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Iran envoy: US, France nuclear tests ‘destructive’ violation of nonproliferation treaties

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran's permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations

Iran's permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations says a recent test of a French missile, which is capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, as well as nuclear test explosions proposed by the US, are in grave violation of international nuclear nonproliferation treaties.

Addressing the 54th Session of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in the Austrian capital on Thursday, Kazem Gharibabadi first reiterated Iran’s “long-standing and principled position on the need for the total elimination of all nuclear weapons,” reaffirming Iran’s “strong support for the objectives of the CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty).”

The envoy singled out France’s launching of a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be fitted with several nuclear nosecones, from a submarine on June 12, saying, "Unfortunately the international community recently witnessed a destructive approach towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation Treaties by some of Nuclear States."

He also pointed to reports that senior US officials have discussed the possibility of conducting nuclear-test explosions, and the fact that the US Senate had approved $10 million in budget towards preparation for the tests.

Gharibabadi noted that modernization and testing of nuclear weapons “undermine” the most important of the treaties, namely the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and “threaten the international peace and security.”

The official also referred to the United States’ “illegal and unilateral” withdrawal from many agreements that are supposed to bolster international peace and security as other instances of Washington’s intransigence.

"Unilateral and illegal withdrawal from many international agreements ... has become a policy practice for the United States that is contrary to multilateralism and undermines the international peace and security," Iran's envoy said.

He then named the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia that Washington ditched last August, the Open Skies Treaty (OST), an agreement allowing its member states to conduct surveillance flights over each other’s territories, which the country says plans to withdraw from, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a historic 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that it departed from two years ago.

“My delegation calls upon the US and France to comply with their commitments in safeguarding the purposes and objectives of the disarmament treaties,” the ambassador stated.

The US and France’s engagement with and interest in non-conventional weapons come while the former never stops alleging “diversion” of Iran’s continuously-inspected nuclear program, and the latter’s recent move to join the UK and Germany in accusing the Islamic Republic of non-cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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