Human Rights

Nuclear warheads in US, Europe threaten all of humanity, Soltanieh says

Nuclear warheads
The Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that the tens of thousands of nuclear warheads in the United States and around Europe pose a direct threat to humanity.

Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh made the remarks in a speech at meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in Geneva on Tuesday.

“The continued existence of tens of thousands of nuclear warheads in the stockpile of the nuclear-weapon states, most of them on high-trigger alert, and their day by day modernization, constitute the most serious threat to the survival of mankind,” Soltanieh told the committee.

He also condemned the US for conducting its 27th subcritical nuclear test in Nevada in December 2012, saying the experiment was “a flagrant violation” of Washington’s “international obligations” and “a recipe for global destabilization.”

“Such subcritical tests and computer simulations to design new weapons, a case of non-compliance by the United States with its international obligations under the NPT, could be a resumption of the nuclear arms race and a revival [of the] risk of global disaster,” the Iranian ambassador stated.

The US National Nuclear Security Administration said the experiment, known as Pollux, was conducted to ensure that the United States “can support a safe, secure and effective stockpile” of nuclear weapons.

According to the United Nations, the US — which is the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons against human beings — has conducted over 1,000 nuclear tests since 1945.

Soltanieh noted that spending on nuclear weapons has increased dramatically since 2010 and will reach at least one trillion US dollars over the next decade, adding, “The United States itself will spend untold billions of dollars to operate its nuclear armada during its 50-year planned lifespan (from 2030 to 2080).”

He added that the British government’s plan to spend 100 billion pounds to upgrade its Trident nuclear-armed submarines is a “clear breach of Article VI of the NPT and the commitments [made] during the 2010 NPT Review Conference.”

He went on to say that the sale of German-made Dolphin-class submarines to the Israeli regime, which is not a signatory to the NPT, is “an unconcealed case of proliferation and non-compliance,” since the submarines are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Since 1958, when Israel began building its Dimona plutonium- and uranium-processing facility in the Negev desert, it has secretly manufactured over 200 nuclear warheads, making it the only player in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons.

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