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Iranians challenge hypocrisy on nukes

By JAN YUMUL in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-17 09:24

Iranians drivers are pictured in traffic at Sadeghie square in the capital Tehran, on July 31 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

Nation's Western critics ignore own obligations under arms pact, forum told

Countries accusing Iran of engaging in dangerous nuclear activities are guilty of double standards if they turn a blind eye to their own activities and responsibilities, analysts say.

At the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran's ambassador to the UN, was quoted by the country's English-language daily, Tehran Times, as saying that nonproliferation provisions "should be applied globally and without exception".

Takht-Ravanchi drew attention to some nations' double standards on the enforcement of nonproliferation provisions when it comes to Israel, which Iran said had developed nuclear weapons "with the support and assistance of the United States".

He described Iran as "a steadfast supporter of nuclear disarmament "that is committed to nuclear nonproliferation.

Asadollah Eshragh Jahromi, director-general for international peace and security in the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said that despite the nuclear disarmament obligations required of the US under the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or NPT, and its commitments made in the 2000 and 2010 NPT review conferences, the country's nuclear policy had escalated tensions.

Eshragh Jahromi said the US pursued a tremendous buildup of its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, carried out the first use of nuclear weapons, threatened to use them against non-nuclear-weapon states, and has authorized the development of new types of low-yield nuclear weapons. He also decried the United Kingdom's increased stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Iran has consistently complained about the US and European Union double standards concerning its nonexistent nuclear weapons program and the blind eye that they have turned toward the nuclear weapons held in the US and Europe, said Mehran Kamrava, a professor of government at Georgetown University in Qatar.

'Major proponent'

"Iran has actually been a major proponent of turning the Middle East into a nuclear-free zone, a proposal that has been actively opposed by Israel and the United States," he said.

Negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran struck with world powers have been proceeding since April last year. The US, during the presidency of Donald Trump, abandoned the deal in 2018.

On Sunday, the Tasnim News Agency reported that Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said a final agreement on the restoration of the deal and the removal of anti-Iran sanctions may be reached soon.

"The United States imposed additional sanctions on Iran's oil exports just before the start of the latest round of talks in Vienna. This does not show good faith in negotiations, and makes the possibility of a deal all the more difficult," said Kamrava. "But there seems to be renewed desire by all sides to reach a workable and equitable deal."

Iran said on Tuesday it had submitted a written response to what has been described as a final road map to restoring the deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Asif Shuja, an Iran expert and senior research fellow at the Middle East Institute at National University of Singapore, said nuclear nonproliferation is viable only if it is pursued simultaneously with nuclear disarmament.

He said that while the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, or CTBT, is an important tool to attain nuclear disarmament, the US' role in this effort "is not very helpful". He said that for the CTBT to enter into force, 44 states are required to ratify it. However, the US is one of the eight states that have so far not done so.

The NPT was established to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament in a general and complete sense. The treaty entered into force in 1970, and in May 1995, the treaty was extended indefinitely.

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