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Politics
2021-October-15  16:46

Iran: Israel's Nuclear Weapons Preventing Formation of Nuke-Free Middle East Region

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Representative at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly Heidar Ali Balouji deplored the Israeli regime's nuclear weapons as the main hurdle to establishing a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East and West Asia region.

Balouji made the remarks addressing the UNGA's 76 First Committee's Combined Thematic Discussions: Nuclear Weapons, Other WMDs, Outer Space, and Conventional Weapons.

"Achieving global nuclear disarmament remains one of the most long-lasting goals of the United Nations. Today, international security is under threat by the existence of almost 14,000 nuclear weapons with well-funded, long-term plans to not only modernize but also strengthen the arsenals of NWSs and so nuclear arms race," the Iranian envoy said.

Balouji pointed out that the US withdrawal from the INF spelt an end to the commitment to eliminate an entire class of nuclear missiles, and said, "Similarly, its withdrawal from the JCPOA, and the unwillingness to return to it, have caused immense damages to international efforts towards nuclear disarmament."

""We reiterate our call on the international community to compel Israel to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, promptly accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon party without any preconditions and place all of its nuclear facilities under the IAEA’s full-scope safeguards," he added.

The Iranian ambassador said that in the same vein, the nuclear weapons of the Israeli regime are the main obstacle to establishing a nuclear-weapons-free zone in West Asia.

Balouji underlined that Iran is among the countries with the highest record in accession to the international instruments banning WMD. 

"Twenty-four years after the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, there is still a danger of the use of these weapons, and the destruction of chemical weapons and the universality of the Convention has not yet been realized," he added.

The Iranian ambassador pointed out that the US as the only possessor of the chemical weapons has not only failed to meet the final extended deadline of April 2012 for the destruction of chemical weapons, but has also sought to postpone the fulfillment of its obligations until 2023.

"We urge the US to utilize its full capacity to expedite the completion of the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpiles in the shortest amount of time before the scheduled timeline," he said.

Balouji also said that the continued non-adherence of the Israeli regime to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is a major obstacle to their universality while endangering regional security.

He underlined that the prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS) can stop a severe threat to international peace and security.

"To this end, further measures, including a legally binding instrument with appropriate and effective verification provisions, shall be developed timely by the CD," the Iranian envoy said. "We are deeply concerned about the increasing threat of weaponizing outer space."

He recalled that the US has already established a Space Force and its budget for this year is more than $17 billion budget and will increase by 13% in the next year. 

"We reject the illegal sanctions by the US against Iranian Space Agencies," Balouji added.

The envoy pointed out that Iran reaffirms the sovereign and inherent right of States to acquire, manufacture, export, import, and retain conventional arms under Article 51 of the UN Charter.

"However, in regions like the Middle East, overproduction, massive transfer, and excessive accumulation of these weapons have caused regional and international security concerns. Israel is the largest recipient of US arms aids in the region," he said.

Balouji concluded by saying that last not least, regrettably the outcome document of the BMS 7 contains provisions including the establishment of an open-ended expert group that is not consistent with the mandate of the BMS.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, Iranian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi in a letter to the UN Security Council warned of Israel’s growing threats against Iran, reiterating that the threats should be condemned as a violation of international laws.

Takht Ravanchi in the letter submitted to the current president of the Security Council on Wednesday cautioned of a sharp increase in Israeli threats against the country, warning against any “miscalculation” or “military adventurism” on the part of the regime against the Islamic Republic, including its nuclear program.

He also warned that the frequency and severity of the regime’s provocative and adventurous threats had steadily increased over the past months and reached an alarming level.

Such blatant systematic threats against one of the founding members of the United Nations are a gross violation of international law, in particular Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter, Takht Ravanchi added.

As a case in point, the diplomat referred the recent comments by Israeli Military Chief Aviv Kochavi who said earlier this month that the regime was in constant preparations for an attack on the Iranian nuclear program.

Kochav had said that “the operational plans against Iran’s nuclear program will continue to evolve and improve,” and that “operations to destroy Iranian capabilities will continue, in any arena and at any time”.

The fact that the Tel Aviv regime continues to try to “destroy Iran’s capabilities” proves without any doubt that it had been responsible for terrorist attacks against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program in the past, Takht Ravanchi said.

Given the ominous history of the Israeli regime’s destabilizing practices in the region and its covert operations against Iran’s nuclear program, it is necessary to counter the regime and stop all its threats and disruptive behavior, the diplomat added.