A senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official says the international community must mount pressure on Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) unconditionally and put its nuclear activities under the surveillance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Gholam-Hossein Dehqani, the director-general for political and international security affairs at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, made the remarks while addressing the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in the Austrian capital city of Vienna on Wednesday.
The Iranian official expressed concern about Israel’s nuclear arsenal, saying the Tel Aviv regime’s nuclear weapons posed a threat to peace and security in the region and the world.
Israel, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. The regime has refused to allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the NPT.
Dehqani also criticized nuclear-armed countries for their failure to comply with their commitments to dismantle their nuclear arsenals.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry official described nuclear-armed countries’ refusal to “fulfill their nuclear disarmament commitments over the past 47 years” as “the main challenge to the implementation of the NPT.”
He underlined the need for countries to meet their obligations under Article VI of the NPT, saying the fulfillment of countries’ nuclear commitments were neither arbitrary nor conditional.
Under Article VI of the NPT, all parties to the treaty undertake to pursue good-faith negotiations on effective measures related to nuclear disarmament and the cessation of nuclear arms race.
The preparatory committee, which opened in Austria on May 2 and will conclude on May 12, is responsible for addressing substantive and procedural issues related to the NPT.