Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says Israel's nuclear weapons policies and the West's support of them have undermined efforts to reach a nuke-free Middle East.
“Unfortunately, the establishment of a nuke-free Middle East region has been held hostage to the Zionist regime (Israel)'s nuclear weapons policies over the past forty years,” Salehi said in a speech at the 38th meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Kazakh capital of Astana on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
“The Zionist regime's persistent defiance to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and put its nuclear facilities under the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Safeguards have been undermining international efforts to reach regional and global disarmament,” he added.
The senior Iranian official criticized certain countries' support of Israel's nuke activities and said the West's double standards have endangered global peace.
Salehi added that the existence of thousands of nuclear weapons by nuclear-weapon states and their threats to use them against non-nuclear weapon countries threaten all human beings, in particular Muslim nations.
“Due to the systematic avoidance of nuclear armed-countries to engage in disarmament talks with a good will, the world today is under the shadow of nuclear threats,” he went on to say.
Salehi pointed out that Iran has presented a resolution on denuclearization to the OIC meeting and hoped that it would be ratified.
Salehi further explained that the resolution would constitute a basis for nuclear disarmament through a binding convention that would forbid the use of weapons of mass destruction.
Elsewhere in his speech, he touched on terrorism and described it as a “global menace” and said that an internationally accepted approach was needed to be adopted to fight against terrorism.
“Selective approaches and double standards toward terrorism have overshadowed international confidence and cooperation in fight against such a threat.”
He added that terrorism could only be curbed if its root causes, including foreign occupation, were called into attention.
The top Iranian official also underlined the role of the OIC in establishing peace and fostering unity among Muslim nations and said,” The OIC is the only organization that acts as the UN Islamic body in uniting 57 countries in four continents.”
Salehi urged OIC member states to coordinate efforts to devise effective mechanisms to develop cooperation among each other.
“The Islamic Ummah is facing serious challenges in the drastically changing world today and Islamic countries need to fulfill their roles in order to surmount problems and challenges,” he concluded.