Linking JCPOA to irrelevant issues unacceptable: Deputy FM

IRNA – Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Gholamhossein Dehqhani says that linking the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to irrelevant issues and threatening to leave it are unacceptable.

Addressing a meeting of high-ranking officials of the World Disarmament Conference on Thursday, he added that non-compliance of the countries possessing nuclear weapons with the commitments under Article 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and their refusal to hold talks on nuclear disarmament has led to a lack of confidence in the capacity and capability of the treaty, exposing it to pressure.

While no progress has been made in the field of nuclear disarmament, countries owning nuclear weapons have intensified investment for renovating the weapons and developing their nuclear forces by producing modern and more effective nuclear warheads, he said.

Role and significance of nuclear weapons have perilously increased in security and military policies and doctrines of the nuclear countries, he said, noting that US President Donald Trump has recently boasted that his nuclear button is bigger than those of others.

Owning nuclear weapons should be considered unethical and serious efforts should be made to fully annihilate them, Dehqhani said.
Iran has ruled out possession of nuclear weapons based on religious teachings, he said, citing a Fatwa by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei which regards production, owning and using nuclear weapons as illegitimate, dangerous and forbidden.

Calling for full destruction of the weapons, he said that Iran as one of the steadfast supporters of nuclear disarmament has remained committed to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and other mass destruction arms, a policy which rests on a rational, legal and religious foundation.

Possession of nuclear weapons by Israel which has been engaged in aggression, occupation and war crimes in its dark record is a threat to the countries lacking such arms in the region, he said, blaming double standard policies of the US for violation of NPT and non-compliance with their legal commitments.

Elsewhere in his speech, Dehqhani said while Iran has been fully committed to the JCPOA, which has been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for ten times, the US has repeatedly violated the deal, seeking to deny Iran its rights enshrined in the international multilateral pact.