UK plan to boost nuclear stockpile goes against philosophy of NPT: Iran diplomat

Tehran’s ambassador to Moscow has voiced Iran’s opposition to a controversial plan by the United Kingdom to increase its stockpile of atomic weapons, saying any nuclear technology should serve the concept of atoms for peace.

During an interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency published Friday, Kazem Jalali was asked about London’s decision to reverse a previous commitment to reduce its nuclear stockpile under the pretext of countering what it calls threats from Russia and China.

Following a review of foreign policy, London announced on March 16 that it planned to increase its nuclear warhead stockpile and boost alliances with Asian allies. The review urges the UK to increase its cap on warheads from 180 to 260 by the middle of the decade.

Jalali said that in line with the philosophy of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which Britain is a signatory, “nuclear weapons should be reduced and nuclear technologies should be developed within the atoms for peace concept.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran develops its nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and we do not agree with the buildup of any nuclear weapons,” the Iranian diplomat added.

While delivering a defense of his administration’s plan, UK Prime Minister Borris Johnson claimed Iran was trying to acquire a nuclear weapon, prompting a strong condemnation from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who slammed London for “utter hypocrisy” on the issue of nuclear non-proliferation.