Iran Demand Israel to Renounce Nuclear Weapons

Speaking at NPT treaty, Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif demands Israel 'renounce possession of nuclear weapons.'

Cynthia Blank,

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Reuters

Iran led the call by non-aligned nations on Monday for Israel to give up its cache of nuclear weapons. 

Addressing the conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif placed a target on the Jewish state. 

Zarif insisted that the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is demanding that "Israel, the only one in the region that has neither joined the NPT nor declared its intention to do so, (...) renounce possession of nuclear weapons."

While Israel is believed to be the sole nuclear-armed state in the Middle East, it has never formally acknowledged its status, and has refused to join the NPT. 

Israel has shied away from gatherings of NPT signatories since 1995 in protest at resolutions it regarded as biased against it. But this year it will be sending an observer to the month-long NPT conference. 

In addition to calling on Israel to renounce nuclear weapons, Zarif said non-aligned nations also seek "as a matter of high priority" the set up of a nuclear-free-weapons zone in the Middle East. 

The zone was agreed upon at the previous NPT conference in 2010, but was never implemented. 

Zarif's speech comes ahead of a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the framework deal reached between Iran and P5+1 world powers on Tehran's own nuclear program. 

Israel strongly opposes the agreement believing it will eventually enable Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and carry out threats to "annihilate" the Jewish State.

AFP contributed to this report. 




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