified timeframe."

Instead of taking steps to eliminate their nuclear weapons, they are continuing their programs to modernize their nuclear arsenals, Dehqani noted, adding, "Nuclear weapon states seem to believe that they have secured the indefinite extension of the NPT and they no longer need to bother to convince the non-nuclear weapon states. Such a calculation undermines the viability of the NPT."

The official called on these states "to make genuine and systematic progress in the verified reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons stockpiles."

Elsewhere, he underlined the necessity of negotiating "a comprehensive, binding, irreversible, verifiable nuclear weapon convention" as "the most effective and practical way to achieve and sustain the abolition of nuclear weapons."

Pointing to "the establishment of a zone free from nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East" as among Iran's prioritized objectives, Dehqani said all "regional and international efforts" to attain this objective have failed due to the "serious threat" posed by Israel's nuclear weapons which it refuses to abandon.

"Furthermore, the prospect for the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East will be enhanced when certain nuclear weapon states abandon their unconstructive policy of exempting Israel from adhering to the NPT," he added.