In a statement read to the second session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on Monday, Majid Takht Ravanchi said in order to remove the obstacles to the establishment of a WMD-free zone, first and foremost, the Israeli regime must join all related international legally binding instruments banning weapons of mass destruction.
“Above all, it (Israel) must join the NPT without any precondition while placing all of its nuclear facilities and activities under the comprehensive safeguards of the IAEA,” he added, Press TV reported.
Takht Ravanchi also criticized the US for its unwillingness to engage constructively in the work of the conference and for its continuous support for Israel, including its condoning of the regime’s dangerous nuclear weapons program.
“The rejection of the US and Israel to participate in the conference is a major hurdle in its success. Practically, any possible treaty on the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East will be meaningless and ineffective unless an entity possessing all types of WMD adheres to it. Therefore, necessary measures should be taken to solve these problems,” he stated.
Pointing to the UN nuclear watchdog’s reports, the Iranian envoy voiced regret that some delegations raised “unwarranted concerns” about Iran’s nuclear program.
“It is unfortunate that this August meeting is being misused to distract the attention from the real threat to the region, that is, the Israeli nuclear weapon program,” he lamented.
He then noted that Iran has a high record of accession, among the Middle Eastern countries, to the international instruments banning WMDs.
“As the initiator of the proposal for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East presented in 1974, Iran is also a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the 1925 Geneva Protocol as well as a signatory to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, with a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency,” he explained.
Takht Ravanchi also highlighted a fatwa (religious decree) by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei that bans the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons and other WMDs.
“Weapons of mass destruction unquestionably pose an existential threat to both global peace and security. This threat has been clearer and more familiar in the Middle East as those weapons have already been proliferated and utilized in this region,” he said, making a reference to the use of chemical weapons by Western-backed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein against Iran in the 1980s.