Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations has implored the world body to censure Israel over threats it has made against the Islamic Republic and to bring the Jewish state’s nuclear program under international supervision.
“The United Nations’ members should not turn a blind eye to these threats and must take firms actions to eliminate all Israeli nuclear weapons,” Gholamali Khoshroo was quoted saying Thursday by state media in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council, according to Reuters.
Khoshroo also called on the UN to make Israel join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and subject it to supervision by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA.
Israel has never acknowledged possessing nuclear weapons, instead maintaining a policy of “strategic ambiguity.” Foreign reports have put the size of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in the dozens to hundreds of weapons.
Khoshroo’s call for a condemnation of Israeli threats appeared to refer to a speech last month by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the nuclear research facility in Dimona, where he issued an emphatic warning against those who call for Israel’s annihilation, such as Iran.
Israel itself has been a leading critic of Iran’s nuclear program, urging signatories to the 2015 international deal meant to limit Tehran’s nuclear development to quit the accord, following the US withdrawal, and to reimpose sanctions.
Iran has denied pursuing nuclear weapons, though in April Netanyahu revealed files spirited away from Tehran that he said showed the Islamic Republic had for years worked on developing nuclear weapons and that it has put plans in place to pursue such weapons despite signing the nuclear deal with world powers.
At an IAEA conference in Vienna on Tuesday, the director-general of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission slammed Iran for its threats against Israeli nuclear facilities.
“These outrageous threats require Israel to take action and continue to protect and defend its nuclear facilities,” Ze’ev Snir said. “These facilities are constantly upgraded and reinforced, in line with IAEA safety guidelines, in order to withstand any attack.”
Snir also called on the IAEA to carry out “robust verification” of Iran’s nuclear work and said the very reason for the 2015 nuclear deal was Iranian violations of the NPT.
“The covert Iranian nuclear weapons program is a documented fact,” he said, pointing to the contents of the nuclear files taken by Israel.