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Report of the Secretary-General
** This reply was received after the submission of the main report.
Replies received from Governments
2. Iraq commends the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his efforts to promote General Assembly resolution 56/21 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Iraq has always been firmly convinced of the importance of establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, as demonstrated by its support for all the resolutions on that question adopted by the United Nations General Assembly since 1974, and by its efforts to promote the establishment of such zones. Moreover, it has itself taken measures to that end, by acceding to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1969 and by placing its nuclear facilities under the full-scope safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
3. There is a serious imbalance in forces in the Middle East because the Zionist entity holds considerable stocks of weapons of mass destruction, with nuclear weapons in the forefront, and has refused to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons or to submit its nuclear facilities to the IAEA safeguards regime, thus impeding the internationally and regionally agreed efforts to establish, in the Middle East, a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. The fact that the Zionist entity’s nuclear programme remains outside the international non-proliferation regime and that that entity still refuses to accede to the Treaty or to place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA full-scope safeguards regime jeopardizes the security of the Arab nation, seriously damages the credibility and universality of the Treaty, prevents the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, exacerbates the threats to regional security, and perpetuates the security imbalance in the region — an unacceptable situation.
4. The United States Administration has always undertaken — and is still anxious — to provide the Zionist entity with material and technical support so as to help it continue its nuclear armaments programme and its accumulation of weapons of mass destruction, and to shield it from any scrutiny. In 2001, for example, the United States delivered to that entity a very powerful, ultrasophisticated, 2.625-gigabyte computer to help in the preparation and design of nuclear programmes, including the conduct of nuclear experiments, and to enable it to dispense with a large amount of equipment and apparatus, thus reducing considerably the duration of operations. United States support and assistance to the policies of aggression by the Zionists against the Arab States, and the United States Administration’s contribution to the continuing qualitative and quantitative advantage enjoyed by the Zionist entity in the balance of military force constitute a threat to the Arab nation, perpetuate the climate of tension and insecurity in the region, and encourage the Zionist entity to continue its policies of aggression.
5. The difference between the Middle East and other regions of the world is that it is a hotbed of tension created by continuing Zionist aggression against the Arab territories, the Zionist entity’s ongoing policy of massacres and expulsions directed against the Palestinian people, and the continuing settlement policy, which seriously endangers regional and international peace and security. The offensive launched by the Zionist entity against the Palestinian people and its attacks on Palestinian towns and villages, with the support of armoured vehicles and aircraft, constitute State terrorism, represent a flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, and pose a serious threat to international peace and security. Such aggression highlights the explosiveness of the situation created in the region by the policies of the Zionist entity and demonstrates the imperative necessity of bringing about the nuclear disarmament of that usurper entity.
6. Iraq is fundamentally committed to the establishment, in the Middle East, of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. In its opinion, the provisions and measures for the establishment of such a zone — provisions and measures called for in resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations, in the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and in the unanimously adopted resolutions contained in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference — would require the following:
(a) That “Israel”, the only State in the region that has not signed the Treaty, should accede to it, should place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA full-scope safeguards regime and should dismantle its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, in accordance with Security Council resolution 487 (1981);
(b) That paragraph 14 of resolution 687 (1991) — adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter and demanding the elimination of weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East — should be implemented.
7. The fact that the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones is left to the discretion of States does not mean that international treaties and charters may be ignored or that the Security Council should relinquish its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations. In their capacity as permanent members of the Security Council, the nuclear-weapon States have a primary responsibility to cooperate and to spare no effort in promoting the establishment, as soon as possible, of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, in the Middle East, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, such as Security Council resolution 487 (1981) and Council resolution 687 (1991), paragraph 14. Moreover, the Security Council should refrain from applying a policy of double standards on disarmament issues, especially the issue of weapons of mass destruction, and should stop insisting that the Arab States rid themselves of their defensive weapons, while ignoring the weapons of mass destruction held by the Zionist entity.