Message to the Tehran International Nuclear Disarmament Conference “Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for None”

I would like to welcome the honorable guests who have gathered here.  It is a pleasure for the Islamic Republic of Iran to be the host of the International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament today.  I hope this occasion will be an opportunity to yield enduring and important results from your dialogues and discussions for the whole humanity.

Atomic and nuclear sciences are among the greatest human achievements which can and should be at the service of the wellbeing of nations across the world as well as the growth and development of all human societies.  The applications of nuclear sciences cover a wide range of medical and industrial needs as well as energy requirements, each of which has considerable importance.  For this reason, we can say that nuclear technology occupies a prominent position in our economic life and its importance will only rise as we move forward.  As the needs of the health, industrial, and energy sectors grow, so do the efforts to make more use of nuclear energy.  The nations of the Middle East, like other nations of the world, are thirsting for peace, security, and progress.  They have the right to ensure the economic position and prosperity of the future generations.  Most likely, one of the reasons behind efforts to cast clouds of doubt on the peaceful nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to hold back the nations of the region from paying serious attention to this natural and important right of theirs.

The deceptive ploy of the sole nuclear offender who falsely claims to be advocating non-proliferation of nuclear arms, while doing nothing substantive for this cause, will never succeed.  If the United States’ campaign were genuine, could the Zionist regime refuse to accept the rules of international law, especially the non-proliferation regime, and turn the occupied land of Palestine into an arsenal with huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons?

The word atom is associated with the progress of human knowledge, but, unfortunately, it also reminds us of the most appalling event in history, the most dreadful genocide, and the gravest misuse of scientific achievements of humankind.  Although several countries have produced and stockpiled nuclear weapons that could lead to commission of a major nuclear crime and have seriously threatened world peace, only one government has committed the ultimate nuclear offence: the United States of America.  The innocent people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were attacked by atomic bombs in a cruel and unequal war.

Since the detonations of the first atomic weapons by the government of the United States in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that caused a human catastrophe of colossal proportions, threatening the security of the entire humankind, there has been a global consensus on the need for complete elimination of these weapons.  The use of the nuclear weapons not only caused massive losses of lives and destruction; it was also an indiscriminate massacre, killing military and civilian populations, young and old, women and men alike.  Its inhuman consequences crossed political and geographic borders and even inflicted irreparable harm on the next generations.  As a consequence of these devastating effects, any use of — even any threat to use — nuclear weapons is a serious and material violation of indisputable rules of humanitarian law and a cogent example of a war crime.

After a few countries acquired these weapons, it has been proven beyond any doubt that there is no winner in a nuclear war and entering such a war is irrational and inhuman.   Nevertheless, despite these obvious moral and intellectual, human and even military, truths, the emphatic and repeated demands of the international community for the total elimination of these weapons have been ignored by a small number of governments that have continued to build their illusion of security on the insecurity of others.

The insistence of these governments on possessing, proliferating, and increasing the destructive powers of nuclear weapons — which are useless except as a tool for collective intimidation and terror — and a false sense of security based on deterrence resulting from assured destruction of all has perpetuated a global nuclear nightmare.  Colossal resources have been spent in this irrational arms race, so each superpower could have this illusion and power to imagine that it is able to destroy its rivals and other inhabitants of the planet Earth, even their own population, many times over.  It is for good reason that the strategy of deterrence based on “mutually assured destruction” is referred to as MAD.

In recent years, some governments have gone beyond the “mutually assured destruction” doctrine of deterrence in facing other nuclear powers.  In their nuclear policies, they go so far as to insist on maintaining the nuclear option even if they are faced with conventional threats from countries not in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  However, the greatest violators of the NPT are the powers who have reneged on their obligation to dispose of nuclear weapons mentioned in Article 6 of the NPT.  These powers have surpassed other countries in proliferating nuclear weapons in the world.  They have played a direct role in proliferating these weapons by helping to arm the Zionist regime with nuclear weapons and supporting the policies of this regime.  This is contrary to the obligations they have undertaken according to Article 1 of the NPT.  These countries, headed by the bullying and aggressive US regime, pose a serious threat to the Middle East region and the world.

It behooves this international conference on disarmament to review and examine the perils of producing and stockpiling of nuclear weapons in the world, and to present sensible and practical solutions to counter this threat against humanity, so serious steps could be taken toward protecting world peace and security.

We believe that, in addition to nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction such as chemical and biological weapons also pose a serious threat to humanity.  The people of Iran were themselves victims of chemical weapons and, more than any other people, are aware of the dangers of producing and stockpiling these weapons.  We are prepared to make our resources available in order to counter this threat.

We regard the use of these weapons as illegal and haram, and it is incumbent on all to protect humankind from this grave disaster.

Seyyed Ali Khamenei

27 Farvardin 1389
1 Jammadi al-Awal 1431
17 April 2010

Seyyed Ali Khamenei is the Leader of the Revolution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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