(Christian Science Monitor) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says now that his country has accepted strict curbs on its nuclear program, it’s time for Israel and the world's other nuclear powers to begin their disarmament.
In an article published in The Guardian on Friday, Mr. Zarif argues that while non-nuclear-weapon states, like Iran, have “walked the walk” to conform with the non-proliferation regime, states possessing destructive weapons have hardly even “talked the talk” and rejected the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and customary international law.
“Today, in light of the Vienna deal, it is high time that the nuclear “haves” remedied the gap by adopting serious disarmament measures and reinforcing the non-proliferation regime,” wrote Zarif.
Zarif, on the other hand, said on Friday that the deal is "symbolically significant enough" to "mark the beginning of a new era for the non-proliferation regime.”
Israel is widely believed to be the only owner of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, with about 80 warheads, according to the Federation of American Scientists. Israeli officials, however, have never publicly confirmed the existence of their nuclear arsenal.
Bruce Riedel, the director of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution, contends in a column for Al-Monitor that Israel is the country that started the nuclear arms race in the region. “Some have argued the Vienna deal will start a nuclear arms race in the region,” he said. “In fact, a nuclear arms race has been underway in the Middle East for 65 years. Israel won it.”
Mr. Riedel asserts that Israel has a right to develop a nuclear arsenal since it has been at war since its birth. But, he said suggesting that Israel is an impotent defenseless country is not correct, adding that the country has been benefiting from “enormous amounts of American intelligence and military support.”Read More . . . .