By Pakistan Observer
Geneva—Iran and Israel have clashed at the annual meeting of the UN atomic agency, further throwing into doubt a hoped-for 2012 conference on creating a Middle East free of nuclear weapons.
In lively debates at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gathering of its 155 member states, Iran said on Thursday that Israel should accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty aimed at stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. At present the Israeli regime is the only non-party to the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] in this region despite repeated calls by the international community,” Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, said.
“Peace and stability cannot be achieved in the Middle East while the massive nuclear arsenal of that regime continues to threaten the region and beyond,” he said. Ehud Azoulay, the Israeli envoy, in turn pointed the finger at Iran and Syria, saying “the most significant threats to the nuclear non-proliferation regime are those, that pursue weapons under the guise of their NPT membership”.
“It is Iran which represents the greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East and beyond,” he said. “No words in this room could distort the real facts behind Iran’s drive to nuclear weapons.”—AP
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