IRAN wants to ban all nuclear weapons through an international treaty, the country’s foreign minister said at the UN’s Conference on Disarmament.
“The time has come to ban and eliminate all nuclear weapons,” Manouchehr Mottaki told the conference.
The UN Security Council on Monday slapped another round of sanctions on Iran over its refusal to suspend nuclear enrichment activities, while in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency attempted to convince Tehran to cooperate.
Western states have accused Tehran of pursuing a nuclear program under cover of energy production, a charge it has firmly denied.
Iran’s foreign minister said during Tuesday’s meeting in Geneva that it is necessary to “start negotiations to reach a convention on the ban of stocks and the production of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction”.
During the conference, he questioned the right of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to possess nuclear arms.
“The winners of the Second World War have claimed this right and imposed it on the international community,” he said.
“Today, the right of veto and the right to possess nuclear arms has become a monetary exchange to obtain illegitimate rights,” he added.
Iran, which confirmed that it had launched its first rocket to space February 4, also supported a proposal from Russia and China to ban weapons in space.
The project, which was presented on February 12 by Russia during the Conference on Disarmament, suggested banning the deployment of all types of arms in space. The US has opposed such a treaty.
The UN Conference on Disarmament brokered key Cold War accords such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, but has made scant progress over the last decade as the 65 members remain at odds on future priorities.