A senior Iranian United Nations diplomat has called out Israel over its suspected weapons of mass destruction and outsized conventional military spending.

Iran PressAmerica: “Last year, Israel with 5.2 percent of its GDP spent $24.3 billion [on defense] and is among the top five military spenders in the Middle East,” Heidar Ali Balouji, Iran's envoy to the UN's disarmament committee, said Monday.

“In addition to its WMDs, the large arsenal of sophisticated offensive conventional weapons of the Israeli regime continues to threaten the peace and security of the region and beyond. This regime is the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign assistance since World War II,” the Iranian diplomat added.

Saudi Arabia topped the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s list of top military spenders in the Middle East in 2021, with the country spending $55.6 billion, or 6.6 percent of GDP, on defense.

Israel allocated a special $1.5 billion fund inside its military budget last year to make preparations for a possible attack against Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy and research facilities. 

Israeli officials have repeatedly warned about Iran being “months” or “weeks” away from getting the bomb for more than a decade, with the former Israeli Prime Minister famously holding up a drawing of a cartoon bomb at the UN demonstrating that Iran was at the “final stage” of the process back in September 2012.

Iran has consistently denied Israel’s allegations about its purported pursuit of nuclear weapons and pointed to Tel Aviv’s own suspected stock of as many as 400 nuclear warheads, deliverable by submarine, aircraft, and ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching almost any point on the planet. Israel neither confirms nor denies its nuclear status in a policy known as ‘deliberate ambiguity.

Iranian authorities have expressed frustration over the international community’s obsession with its nuclear program while ignoring Israel’s actual (suspected) weapons.

Israel is not a signatory to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons but is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, unlike Iran, it is not subjected to an IAEA inspection regime.


Related News:

Iranian envoy rebukes UN ‘politicization, abuse’ of WMD non-proliferation regimes

IRGC chief: WMD has no place in Islamic logic