Iran, who is suspected by many western nations of secretly developing weapons of mass destruction, has proposed a ban on nuclear weapons, calling their production or possession as “a great sin.”
“The production, possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons are illegitimate, futile, harmful, dangerous and prohibited as a great sin,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in a speech to the UN-hosted Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Tuesday.
He said Iran does not see any glory, pride or power in nuclear weapons, but, “quite the opposite.”
Salehi suggested a limited number of options for states worried about Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.
"We have clearly stated time and time again that there are two alternatives in dealing with Iran's peaceful nuclear program. One way is engagement, cooperation and interaction. The other is confrontation and conflict," he said.
However, he stressed that Iran is “confident of the peaceful nature of its program,”“does not seek confrontation, nor does it want anything beyond its inalienable, legitimate rights."
Iran maintains that it is seeking peaceful cooperation with western countries, despite all allegations and sanctions.
Salehi's comments followed UN nuclear weapons inspectors' two-day visit to Tehran last week. The IAEA’s ranking experts, however, remain adamant that Iran is not being sufficiently cooperative in regards to its nuclear program.
That was the conclusion after the IAEA’s team was denied access to a key military site in Parchin.
However, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltani told RT on Monday that “Iran is not ruling out access to any military sites, including Parchin."
He added that the group’s aim was “to discuss the reality and framework for our future work,” not to visit nuclear sites.
Commenting on the agency’s visit, Salehi said he hopes the dialogue with the IAEA will continue.
Moreover, Salehi accused the West of double standards for its support of Israel, the Middle East's only state outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – and the region's sole possessor of nuclear weapons.
The IAEA suspects that Iran’s uranium enrichment program could lead to nuclear weapons production. Iran maintains that its activity is exclusively civilian.