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Iran: US allots $100bn to nukes

Iran has criticized the United States for allocating $100 billion to proliferation of its nuclear weapons, saying it contradicts Washington’s claim of supporting a nuke-free world.

Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaei condemned the US nuclear double standards, saying Washington advocates a nuclear-free world on the one hand, while it continues to develop and modernize its nuclear arsenal on the other.

“The US plan to develop and modernize nuclear weapons … to which a budget of more than one hundred billion dollars is allocated, is in direct contradiction to the White House slogans on a nuke-free world,” Khazaei told the UN General Assembly’s Disarmament Committee.

The Iranian envoy also referred to the US nuclear bombardment of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, saying the existence of thousands of nuclear warheads in the arsenals of nuclear countries continues to cast a “shadow of fear” over the world.

The UN General Assembly’s Disarmament Committee in a meeting in New York on Friday discussed a new nuclear disarmament treaty between the United States and Russia.

During the meeting, the member states of the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM), in a statement, criticized the new START pact, citing inadequate measures to counter nuclear threats.

The statement, which was proposed by Iran and read aloud at the meeting, called on the US and Russia to stick to their commitments to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on the destruction of all their nuclear weapons.

The US and Russia were also urged to adopt a transparent nuclear policy and to meet their international nuclear verification obligations in order to ensure global denuclearization.

The statement said that the reduction of nuclear weapons was no substitute for their destruction, as the only way to protect the world against a nuclear threat was complete denuclearization.

The NAM members states also voiced deep concern over NATO’s nuclear policies that justify the use of nuclear weapons.

The US and Russia, both signatories to the NPT, are major possessors of nuclear weapons.

The two countries signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on reduction and limitation of nuclear weapons in 1991.

It was renamed START I after negotiations began on the second START treaty, which became START II or the New START.

The START I treaty expired in December 2009. In April 2010, the New START was signed by the US and Russia.

Under the new treaty, each side within seven years would be barred from deploying more than 1,550 strategic warheads or 700 launchers but neither side would have to eliminate large numbers of weapons to meet the new limits.

Arms control advocates say the treaty does not go far enough in reducing the dangerous weapons on both sides.

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