Sep 27, 2022 07:07 UTC
  • Iran: Israel, US main obstacles to nuclear disarmament in West Asia, world

Iran’s deputy foreign minister says the United States and Israel are the main obstacles to nuclear disarmament at global and regional levels, calling for the elimination of Israel's nukes.

Reza Najafi made the remarks on Monday while representing the Islamic Republic at a United Nations General Assembly gathering held to mark the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

The Iranian diplomat, who expressed gratitude towards the General Assembly for holding the session, described elimination of nuclear weapons as an international priority and obligation.

The diplomat slammed the Israeli regime and the United States as the main parties in the world, which are stonewalling elimination of the unconventional weapons on the regional and international levels, respectively.

The United States was the first country to manufacture nuclear weapons and the only one to ever deploy them -- in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. The two bombings killed up to 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians.

Since 1945, the United States has produced tens of thousands of nuclear warheads, more than all other nuclear-weapon states combined. The US government has spent around $10 trillion in present-day terms on nuclear weapons, according to experts.

Back in 2019, Washington exited the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a key regulatory regime that bans the use of all land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, including missiles carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads.

The Israeli regime is estimated to possess 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, which makes it the sole possessor of unconventional weapons in the West Asia region. Israel pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons program as it neither confirms nor dismisses owning the weapons.

The regime has, however, refused to either allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Elsewhere in his remarks, Najafi said Iran "strongly supports" a proposal put forward by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) for immediate launch of negotiations aimed at creation of a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons. Such convention would be a global treaty, including both nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon states and would prohibit the threat or use of nuclear weapons. It would also establish a program for their complete elimination under strict and effective international controls.