ISNA – Iranian deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs Seyyed Abbas Araghchi emphasized that the global community will no longer tolerate nuclear-weapon states’ lack of commitment to denuclearization.
Araghchi made the remarks on Tuesday while addressing the United Nations General Assembly on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
He pointed at the United States in warning on Tuesday that a new nuclear arms race and new competition to modernize nuclear weapons are starting.
“But despite the cessation of the nuclear arms race for some years, recently we hear an alarming announcement by United States, a nuclear-weapon state that it intends to continuously strengthen and expand its nuclear arsenal to ensure its place at the top of the pack,” he said.
This was a clear reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s comment in February that “a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.”
Araghchi called that statement “a clear indication of, and an explicit invitation to, the start of a new nuclear arms race.”
He also warned about the plans of “almost all nuclear weapon possessors for the modernization of their nuclear weapon arsenals” as well as the development of mini-nukes “by a certain nuclear-weapon state.” He said those are alarming trends that increase the danger of nuclear weapons being used.
The official has said that working towards the total purging of nuclear weapons is a “legal, political and moral responsibility” of every state.
“We need to take this responsibility responsibly and continue our collective efforts resolutely. On its part, Iran will continue to remain a strong supporter of nuclear disarmament,” he said.
Araghchi went on to add that nuclear-armed countries have been jeopardizing the Non-Proliferation Treaty by continued violations over the past almost 50 years.
“While nuclear-weapon states are primarily responsible for the elimination of their nuclear arsenals, the non-nuclear-weapon states shall not remain indifferent towards the 47-year non-compliance of nuclear-weapon states with their explicit nuclear disarmament obligations,” he added.
“Non-nuclear-weapon States need to contribute to the work of the United Nations high-level international conference on nuclear disarmament in 2018 and the Review Conference of the States Parties to the NPT in 2020 towards taking concrete actions to rectify this situation,” Iranian deputy foreign minister continued.