Envoy to IAEA Renews Call for Nuke-Free Mideast

Envoy to IAEA Renews Call for Nuke-Free Mideast
Envoy to IAEA Renews Call for Nuke-Free Mideast

The ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international organizations in Vienna renewed Tehran’s call for turning the Middle East into a zone free from nuclear weapons.

Reza Najafi, who was giving a speech at the third international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons in the Austrian capital, said that Iran welcomes any efforts aimed at dismantling nuclear weapons across the globe and strongly supports the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free Middle East. 

The envoy went on to say that the only obstacle to the realization of that idea is “the Zionist regime of Israel that despite repeated demands by the international community has not only not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NTP), but also refused to place its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, thanks to the political and military backing of several permanent members of the UN Security Council,” IRNA reported on Tuesday.

  Nukes Cannot Guarantee Security

Elsewhere, he said Iran believes that gaining access to weapons of mass destruction is “contrary to Islamic teachings.”

“Iran, as a victim of weapons of mass destruction, is of strong conviction that possessing atomic weapons cannot guarantee security for any nation and the only absolute guarantee against such a threat is to fully dismantle nuclear arms under tight international supervision.”

Najafi also made a reference to a fatwa by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued on February 22, 2012, in which he said Iran considers the pursuit and possession of nuclear and chemical weapons “a grave sin” from every logical, religious and theoretical standpoint.

In addition, he expressed regret over the slow process of nuclear disarmament in the world and underlined the desire of the majority of the world community, including Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states, to achieve nuclear disarmament, which is “a fundamental principle of the Non-Proliferation Treaty convention.”

Najafi urged participants in the conference “to call on the governments which have nuclear arsenal to meet their commitments under the NPT and avoid any kind of research and development on nuclear weapons, any kind of threat to use such weapons against sates without nuclear weapons, any kind of remodeling of atomic weapons and their installations and deployment in the territories of other states.”

“Since the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima by the US, the humankind has been living fearful of atomic weapons -- weapons that cannot recognize borders and distinguish between military forces and civilian population. That’s why the nature of possession of nuclear weapons should be condemned.”