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Iran blasts Israel as' West’s darling, habitual extorter'

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)
The file photo shows a view of the Iranian Foreign Ministry building in Tehran.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has reacted to allegations recently made by the Israeli regime about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities, calling the regime "the West’s darling and a habitual extorter" with a "destabilizing nature".

Saeed Khatibzadeh, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, made the remark in a post on his Twitter account on Friday, after Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid accused Tehran of “marching towards a nuclear weapon,” and said, “Israel will act” if the world failed to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities.

“Outlaw Israeli regime — sitting on illicit nukes and refusing to join NPT— again threatens NPT member Iran; a nation with world's most inspected nuclear program,” Khatibzadeh wrote in his tweet, referring to the Israeli regime’s refusal to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

"The West's darling is a habitual extorter. But the world has woken up to its destabilizing nature. Iran reserves the right to respond," he added.

The Israeli regime, which has refused to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities or sign the NPT, pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons and is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

As stipulated in Article VI of the NPT, all parties to the treaty are obliged to pursue good-faith negotiations on effective measures with regard to nuclear disarmament and the cessation of nuclear arms race.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has previously affirmed that the country’s nuclear activities are fully in line with its commitments under the NPT and a 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran and world powers, including the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, struck the JCPOA on July 14, 2015. Under the accord, Iran agreed to scale back some of its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

Former US president Donald Trump, however, abandoned the agreement and reimposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the JCPOA had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of the “maximum pressure” campaign.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights stipulated in Article 26 of the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories.

Now, the administration of President Joe Biden says it wants to compensate for Trump’s move and rejoin the accord, but it is showing an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure.

Iran and the remaining signatories to the JCPOA have already held six rounds of talks in Vienna as part of efforts to revive the landmark accord.

Tehran insists that since Washington was the party to have violated the terms of the agreement, it should take the first step back into compliance with the deal by removing its unilateral sanctions in a verifiable manner before the Islamic Republic reverses its remedial measures.


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