Tehran (IP) - Iran's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations has said that US support for Israel's nuclear program prevents the realization of a weapons-free zone in West Asia.

Iran PressAmerica: Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remark before the second session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on Monday.

He said: "The Islamic Republic of Iran has a high record of accession, among the Middle Eastern countries, to the international instruments banning weapons of mass destruction. As the initiator of the proposal for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East presented in 1974, Iran is also a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the 1925 Geneva Protocol as well as a signatory to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, with a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."

He said, on several occasions, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has reiterated that besides nuclear weapons, other types of weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and biological weapons, also pose a serious threat to humanity. "The Iranian nation, which is itself a victim of chemical weapons, feels more acutely than any other nation the danger caused by the production and stockpiling of such weapons, and is prepared to do everything in its power to counter such threats."

"We consider the use of such weapons as haram (religiously forbidden) and believe that everyone must make efforts to secure humanity against this great disaster," Takht-Ravanchi added.

"The Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (MEZFWMD) is aimed towards elaborating a legally binding instrument to establish such a zone in an inclusive and transparent manner and with the participation of all invited States based on arrangements freely arrived at by consensus," the Iranian official noted.

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"Following the failure of past attempts to consider the Establishment of MEZFWMD, many international observers believe that the successful convening of the First Conference of the Middle East free zone of WMD was a turning point in addressing such an important issue. Participation in the Conference of all 23 members of the region – except the Israeli regime - and four Nuclear Weapon States, namely China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, as well as relevant international organizations, was incredibly remarkable. By claiming that the region is not ready to discuss the issue, the Israeli regime and the United States decided not to attend the Conference and instead opted for denouncing it," he added.

"In consideration of the obstacles to the establishment of such a zone, first and foremost, Israel must join all related international legally binding instruments. Above all, it must join the NPT without any precondition while placing all of its nuclear facilities and activities under the comprehensive safeguards of the IAEA," Iran's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations said.

"The US' continuous support for Israel, including its condoning of the Israeli regime's dangerous nuclear weapon program, and the US's unwillingness to engage constructively in the work of the Conference, have made the realization of the idea of establishing such a zone in the Middle East impossible," Majid Takht-Ravanchi concluded.


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