UNITED NATIONS (Dispatches) -- An Iranian diplomat at the UN has stressed the need for a region-wide comprehensive solution to the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, denouncing the Zionist regime as an impediment to the creation of a WMD-free zone in the region.
Addressing a UN General Assembly meeting, first counselor of the permanent mission of Iran to the United Nations Heidar Ali Balouji said the Middle East has been the scene of several wars, massive foreign military buildups, the ensuing nightmare of extremism and terrorism, the dangerous accumulation of the most sophisticated weaponry as well as aggression and power projections by various actors.
He touched on the number of active armed conflicts that have taken place in at least 46 states in 2021, saying eight of these conflicts alone have erupted in the Middle East.
“In this day and age, a regional security framework is needed now more than ever in our region. The region is on fire, so to speak, and the presence of extra-regional players as well as interference in the region further exacerbates the situation,” he said.
Balouji said excessive military budgets and arms imports by certain states remain alarming.
“Unsurprisingly, the U.S. is the number one arms seller to some regional countries, including a country that is the largest buyer of such weaponry with military spending.
“In this context, we must not condone the fact that the Israeli regime relies on its military aid from the U.S. as well as the aggressive military establishment it has created which is a chronic source of insecurity in the region and beyond,” he added.
Balouji said one of the biggest concerns is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the region.
The Zionist regime, he said, is the only entity in the region that has refused to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)), and Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).
“What’s worse, it possesses nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, threatens others even with nuclear annihilation while it enjoys the blanket support of the U.S. despite its threats to regional peace and security in the meantime,” the envoy said.
Balouji said the acute need for a region-wide comprehensive solution to the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, specifically the creation of a WMD-free zone based on the NPT or UN General Assembly processes, is still facing the impediment of the occupying regime of Israel.
Regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the envoy said, “it is crucial to note that the U.S. withdrawal from it in 2018 and the current U.S. administration’s refusal to rejoin it have resulted in tremendous harm to global efforts toward nuclear non-proliferation”.
“However, Iran has continuously upheld its commitments based on the JCPOA as well as the Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement and has been cooperative with the IAEA,” he said.
“Our nuclear program is completely peaceful and any allegation or politicized approach on this matter by any country is rejected. The U.S., with a history of sustained non-compliance with numerous accords, including the JCPOA, lacks any moral ground to raise such unacceptable statements.”
Balouji also refused any claims that Iran played any role in the war in Ukraine or broke its commitments.
“Our offer to clarify the issue at the expert level is still on the table,” he said.
The envoy said Iran has the right to meet its security and military needs, including its need for missiles, in conformity with international law and as a sovereign member of the international community.
“By taking a politicized approach, no individual or legal personality can deny us the realization of this right,” he said.