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Iran's Rouhani: Israel should sign non-nuclear treaty

Published time: September 26, 2013 13:44
Edited time: September 27, 2013 11:01

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses a High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament during the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 26, 2013. (AFP Photo / Mike Segar)

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Iran has urged Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Speaking at the UN General Assembly for the second time this week, President Hassan Rouhani called for a world disarmament conference to establish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.

“As long as nuclear weapons exist, the threat of their use exists,” Rouhani said, recalling the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Calling for a "nuclear-free zone" in the Middle East, Rouhani said that Israel was the only country in the region that had not yet signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Earlier, Arab states proposed a non-binding resolution to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), calling for Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and submit its alleged nuclear facilities to IAEA monitoring.

But member states of the UN nuclear agency voted down the resolution.

Rouhani has called for a conference to create a zone free of nuclear weapons or any WMD weapons in the Middle East without delay. All countries, he said, should participate in the conference.

He stated that any use of nuclear weapons is a violation against humanity, stating that "the world has waited too long for nuclear disarmament." 

"Almost four decades of international efforts to establish nuclear weapon-free zones have regrettably failed," he said. "Urgent, practical steps toward the establishment of such a zone are necessary. The international community has to redouble efforts in support of the establishment of this zone."

Nuclear disarmament “should be implemented in a comprehensive and non-discriminatory manner,” Rouhani declared.

On the way to full elimination, “nuclear states should refrain from threats or use of such weapons against non-nuclear states under any circumstances,” he said.

"Threatening non-nuclear states with nuclear weapons should end. The modernization of these weapons undercuts efforts for their total abolition," Iranian President stressed.  

Israel is believed to possess anywhere from 75 to as many as 400 nuclear weapons, including thermonuclear weapons in the megaton range. Israel has always avoided confirming or denying whether it has nuclear weapons, but has consistently accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons and posing a threat to world security.

However, Israel denounced Iran's call and accused Tehran of diverting attention from the regime's own nuclear work.

"The man [Iran’s leader Hasan Rouhani] is an expert with tricks," Israel's minister for strategic and intelligence affairs Yuval Steinitz told AFP. "Instead of saying that Iran will finally comply with the Security Council resolutions, it tries to shift attention to Israel.”

Speaking earlier to The Washington Post regarding Iran’s nuclear program, Rouhani said that Tehran wants to reach a deal as soon as possible with the P5+1 group of nations that discuss Iran’s nuclear program.

Comments (40)


Jahanzaib Abbasey 27.11.2013 19:20

Funny how the biggest preachers of democracy exercise oligarchy in world politics. Iran is the least of Israel's worries. Anyone who thinks on the contrary is too superficial to be interested in geo-politics.


Harry Hayward 29.09.2013 07:52

Common Ali 26.09.2013 22:53

"If israel were to give up their WMDs, it would be like bombing themselves. It's the only true defense against wars their not in. Most countries dispise Israel so much that they desperately won't them overthrown, so why would they want to give them up? So wars can start?"

Israel should introspect why it is hated in the region? Maybe Israel does not fit in? So it wants to remain in the middle east by hook or crook?


I have no idea why this has -5 votes when he seems to be saying exactly what most of the xenophobic people on here want him to be saying?


Ajax Lessome 28.09.2013 05:20

Rouhani repeatedly said his country would not give up its nuclear ambition and demanded that any negotiation must begin with the West retreating from, rather than intensifying, sanctions on the Islamic regime. But this was a clever move. Rouhani probably showed just enough leg in this statement to entice the U.S. into more talks about talks. In doing so, Rouhani probably bought Iran’s nuclear engineers and scientists as much as another year of time to get closer to their goal of a weapon that would destabilize the Middle East.

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