Iran has called for global nuclear disarmament but will not allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to access its military sites.
Iran called for global nuclear disarmament at the United Nations on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Iran indicated that the framework nuclear agreement with the P5+1 would not give UN nuclear inspectors access to military sites. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is up for review in three weeks.
At a meeting of the UN Disarmament Commission, Iranian deputy UN ambassador Gholam Hossein Dehghani accused the global powers of failing to make progress on nuclear disarmament. As a non-nuclear state and NPT signatory, Iran believes that the current process is too slow, he said.
Dehghani suggested that a “comprehensive, binding, irreversible, verifiable” treaty would provide the framework necessary to rid the world of nuclear weapons. He further noted the wide support for a 2013 proposal by the Nonaligned Movement to negotiate a final deadline for eliminating nuclear weapons.
Iran’s proposal came mere hours after the country refuted media reports indicating that IAEA inspectors would have access to Iranian military sites in order to ensure that it was not developing nuclear weapons. “No such agreement has been reached and basically, visiting military centers are among the red lines, and no visit to these centers will be allowed,” said Brigadier General Hossein Dehgan on behalf of the Ministry of Defense. He described reports to the contrary as “lies” and “deceits,” adding, “The determination of the nuclear negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Iran is so that it will not allow anything be imposed on the Iranian nation.”
Russia: US is Stoking Nuclear Arms Race
Russia, meanwhile, blamed the United States for stoking a nuclear arms race by positioning missile defense systems in countries that would be threatened by Russia or Iran. Olga Kuznetsova, a counselor at the Russian Foreign Ministry, said Tuesday that states pursuing anti-missile capabilities must be careful not to strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other states. She added that the development of high-precision, non-nuclear weapons disrupts the “strategic parity” between the US and Russia and could lead to “global destabilization.”
Iran’s proposal comes just days after a nuclear framework agreement was made between Iran and the P5+1. US President Barack Obama admitted that the deal leaves Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact and that by the time the agreement is ready to expire, breakout time to a nuclear weapon will be practically zero.