U.S. nuclear warheads a cause for global concern: Iran envoy

July 3, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Thousands of nuclear warheads possessed by the United States and certain other countries is the main cause of concern appertaining to global security, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency said in Berlin on Friday.

Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh made the remarks during an interview with IRNA on the sidelines of the 59th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs entitled European Contributions to Nuclear Disarmament and Conflict Resolution, which opened on July 1 and runs until July 4.
During the interview, Soltanieh said, “Thousands of nuclear warheads (possessed by) certain countries including the United States, a number of which have been stockpiled in European countries in clear contravention of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), are giving serious cause for concern regarding global security.”
“The fact that the U.S. has stockpiled those weapons in European countries including Germany blatantly contravenes the NPT, and the Islamic Republic of Iran has mentioned this point in a letter sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency director and is pursuing the matter with its like-minded nations,” he stated.
According to the media outlets, hundreds of U.S. nuclear warheads have been stockpiled in a number of European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, Soltanieh said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he commented on Israel’s nuclear activities and said, “Westerners, on many occasions, have turned a blind eye to and have kept an ignominious silence about the Zionist regime’s nuclear activities and its actions that contravene the IAEA Statutes.”
Iran and the like-minded nations should pool their efforts to compel the Zionist regime to join the NPT and pressurize it to allow the IAEA inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities, the diplomat insisted.
A number of countries, including several Arab states and the NAM members, are seeking to put the issue of Israel’s nuclear program on the agenda of the next meeting of the IAEA, which is scheduled to be held late in summer, Soltanieh announced.
He added, “Next week, a meeting on making the Middle East a nuclear weapons-free zone will be held in Brussels, and this issue will be raised there.”
Soltanieh also said that Iran has held several conferences on nuclear disarmament, and has taken major steps in this regard