During his speech at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Iran´t President Hassan Rouhani called for a world disarmament conference to establish a nuclear-free region in the Middle East and said, that Israel should sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Rouhani stressed, that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the threat of their use persists.
Rouhani called on the attendees of the 68th Session of the General Assembly to recall the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Underlining the need to establish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, Rouhani stressed that Israel is the only country in the region that had not yet signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
A proposal by Arab states, earlier this month, for a non-binding resolution to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in which the Arab nations called on Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to submit its facilities to IAEA monitoring, was voted down by 51 countries.
The Iranian President called upon the attendees of the General Assembly, saying that a conference on creating a nuclear-free region and a region free of weapons of mass destruction should be held, and that all countries should participate in it.
Rouhani stressed, that any use of nuclear weapons is equivalent to violating humanity and that the world has been waiting too long for nuclear disarmament. Rouhani said:
“Almost four decades of international efforts to establish nuclear weapon-free zones have regrettably failed. … Urgent, practical steps toward the establishment of such a zone are necessary. The international community has to redouble efforts in support of the establishment of this zone. … Nuclear disarmament should be implemented in a comprehensive and non-discriminatory manner. … Nuclear states should refrain from threats or use of such weapons against non-nuclear states under any circumstances . …Threatening non-nuclear states with nuclear weapons should end. The modernization of these weapons undercuts efforts for their total abolition”.
Many conflict analysts, the author of this article included, consider Rouhani´s remark timely, and directly related to the recent US, British and French threats of the use of military force against Syria. All three are nuclear armed powers and signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Treaty outlaws any threat of military force, nuclear or conventional, by any nuclear armed state, against any nation which does not possess nuclear weapons.
Rouhani´s calls are also considered timely within the context of Syria´s accession to the Chemical Weapons Treaty and the newly declassified CIA documents, according to which Israel possesses chemical weapons.
Israel is believed to possess between 75 and 400 nuclear weapons, ranging between tactical pineapple bombs to bombs in the megaton range. Israel neither confirms or denies that it has nuclear weapons while it has consistently accused Iran for having an undeclared, covert nuclear weapons program.
Israel´s nuclear weapons program gained worldwide attention when Mordechai Vanunu risked his life and liberty and blew the whistle on Israel´s secret nuclear weapons program at Dimona. Contrary to Israel which is proven to have a nuclear program and rejects signing the non-proliferation treaty, Iran has signed the treaty, cooperates fully with the IAEA, but is suffering under unilaterally imposed and illegal sanctions.
Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at firstname.lastname@example.org
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