Iranian Diplomat Blasts Tel Aviv’s Refusal to Join NPT
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday underlined that a Middle East region free from nuclear weapons is not achievable with Tel Aviv’s nuclear arsenal and its continued refusal to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Addressing the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York, Reza Najafi said there would be no prospects for a nuclear-free Middle East as long as the Zionist regime refuses to join the NPT.
He reiterated that the only reason why all international efforts for creating a Middle East free of nuclear weapons have failed over the past few decades is Israel’s nuclear arms and its activities outside the framework of the IAEA Safeguards Agreement.
Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons but declines to confirm or deny it under the policy of nuclear ambiguity.
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.
Elsewhere in his address on Thursday, the Iranian diplomat to the IAEA renewed Tehran’s call for turning the Middle East into a nuclear weapons-free zone, saying that Iran presented the proposition in 1974, which was supported in 1978 by the First Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to Disarmament.
Najafi added that the proposition also enjoys the backing of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the IAEA General Conference.