Israel Lambasted as Main Obstacle to Nuclear-Free Middle East
- May, 01, 2014 - 18:06
- Politics news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A top Iranian diplomat reiterated the country’s call for a halt to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, adding that the Zionist regime of Israel continues to obstruct the plans for establishing a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.
The nuclear program of the Zionist regime of Israel, which is the only non-member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), is a threat to the regional peace and security and is the only obstacle to the establishment of a nuke-free zone in the Middle East, Hamid Baeedinejad, the director general for political and international affairs at Iran's foreign ministry said.
The Iranian diplomat made the remarks in an address to a Wednesday meeting of the third Preparatory Committee of the NPT Review Conference in New York.
Elsewhere in his comments, Baeedinejad took a swipe at Israel for its opposition to a conference on the establishment of nuclear-free-zone in the Middle East, back in 2012.
“Despite the approval of the whole NPT members and the international community’s serious call to hold the 2012 conference on the establishment of nuke-free zone in the Middle East, the Zionist regime has disapproved of the conference”, he added.
Israel is widely understood to possess nuclear weapons but declines to confirm or deny it under the policy of nuclear ambiguity. It has refused to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and been the only obstacle in the way of realization of a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East.
Most experts estimate that Israel has between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, largely based on information leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper in the 1980s by Mordechai Vanunu, a former worker at the country's Dimona nuclear reactor.
Meanwhile, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has also alluded to Israel's nuclear weapons arsenal in comments in December 2006, a week after then US Defense Secretary Robert Gates used a similar form of words during a Senate hearing.
In May 2008, ex-US President Jimmy Carter said Israel had at least 150 atomic weapons in its arsenal.