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News Link • Iran

Iran FM: We Seek Negotiations and a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone

• by John Glaser
 Iran seeks peaceful negotiation and a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in a statement to the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
Salehi said that the majority of Middle East states, including Iran and Egypt, want to establish a nuclear weapon-free zone, but that Israel was the “only obstacle to the creation of such a zone.” Israel has hundreds of nuclear warheads, but has not officially admitted to it.
Israel has also refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as Iran has. “It is a matter of concern that all efforts to establish a nuclear free zone in the Middle East have not yet succeeded, due to its persistent refusal to join the NPT and to place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards system,” Salehi said.
Despite a consensus in its own military and intelligence community that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons and has demonstrated no intention of doing so, the U.S. has kept up harsh sanctions and aggressive postures towards Iran.

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