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No bias acceptable in nuclear treaties

18 April 2010 15:44

Iran has called for the implementation of treaties banning the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) by all countries “on a non-discriminative basis.”

Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh said on Sunday that the existing treaties banning the use of WMDs needed “careful consideration.”

“Categorizing parties in a way that one has specific privileges and exemptions as far as the obligations are concerned, including reservations both in the text of such treaties and/or on the verification process will surely derail from the universal application of WMD treaties,” the statement Soltanieh read on behalf of the countries participating in the Tehran nuclear disarmament conference said.

The Tehran conference, dubbed “Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for None,” opened on Saturday, with the main aim of promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

The statement welcomed “bilateral agreements on the reduction of nuclear warheads” but lamented “the lack of any international verification mechanism in order to conduct inspections in nuclear-armed states.”

This section of the statement could be viewed as a reference to a recent agreement between the US and Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenals to 1,550, or about one-third below current levels.

Soltanieh also said Israel’s non-commitment to any international agreements had made impossible the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

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