Iran censures US for blocking Middle East nuclear-weapons-free zone conference

The Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has censured the United States for postponing an international conference on the proposal to declare the Middle East a nuclear-weapons-free zone, Press TV reports.

On Friday, Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh accused the US and Israel of creating an impasse over the conference, which was supposed to be held in Helsinki in mid-December 2012.

“The unilateral decision by the United States for the postponement of this important conference is a serious setback to the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), and disregard for a unanimous decision, which was made [at the] NPT [review conference] in 2010 in New York,” Soltanieh said.

On November 23, 2012, Victoria Nuland, who was the spokeswoman of the US State Department at the time, said in an apparent allusion to Israel that Washington “would not support a conference, in which any regional state would be subject to pressure or isolation.”

“The United States regrets to announce that the conference cannot be convened because of present conditions in the Middle East and the fact that states in the region have not reached agreement on acceptable conditions for a conference,” Nuland added.

Since 1958, when Israel began building its Dimona plutonium- and uranium-processing facility in the Negev desert, it has secretly manufactured numerous nuclear warheads, making it the only player in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons.

Former US President Jimmy Carter has attested to the existence of the Israeli nuclear arsenal, which he says consists of 200 to 300 warheads.

NT/HGL

thanks to: PressTV

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