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Iran Censures US Decision to Cancel NFZ Conference

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Iran has censured the US decision to cancel an international conference on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East, calling it a blatant violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 

“The US has taken the conference on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East as hostage and this is a flagrant violation of the NPT,” Iran's Ambassador to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh said.

In a unilateral move, the US has announced that the conference, originally scheduled to be held in Finland’s capital, Helsinki, in December, should be postponed, he added.

Soltanieh emphasized that the decision is also a breach of the nuclear treaty mandate, which was approved through consensus during the NPT Review Conference in New York in 2010.

“This is a clear sign that the US is not committed to the obligation of a world free from nuclear weapons…and this proves that the US is a close ally and supporter of nuclear weapon capability of Israel and violation of international laws,” Soltanieh added.

The Iranian diplomat stated that the US failure to remain committed to the NPT is a “heavy blow” to the treaty and shows that the Islamic Republic, which has always called for freeing the world and the Middle East from nuclear weapons, is taking “firm and honest” steps to achieve this goal.

“Now the US once again proves that it is ready to confront other countries in the Middle East for the sake of satisfying Israel,” Soltanieh pointed out.

Iran's ambassador to IAEA also said more than 100 member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) have once again voiced support for Iran’s nuclear energy program. 

“At the meeting of the NAM, a five-page statement was passed in support of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program and it will be read at the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors next week,” said Ali Asghar Soltanieh.

Soltanieh pointed to two previous NAM statements in support of Iran’s nuclear energy program over the past 10 years and expressed Tehran’s gratitude over the movement’s supportive stance.

He also called for further cooperation and unity among the NAM states. 

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