Raisi decries West’s ‘double standard’ towards country’s nuclear programme

Taking the rostrum at the annual United Nations General Assembly, Iran’s President decried as a great injustice the “double standard” exhibited by Western nations towards what he described as his country’s peaceful nuclear activities.

“I explicitly declare that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons and such weapons have no place in our defence doctrine,” Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi told Member States gathered for the high-level General Debate.

This is despite the fact that other governments have continued to produce and use nuclear weapons and “gift” them to others, he continued, lamenting the West’s “double standard position” towards his country’s nuclear activities as a “manifestation of injustice.”

Peaceful programme

“Countries that have to be disarmed are rewarded, and countries that have adhered to their commitments are even deprived of the rights contained in the NPT,” said Mr. Raisi, referring to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which seeks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

“While Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme includes only two per cent of the world’s nuclear programmes, 35 per cent of inspections are of our facilities,” said the President.  

Indeed, he said: “Those who see the Iranian nuclear issue as a threat are nevertheless ignoring what they should do themselves: denuclearize.”

In 2015, a landmark accord – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – was reached between Iran, the United States, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Under this accord, Iran agreed to dismantle much of its nuclear programme and open its facilities to international inspections in exchange for sanctions relief.

Nuclear deal

In 2018, then-President Trump withdrew the US from the agreement and reinstated the sanctions. Although efforts to restore the Plan have been underway for some time, the US and other participants are yet to return to its full and effective implementation.

“It was America that left the agreement, not Iran,” the President stated. “The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated 15 times in its reports that Iran has fully adhered to the provisions of the agreement.

“Iran has paid the cost of complying with its obligations, but due to the violation of the promise of the American side and the non-compliance of the European side, Iran has not enjoyed the benefits of this agreement.”

He rejected some of the double standards of certain Governments vis-à-vis human rights and described unilateralism as a tool that has been used to hold many countries back. On a selective basis, the United States cannot accept that certain countries have the right to stand on their own two feet, he asserted. He went on to accuse Israel of creating the “world’s largest prison” through its blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip. Moreover, he denounced mass graves of Indigenous peoples found in Canada and the way the US detained ;migrants and refugees on its southern border.