Iran: UN Should Condemn Israel’s ‘Clandestine’ Nuclear Weapons

December 21st, 2006 - by admin

The Associated Press & NBC – 2006-12-21 00:53:43

(December 20, 2006) — Iran demanded Tuesday that the United Nations Security Council condemn what it said was Israel’s clandestine development and possession of nuclear weapons.

Javad Zarif, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, said in identical letters to the council and to the secretary-general that the Security Council should “condemn Israeli regime’s clandestine development and possession of nuclear weapons, compel it to abandon nuclear weapons, [and] urge it to accede” to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Zarif said the Security Council should demand that all of Israel’s nuclear facilities be subject to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency and be placed under its safeguards program.”Should the Israeli regime fail to do so, the council must take resolute action under Chapter 7 of the Charter to ensure compliance,” he said.

Chapter 7 of the UN Charter authorizes a range of measures from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military action. Iran insists its own nuclear program is purely peaceful to develop nuclear energy, but the United States and many European nations believe Tehran’s real aim in enriching uranium is to produce nuclear weapons.

The Security Council is currently debating a resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend its enrichment program.

Zarif said in the letters that the council’s actions would show whether it was acting under the UN Charter or as “a tool” for a few permanent members who have encouraged Israel “to persist in its lawless behavior with impunity.”

The statement may be in reference to the U.S., Israel’s closest ally, which would almost certainly veto any council resolution on Israel’s nuclear program. Zarif said Israel was the only obstacle to establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. “Peace and stability cannot be achieved in the Middle East while the massive Israeli nuclear arsenal continues to threaten the region and beyond,” he said.

Zarif said Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s recent comments in a German television interview constituted not only a public admission of the country’s nuclear weapons but a public boast of how dangerous they are.

Israel has a long-standing policy of ambiguity on nuclear weapons, refusing to confirm or deny whether it has them. But in the German TV interview broadcast December 12, Olmert listed Israel among countries that possess nuclear weapons.

Israel’s UN Mission had no immediate comment on Zarif’s letters.

The Iranian ambassador insisted in the letters, obtained by the Associated Press, that Olmert’s comments were a clear admission that Israel possessed nuclear weapons in violation of international law, the UN Charter, and numerous Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

“Nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime with an unparalleled record of noncompliance with Security Council resolutions and a long and dark catalogue of crimes and atrocities such as occupation, aggression, militarism, state-terrorism, and crimes against humanity, poses a uniquely grave threat to regional as well as international peace and security,” Zarif claimed.

He called on the council to fulfill its responsibility under the UN Charter “to address such a clear and serious threat to international peace and security.”

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US Plans Naval Buildup in Gulf to Counter Iran
CENTCOM Plans to Use ‘Gunboat Diplomacy’
NBC News and news services

WASHINGTON (December 19, 2006) — The US Central Command is aggressively planning a naval buildup in the Persian Gulf, including the addition of a second aircraft carrier, in response to a series of aggressive actions by Iran, US military officials told NBC News on Tuesday.

The officials pointed to Iran’s interference in Iraq — including its support for Shiite militants and shipments of improvised explosive devices into the country — recent military naval exercises in the Gulf, and its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
The attempt at “gunboat diplomacy” is in its final planning stages. Although it has not been approved yet, it appears likely the increase in US warships into the Gulf could come as early as January, the officials said.

US: Iran making headway on weapons_On Monday, the Bush administration said Iran was making headway in building nuclear weapons as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried to iron out differences with Russia over a U.N. resolution designed to stop the program with economic sanctions.
While not predicting when Iran would join the nuclear club,

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the Iranians were trying to perfect technology to enrich uranium. Iran has denied an effort to build nuclear weapons and says its work is for energy development.

“It’s a very tricky matter of perfecting centrifuge technology so you can actually enrich all the uranium,” McCormack said. “So, yes, they are going along their way in trying to go down the various pathways.”

The spokesman provided no details of Rice’s telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “They went over some of the outstanding issues,” McCormack said.

‘Time for a vote’_Russia, which has close economic ties with Iran, has favored diplomacy over punitive sanctions, but the Bush administration is hoping Moscow may be prepared to approve a watered-down resolution at the U.N. Security Council.

“We are hopeful that we can get a vote in the very near future. It is time for a vote,” McCormack said. “I think we need to see a vote on this in a matter of days.”

The United States and its European allies have proposed offering Iran economic concessions in exchange for halting its enrichment of uranium, a key part of the process of building nuclear weapons.

NBC News’ Jim Miklaszewski and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.