Iran’s foreign minister says the United States’ unwillingness to renew the START III Treaty on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms testifies to the fact that this country is not interested in promoting global stability.
Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a Thursday tweet, which he posted in Russian, that the unwillingness of the United States to reach an agreement with Russia on this issue is also evidence to Washington’s “great desire … to start an arms race in the world.”
Iran’s top diplomat noted that such a treaty “is one of the most important treaties in ensuring international security and arms control, which ends in February 2021.”
“The lack of desire on the part of the United States to renew the START-3 Treaty on the Limitation of Offensive Strategic Arms, which is one of the most important treaties in ensuring international security and arms control and ends in February 2021, is another vivid example of the lack of interest in the United States in global stability and testifies to the great desire of this country to start an arms race in the world,” read the tweet.
Zarif’s tweet came after the administration of US President Donald Trump rejected an offer by Russian President Vladimir Putin for a one-year extension of a crucial nuclear treaty with Washington, describing it as a “non-starter.”
The offer to extend New Start, a 10-year bilateral accord that limits US and Russian nuclear warheads, was made by Putin at a meeting of his security council, when he said it would be “exceedingly sad” if New Start expired on February 5 and offered to “extend the existing agreement without preconditions for a year at least.”
However, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien rejected the offer, saying the freeze would not cover so-called tactical warheads, which the US alleges make up 55% of Russia’s arsenal.
“President Putin’s response today to extend New Start without freezing nuclear warheads is a non-starter,” he said, adding that the Trump administration had expected Moscow to accept a US proposal to extend the treaty and freeze all warhead stockpiles for a year.
This was the second time the Trump administration rejected an offer from Russia, with Moscow previously offering to extend New Start for five years without preconditions. The US wants a more expansive deal as well as the inclusion of China in nuclear accords.