A SENIOR Iranian diplomat has condemned the lack of progress in the implementation of the UN 1995 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) resolution and the 2010 action plan on the Middle East, saying the Israeli regime must eliminate its stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, made the remarks in an address to the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons held at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday.
He said the positions of the nuclear weapon states, echoed and supported by the so-called umbrella states, including their attempt to replace nuclear disarmament with nuclear risk reduction, are contrary to their legal obligations concerning nuclear disarmament.
Takht-Ravanchi slammed the US’ double standards, saying Israel’s accession to the NPT ‘without precondition and further delay’ and the placement of all of its nuclear activities and facilities under the comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards are ‘essential in realising the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East and the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.’
He pointed out that the Iranian delegation has contributed constructively to the discussions and draft reports of the ongoing NPT review conference, but none of the draft reports garnered consensus ‘due to some imbalanced contents’.
‘Three weeks of intense negotiations reveal that the non-nuclear weapons states (NNWS) do not have the determination or political will to accept any concrete commitments or timetable, benchmarks or targets required to make progress in our negotiations on nuclear disarmament,’ he said.
‘I would like to add that establishing a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction is long overdue – the resolution was unanimously adopted in 1995.’
He also noted that a detailed plan of action was adopted by consensus to ensure the success of a conference in 2012 in the presence of all countries in the Middle East on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.
‘However, after delays in convening the conference, at the first, second and third sessions of the Preparatory Committee, in 2012, 2013, and 2014, the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) and regional countries warned that any further delay in convening the 2012 conference would seriously jeopardise the overall implementation of the conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions and would represent a major setback,’ the Iranian diplomat said.
‘Now, we expect the current conference to reject the impediments to convening the conference. The failure to convene it in 2012 contradicts and violates the collective agreement of the state parties contained in the conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions adopted by the 2010 Review Conference and contravenes the letter and spirit of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East.’
• Israel, the world’s eighth-largest nuclear power, initiated its nuclear programme in 1952 with technological support from France and the United States – the two countries most vocal about Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme.
Israel, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to possess 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, making it the sole possessor of non-conventional arms in West Asia.
It has, however, refused to either allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the NPT.
What has emboldened Tel Aviv to accelerate its nuclear activities, according to observers, is the support from the US and Europe – who are most critical of Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme.
Over the years, the Israeli regime has assassinated at least seven Iranian nuclear scientists and conducted a series of sabotage operations against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kana’ani warned in July that the Israeli regime’s advanced atomic military programme poses a serious threat to international security and the NPT, and urged the UN nuclear agency to fulfil its responsibilities.
‘The advanced atomic military programme of the apartheid Israeli regime and its continued objection to placing its nuclear facilities under the Safeguards Agreements of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and not joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty are serious threats to international security and the non-proliferation regime,’ Kana’ani warned.
- A senior member of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) ground forces, General Abolfazl Alijani, has been killed in Syria.
General Alijani, who served as a military advisor in the war-ravaged country, was killed in the early hours of Monday morning
He was an IRGC ground force officer at the Amir Al-Momenin University of Military Sciences and Technology in the central Iranian city of Esfahan.
His body will be flown back to Iran in the coming days.
Iran maintains an advisory mission in Syria at the request of Damascus with the aim of helping the war-torn country get rid of the foreign-backed militants who have been fighting against the democratically-elected Syrian government since 2011.
In 2017, Iran’s advisory assistance helped Syria defeat the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group.
Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike near Baghdad International Airport in January 2020, played a key role in the defeat of the Takfiri group.
Israel has been a key supporter of the terrorist groups operating on Syrian soil and has targeted the positions of Iran’s military advisors as well as those of the Syrian army and resistance groups who have been fighting the terrorists.
In March, the IRGC named two advisors – Colonel Ehsan Karbalayi-Poor and Colonel Morteza Saeed-Nezhad – who were killed in a missile attack by the Israeli regime near the Syrian capital Damascus.
The IRGC spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said then that the Israeli regime would be dealt with decisively for the killing of the two advisors.
‘The Zionist enemy knows that it will not benefit from such crimes and will receive a decisive response,’ he said.
In a statement at the time, the IRGC also vowed to avenge their deaths.
‘Undoubtedly, the Zionist regime will pay the price for this atrocity,’ its Public Relations Office said.
- Russian political philosopher Alexander Dugin, who is known for his staunch anti-West views, has blamed Ukraine for the car bomb attack that killed his daughter, and urged Russia to avenge the murder.
In his first public statement after his daughter Daria Dugina’s death, Dugin said the 29-year-old TV commentator and journalist was ‘brutally killed by an explosion in front of my eyes’.
He described the blast as a ‘terrorist attack’ and blamed it on the Ukrainian government.
‘Our hearts yearn for more than just revenge or retribution. That would be too small, not according to Russia’s style. We only need our victory. My daughter laid her maiden life on victory’s altar. So win, please!’ Dugin said in a statement relayed by his friend, Konstantin Malofeev, on Monday.
Moscow has accused Ukraine’s secret services of being behind the weekend murder.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on Monday identified the attacker as a Ukrainian woman in her forties named Natalia Vovk.
It said the woman conducted a remote-controlled explosion of the car Dugina was driving on Saturday.
The report said the assailant, who arrived in Russia in July along with her teenage daughter, prepared for the attack for a month. The two reportedly fled to the EU member state of Estonia after the attack.