A senior Iranian diplomat has expressed concern over the lack of progress in the implementation of the 1995 Nuclear Nonproliferation 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 realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East and the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East."
He noted that the Iranian delegation has contributed constructively to the discussions and draft reports of the ongoing NPT review conference, expressing regret that none of the draft reports garnered consensus "due to some imbalanced contents."
"Three weeks of intense negotiations reveal that the NNWS do not have the determination and political will to accept any concrete commitments or timetable, benchmarks or targets that are required for making progress in our negotiations on nuclear disarmament pillar," Takht-Ravanchi said.
"I would like to add that establishing a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction is long overdue after the consensual adoption of the resolution 1995."
He noted that a detailed plan of action has been 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 jeopardize the overall implementation of the conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions and would represent a major setback in that regard," the Iranian diplomat said.
"Now, we expect the current Conference to reject the impediments to convening the conference. The failure to convene the conference in 2012 contradicts and violates the collective agreement of the States 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, 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.
The illegitimate entity 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, the two countries most critical of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.
Over the years, the 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 in July warned that the Israeli regime's advanced atomic military program poses a serious threat to international security and the NPT, urging the UN nuclear agency to fulfill its responsibility in this regard.
"The advanced atomic military program of the apartheid Israeli regime and the regime's 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 said.