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Rouhani moves 'nuclear ball' to Israel's court

February 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that any use of nuclear weapons is a violation of the United Nations charter and a crime against humanity.

Rouhani called on Israel to join the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons treaty (NPT) saying that, “Israel is the only country in the region that has not signed the treaty. It must join it immediately. By doing that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be able to observe any nuclear activity in the region more accurately. No state should acquire nuclear weapons.”

Rouhani called for a complete dismantlement of all nuclear weapons, pointing out that “the international effort that spanned over four decades has not succeeded in transforming the Middle East into a zone free of nuclear weapons. The world has waited longer than necessary for nuclear disarmament. As long as the weapons are present, the fear of using them remains.”

Rouhani also called for an international conference on this matter in the next five years.

The president’s statements came only a few hours before historic talks were scheduled to take place between Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss Iran’s nuclear programme.

Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported the Iranian president’s statements under the title “the personal magic attack”, saying that he had moved the “nuclear ball” to Israel’s court.

The newspaper pointed out that for years Iranian officials have used terms like “Zionist entity” and “Zionists”, however the new Iranian president used the term “Israel” only.