Zarif: World must force Israel to destroy its nuclear arsenal
“Given its six decades of deception and clandestine development of nuclear weapons, it (Israel) must be compelled to submit to the most intrusive inspection regime that law-abiding members of the NPT observe,” Zarif said at the Virtual Meeting of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on Friday.
The 75th high-level plenary meeting was attended by nearly 100 foreign ministers to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
“75 years after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki—the first and only use of such horrific weapons—this meeting provides a unique opportunity to mobilize the world to liberate humanity from the nuclear nightmare,” Zarif suggested.
“25 years after the NPT Review and Extension Conference called for reduced reliance on nuclear weapons and the ICJ ordered good faith efforts towards nuclear disarmament, the U.S. is developing new nuclear weapons and recklessly lowering the threshold of their deployment. It has further caused immense damage to the NPT by unlawfully withdrawing from the INF and the JCPOA,” he added.
The foreign minister noted that the world’s lone perpetrator of a nuclear attack “extends blind support to the sole possessor of nuclear arsenal in our region.” He referred to Israel as an outlaw regime that has openly threatened others with nuclear annihilation, while crying wolf about proliferation.
“We also call on the General Assembly to declare as a binding norm of international law that a nuclear war cannot be won—and must never be fought,” he stated, adding that this should be followed by a long-overdue, concrete program for time-bound nuclear disarmament and provision of security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states in the interim.
The chief Iranian diplomat concluded his remarks by saying that “last year, $72.9 billion was spent on nuclear weapons—half of it by the U.S. alone. This is higher than the GDP of most countries. Just imagine if the billions wasted on instruments of global annihilation were allocated to help fund the fight against COVID-19.”
Enough is enough, he added.
The remarks came days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Iran poses the greatest threat to peace in West Asia. He accused the Islamic Republic of attacking its neighbors and fomenting violence in the region.
In his speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Netanyahu lauded U.S. President Donald Trump for leaving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimposing the sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran under the pact.
He also claimed that Iran was seeking nuclear weapons.
Israel is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has refused to either confirm or deny the possession of nuclear weapons in its arsenal.
The regime is believed to possess 200 nuclear warheads, making it the only country in West Asia that has nuclear weapons.
This is while Iran has signed the NPT and its nuclear program is inspected regularly by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA has in numerous occasions certified the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
IAEA director-general Rafael Grossi has said that the UN nuclear watchdog carried out more than 400 inspections in Iran last year.
"We carried out more than 400 inspections in Iran last year," Grossi said in an interview with Der Spiegel published on September 30.
In response to Netanyahu’s speech, Tehran said it was part of a serial of “puppet shows” that originate from the Israeli premier’s conspiratorial mind and from the counter-intelligence campaign run by the Zionist regime’s espionage services.
“The prime minister of the fake, usurper and child-murdering Zionist regime continues to tell lies by taking the podium at international circles, and is trying to deceive public opinion and the global circles with ridiculous shows in order to prevent trial of the regime’s criminal leaders at the international courts,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Wednesday.
Source: Tehran Times