Iran is the victim of ‘nuclear terrorism,’ foreign minister says

Ali Akbar Salehi calls on Security Council to act against states that target peaceful nuclear programs

Ali Akbar Salehi (photo credit: CC-BY Parmida76, Flickr)
Ali Akbar Salehi (photo credit: CC-BY Parmida76, Flickr)

Iran’s foreign minister told the UN General Assembly Friday that his country was the victim of “nuclear terrorism,” and he called on the Security Council to launch a probe into attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Ali Akbar Salehi, speaking to the world body in his capacity as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), said Tehran considers nuclear terrorism to include instances of sabotage.

“As a country [where] not only [its] nationals have been targeted by terrorist groups, but also its nuclear facilities have been subject to cyber attacks and foreign-backed sabotage, we attach special importance to the need to prevent nuclear terrorism,” the semi-official Fars news agency quoted the foreign minister as saying.

Salehi said NAM recognizes “the urgent need” for a new international legal instrument “prohibiting attacks or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”

He said the group of 120 countries “reaffirms the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities — operational or under construction — constitutes a grave violation of international law, principles and purposes of the UN Charter and regulations of the IAEA.”

Salehi called on the Security Council to exercise its authority and act against countries that kill scientists, sabotage or launch cyber attacks against peaceful nuclear facilities. He said that the 15-member Council should stop using nuclear fears “as a pretext to act as a legislative body,” referring to a series of resolutions which imposed increasingly tougher sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Tehran has accused the US and Israel of assassinating several of its nuclear scientists, as well as unleashing Stuxnet, a computer virus that targeted the Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities.

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