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Tenth review conference of NPT: Iran says final draft text of NPT conference ‘leaves no hope for change’

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)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers a speech at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. (File photo by AP)

Iran has expressed its opposition to the final draft text of the United Nations’ nuclear disarmament treaty, saying the declaration leaves no hope for a change in the status quo as it is dominated by Western powers.

Asadollah Eshraq Jahromi, the director general for International Peace and Security at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, made the remarks at the end of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), being held at the UN headquarters in New York since August 1.

“Our assessment is that the current draft of the final document leaves no hope for changing the status quo and making some concrete progress towards nuclear disarmament,” Eshraq Jahromi said.

He underlined the need for nuclear powers to give security assurances to non-nuclear states, but cautioned against the dominance of the “dangerous positions” of the three nuclear members of NATO – namely the US, the UK, and France – on the issue.

The NPT, which is reviewed by its 191 signatories every five years, is intended to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote complete disarmament, and promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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Russia on Friday blocked the adoption of the final draft of the conference, denouncing what it said were “political” aspects of the text. 

“Our delegation has one key objection on some paragraphs which are blatantly political in nature,” Russian representative Igor Vishnevetsky said.

Sources close to the negotiations said Russia was particularly opposed to paragraphs concerning the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, which has been controlled by Russia since March.

The latest draft text had expressed “grave concern” over military activities around Ukrainian power plants, as Moscow and Kiev continue to accuse each other of shelling Zaporizhzhia.

Meanwhile, Vishnevetsky also pointed out that Russia was not the only country to take issue with the draft text.

‘Israel main obstacle to nuclear-weapon-free zone in Mideast’

According to Eshraq Jahromi, the Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. But the draft text was the product of a “non-transparent” and “non-inclusive” process in which Iran played no part, he lamented.

He explained that the final text disregards the NPT review conferences of 2000 and 2010, which stressed the need for the Israeli regime to sign the NPT in order to realize the treaty’s goal in the Middle East.

Only because of Washington’s opposition, he went on, the current text on the Middle East has failed to maintain what had been achieved in previous conferences or reflect the developments that have taken place since 2010.

“The review conference should not hide the basic fact that the Israeli regime is the only party in the Middle East that has not joined the NPT and refuses to place its nuclear facilities under the International Atomic Energy Agency’s comprehensive safeguards regime,” Eshraq Jahromi said.

“In addition, Israel, with the help and support of the United States, is blocking all serious international efforts to create a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East,” he added.

In similar remarks on Friday, Iran’s outgoing ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, slammed Israel’s refusal to join the NPT, saying that during the review conference, the Islamic Republic clearly declared that it would not back down from its stance on the importance of a Middle East without any weapons of mass destruction.


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