Iran UN Envoy: Israel, US Biggest Obstacles to Nuke-Free Middle East
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations slammed the Israeli regime and the US as the main obstacles to the establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons.
Addressing the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction at the UN on Monday, Majid Takht Ravanchi said the Israeli regime’s stockpile of weapons of mass destruction and the US unwillingness to engage in the work of the conference are the two main obstacles in the realization of the idea of establishing such a zone in the Middle East.
The ambassador said it was an honor for him to address a conference “that has been awaited since 1974 when Iran championed the idea of establishment of a Middle East free zone of nuclear weapons.”
“We are now very happy to see this conference is tasked with the mandate to elaborate a legally binding treaty establishing a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destructions,” he added.
He further highlighted the significance of achieving international peace and security through elimination of all three types of weapons of mass destruction, namely, nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
However, he added, in order to achieve this lofty goal, the regional participating states as well as the nuclear weapon states should be determined to enter into meaningful negotiations and agree and honor specific obligations.
The Iranian envoy also reaffirmed that weapons of mass destruction have no place in the Islamic Republic's national defense doctrine.
Iran's “well-known position is total, irreversible and verifiable elimination of these inhumane weapons,” he said.
“This policy stems from our Islamic belief, rational calculation of our national interest and that of the region and the bitter experience of being the major victim of the most systematic chemical attacks in contemporary history,” the Iranian ambassador said, Press TV reported.
Therefore, Takht Ravanchi added, Iran fully recognizes, more than any other nation in the world, the necessity of the establishment of such a zone in the region.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran stands ready to play its role in working with all participating states towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East,” he concluded.
A few days ago, the US had announced it would not participate in the conference “because of Israel,” according to Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna.