High Time for Int’l Nuclear Disarmament

High Time for Int’l Nuclear Disarmament High Time for Int’l Nuclear Disarmament

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the nuclear settlement reached between Iran and major powers, resolving "an unnecessary crisis", has paved the way for intensified international efforts to ensure the establishment a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and eradication of such arms in the world.  

Iran and the P5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) "finally achieved the shared objective of turning the Iranian nuclear program from an unnecessary crisis into a platform for cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation and beyond," Zarif said in an article for the Guardian published on Friday.  

"The nuclear deal reached in Vienna (last) month is not a ceiling but a solid foundation on which we must build. The joint comprehensive plan of action, as the accord is officially known, cements Iran's status as a zone free of nuclear weapons. Now it is high time that we expand that zone to encompass the entire Middle East."

The chief nuclear negotiator said the breakthrough to resolve the long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear program has created an opportunity to address the challenge posed by the failure of the international drive to abolish nuclear weapons.

"One of the many ironies of history is that non-nuclear-weapon states, like Iran, have actually done far more for the cause of non-proliferation in practice than nuclear-weapon states have done on paper…That is to say nothing of countries outside the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), or Israel, with an undeclared nuclear arsenal and a declared disdain toward non-proliferation."

Today, thanks to the Vienna deal, it is time that the nuclear "haves" bridged the gap by adopting effective disarmament measures reinforcing the non-proliferation regime, Zarif said.

  Outdated Paradigm

He said, "It is time for the haves to finally come to terms with a crucial reality; we live in a globalized security environment. The cold war era asymmetry between states that possess nuclear weapons and those that don't is no longer… tolerable.

"For too long, it has been assumed that the insane concept of mutually assured destruction would sustain stability and non-proliferation. Nothing could be further from the truth. The prevalence of this deterrence doctrine in international relations has been the primary driving force behind the temptation by some countries to acquire nuclear weapons, and by others to engage in expanding and beefing up the strength of their nuclear arsenals."

The foreign minister stressed that it is necessary that the dangerous and wrong security paradigm be scrapped, noting, "One step in the right direction would be to start negotiations for a weapons elimination treaty, backed by a robust monitoring and compliance-verification mechanism."

In addition, the top diplomat said Iran, as president of the Non-Aligned Movement, is ready to cooperate with the international community to achieve the goals, "knowing full well that, along the way, it will probably run into many hurdles raised by the skeptics of peace and diplomacy."